Thursday, October 7, 2010

To the Future: Self-lacing shoes

A video clip from ABC News' Good Morning America showing the shoes, the inventor, and the inspiration.

It’s time to go back to the future. Inspired by a scene in the movie Back to the Future 2 inventor Blake Bevin created a self-tightening shoe. See it in action and the inspiration in the clip above (Ferran, 2010).

Bevin’s shoe uses a small motor that is activated by the push of a button. She designed the shoe for the elderly and disabled, to help make their lives a bit easier. However, she says the product is not yet finished and is looking for donations to make her shoe design better. She hopes not to have to press the button for the laces to tighten (Ferran). For more information and to give a donation, visit her website.

At the same time, Nike has also recently patented a technology for a self-lacing shoe. This shoe involves flipping a switch which will pull the laces in tighter. This shoe needs a battery and to be charged in order to work. It is unknown if, and when, the shoe will hit the market (Fox, 2010).

When I first heard about these shoes, I thought it was another example of Americans being lazy. However, hearing Bevin talk about her grandmother, made me realize that these shoes could make life easier for the elderly and disabled. For them, this shoe seems like such a great idea. I hope she gets the funding. For other people, I get the cool technology aspect. Some buyers will feel like movie stars. However, learning how to tie a shoe seems like an essential part of growing up.
Also, for exercise, I wonder if these mechanisms get the shoe tight enough or if it can adjust to match different people’s feet. You would want the laces to give proper support. Another issue is the possibility of malfunctioning. You wouldn’t want to be unable to open the laces.

What do you think? Would you buy a pair if they were on the market?

Related Post:


Ferran, L. (2010). Self-tightening power laces shoes, back from the future. ABC News. Retrieved October 5, 2010 from

Fox, S. (2010). Nike patents plan for self-lacing shoes. Retrieved October 5, 2010 from

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