August 25, 2010 BY Aaron Hope
Here’s what the seller and original Electronics Technician has to say about these:
Back in 1989 I worked in the Nike Sport Research Lab as the Electronics Technician. The original BTF2 shoes for the movie were built by hand in the Nike Sample Room, and I was the one who designed and installed the electronics for them.The lights in the side of the midsole and the Nike logo on the ankle strap are electro-luminescent panels, and there is an array of six randomly flashing LEDs on the side of the heel that were never visible in the movie
They were originally called “Slamball Shoes,” and that’s what most people called them around Nike. There was supposed to have been a scene in the movie in which Marty plays Slamball, a game like 3D racquetball where the participants wear magnetic shoes which allow them to climb up the walls. That scene was never shot because the cost of building a huge room on gimbals to create the effect was too great.
The REAL name of the shoes in Marty McFly’s world of 2015 was the “Nike Mag” because of their magnetic properties, and that’s what is molded in the back of the heel.
The shoe is in “good” condition for what it is, but since the polyurethane midsole and fabric body of the shoe were simply spray-painted in the suggested color, some of the paint has flaked off over time. The LEDs, the E-L panel on the ankle strap, and one of the two E-L panels on the midsole still work. The other midsole panel comes on if you flex the shoe slightly. I originally thought I could get away with a rigid connection between those two panels, but it turned out that the flexing of the shoe during wear broke the connection. It might be fixable with some delicate surgery, but I never had the guts to try it.
The included power/electronics pack is hard-wired to the shoe, and requires two 9 volt batteries to operate.
I believe the shoe was built as a men’s size 9, although I couldn’t swear to it. It is whatever size Fox was at the time.
The shoe comes with a color photocopy of the original design drawing by Nike’s Tinker Hatfield (the designer of all of the Air Jordans, among many other things).
Filed under: Upcoming Sneakers
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