Tiffany Beers Talks The Future Of Self-Lacing Shoes, Why The Mag Is So Limited, And More

Tiffany Beers Talks The Future Of Self-Lacing Shoes, Why The Mag Is So Limited, And More

Nike Hyperadapt 1 Black White

The longest and arguably the most gripping chapter in Nike’s history book has finally closed. The Nike Mag, first seen in Back To The Future II was jaw-dropping power-lacing, has become a reality thanks to the dedication of Tiffany Beers, the individual who brought this hands-free self-lacing technology to life. It truly is a bittersweet moment to see the Mag, a unicorn of sneaker culture, become a reality. Personally, it feels like your favorite television show wrapping up its final episode, and the heavy hearted sense of finality seeping in; it feels like there’s nothing left to look forward to, but that’s far from the truth. Truthfully, the end of this chapter is nothing to be sad about, because the Nike Mag exists to raise funds solely for the benefit of the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

Last night, we got to check out the self-lacing Nike Mag in all its glory and spent some time chatting with Tiffany, who is single-handedly bringing Nike into charted territory. We talked about the future of self-lacing shoes, why the Nike Mag is so limited in number, and more, so if you’re truly interested in getting some insight on the what’s next for the Swoosh, read below.

Learn more about the Nike Mag.

Read our last conversation with Tiffany Beers here.

Above: Tiffany Beers, Senior Innovator at Nike (Photo via Wired)

Sneaker News: What are some of the emotions going through your mind now that this incredible story finally comes to a close?

Tiffany Beers: I’m super-excited for the consumer to finally get to experience it now. We’re letting it go now…it feels really weird. On some level, I hope people protect it, because it was really hard to make.

SN: It’s like sending your first-born off to college.

TB: Yea! It’s like, “you’re on your own now, behave”! It’s definitely a mix of excitement too, because I can’t wait for the HyperAdapt 1.0 to come out next month, but at the same time, the Mag is so special to so many. People have a real emotional connection to it.

Nike Mag 2016 Event

SN: Who would’ve thought a movie prop from almost three decades ago could have this global effect?

TB: Yeah definitely. I got to hold onto it for almost ten years, but now it’s time for the people to enjoy it. That’s kinda cool.

SN: So as the self-lacing technology for the Mag was being developed, the HyperAdapt was created. What other sort of future plans do you have for this development?

TB: Well this the first for now, we’re still trying to get the HyperAdapt out of the nest, and so we’re gonna see how things go a little bit. We definitely have some things in the works for performance, and we’re kinda excited to see what the feedback is going to be from the customers. This whole thing [The Nike Mag] started with a public petition, and we’re listening. Tell us what you want. I think there’s no better input than the consumer who is living it and breathing it at home. How does it work for your lifestyle? It’s different, because you have to charge it. The HyperAdapt, you don’t have to charge often, but you still have to charge it. What do you think? How does that work for you? Help us improve it.

Nike Hyperadapt 1 Black White

Above: The self-lacing Nike HyperAdapt 1.0

SN: You have the distinction of working on both the Mag and the HyperAdapt. Which experience was more exciting for you?

TB: Wow. Well, delivering the shoes to Michael J. Fox last year was so insane. That day, was just – I just look at it as amazing. The thing about working on the HyperAdapt is that at first, people didn’t believe in it, or they thought it was gimmicky, or they just didn’t get it. But the moment you try it on…that’s what it’s all about. It’s amazing once you try it on. That joy and smile that everyone has. That is what’s exciting to me personally. On a bigger scale, the Innovation Summit back in March was so fun, but right now, we’re in the middle of this launch and it’s just exciting to see everyone react to it. I’d say it’s a tie between the two.

Nike Mag 45 Grand

Above: Nike Mag display at 45 Grand in NYC

SN: Comparing the 2011 release and the self-lacing version we have today, there’s quite a discrepancy in the number of pairs available. Some have been, for lack of a better word, disappointed in how limited the number is. Can you speak to why the production was kept so small?

TB: I’m honestly excited that we have 89 pairs. This shoe was really hard to make, so i’m really stoked that we have 89 to give out. It could’ve been one. We could’ve given that one pair to Michael J. Fox and be done there, but we worked and worked and worked and figured out how to make more. This just isn’t mass-producable like that. It’s so far advanced. There’s no stitching. The upper is so minimal, and the mechanism inside the sole is so low to the ground. That’s really tricky to do.

Each size is really another model. Each one of the sizes is a different dimension and it makes it much more difficult when you’re doing stuff like adding a self-lacing mechanism. It’s like building four different shoes. But because we’re all about performance, we put a lot of focus on the HyperAdapt. That’s where the consumer experience is going to rock. The Mag is amazing, and it’s going to help Parkinson’s Disease research immensely, and the winners will be super lucky. But the performance of the HyperAdapt is going to blow people’s minds. People already have expectations of the Mag, but the HyperAdapt is all-new.

We feel like we picked the right amount. The first time around, a lot of people were complaining that it was too much money, so we wanted to be democratic about it and we can’t please everybody, so hopefully the public understands that.

Nike Hyperadapt White

SN: Now that the Mag is completed, is the book officially closed?

TB: I personally don’t think it’s going to live on forever (in production), because they’re very hard to make. I’m moving on to the HyperAdapt and I don’t think there are plans to make more Mags. It’s here, it’s a great experience, but now we’re ready for what’s next.

The Nike HyperAdapt 1.0 releases on November 28th, 2016.
For a chance to win the Nike Mag, you can purchase lottery tickets on nike.com/mag or on the Nike+ App.

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