• Denmark-based designer Vimal Patel created the Lego-based design
  • He wanted a cheaper alternative to Nike’s  $720 (£580) self-lacing trainers 
  • Lego employee used inexpensive materials and common tools to craft his pair
  • It uses battery-powered motors to drive a series of cogs that tighten laces

Tim Collins For Mailonline

and
Cheyenne Macdonald For Dailymail.com

A hack using Lego could slash the cost of getting your hands on a pair of ‘Back To The Future’-style self-lacing trainers.

Industrial designer Vimal Patel came up with the design in an effort to create a cheaper version of Nike’s HyperAdapt 1.0 $720 (£580) trainers.

The Lego version uses battery-powered motors to drive a series of cogs that tighten laces – and Mr Patel says anyone can make their own version at home. 

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Denmark-based designer Vimal Patel, who works for Lego, used an old pair of Nike trainers and products from the building block company's Technic and Power Functions ranges to create his Marty McFly style Back To The Future sneakers
Denmark-based designer Vimal Patel, who works for Lego, used an old pair of Nike trainers and products from the building block company's Technic and Power Functions ranges to create his Marty McFly style Back To The Future sneakers

Denmark-based designer Vimal Patel, who works for Lego, used an old pair of Nike trainers and products from the building block company’s Technic and Power Functions ranges to create his Marty McFly style Back To The Future sneakers

Denmark-based  designer Vimal Patel's DIY self-lacing shoes are built from lego, using a hot glue gun and other basic tools.
Denmark-based  designer Vimal Patel's DIY self-lacing shoes are built from lego, using a hot glue gun and other basic tools.

Nike's HyperAdapt 1.0 automatically tighten when the wearer’s heel hits a sensor. They went on sale exclusively to Nike+ members in December 2016, at an eye-watering $720 (around £580).
Nike's HyperAdapt 1.0 automatically tighten when the wearer’s heel hits a sensor. They went on sale exclusively to Nike+ members in December 2016, at an eye-watering $720 (around £580).

Mr Patel’s DIY self-lacing shoes (left) cost a fraction of the rival Nike HyperAdapt 1.0 (right). The industrial designer built his version for less than £20, while the fashion brand’s pair will set you back an eye-watering $720 (around £580)

Mr Patel, who was born in New Zealand, shared his shoes on Cargo Collective.  

Speaking about the project, the Denmark-based designer said: ’I used a Dremel multitool to make holes in the shoe, that I filled with standard Lego Technic elements, and secured with hot glue.’

‘From there, it was straightforward to experiment with different designs and test their functionality. 

‘It works reasonably well, but I’m sure it can be done much better with a bit of effort.’

 ’There are only three permanent Lego connections to the shoe, so the rest of the Lego construction can be removed and disassembled.’

The cogs wind the laces around a cylindrical piece of Lego and the motion is set in action using a remote control.   

The shoes uses battery-powered motors to drive a series of cogs, which wind the laces around a cylindrical piece of Lego. Here they are pictured at the start of the process.
The shoes uses battery-powered motors to drive a series of cogs, which wind the laces around a cylindrical piece of Lego. Here they are pictured at the start of the process.

The shoes uses battery-powered motors to drive a series of cogs, which wind the laces around a cylindrical piece of Lego. Here they are pictured at the start of the process.

Back to the Future II was close to hitting the mark when it predicted 2015 would bring hoverboards, self-tying shoes, and wearable devices. 

While the most common hoverboards currently on the market don’t actually hover, Nike’s HyperAdapt 1.0, announced in early 2016, finally brought Marty McFly’s iconic sneakers to the public.

The HyperAdapt 1.0 automatically tighten when the wearer’s heel hits a sensor. 

But anyone hoping to recreate Vimal’s budget version will have to come up with their own designs.

He added: ‘I sometimes make plans for my projects but I don’t plan to in this case, simply because my specific construction doesn’t accommodate for the huge variation in shoe design.’

‘It’d be best for people interested to use this project as inspiration for their own hacks.’

‘I’m using Lego’s Power Functions parts - the 8878 rechargeable LiPo battery box, 88003 L-motor, 8884 IR receiver, and 8885 IR remote control.

‘They’re all completely unmodified parts, and there’s no other electronics used.’

Once the motors have started to wind the laces up, the shoes begin to tighten.
Once the motors have started to wind the laces up, the shoes begin to tighten.

Once the motors have started to wind the laces up, the shoes begin to tighten.

This apparatus was first used in celebration of ‘Back to the Future Day,’ – October 21, 2015, as mentioned in the movie’s sequel – when Michael J. Fox was presented a pair of self-lacing Nike Mag sneakers
This apparatus was first used in celebration of ‘Back to the Future Day,’ – October 21, 2015, as mentioned in the movie’s sequel – when Michael J. Fox was presented a pair of self-lacing Nike Mag sneakers

Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly in the first Back To The Future film in 1985. The cult sci-fi franchise predicted that 2015 would bring hoverboards, self-tying shoes, and wearable devices.

Marty McFly’s self-lacing shoes strap themselves into place in Back To The Future II, the 1989 film that inspired Nike and Vimal’s imitations.

MICHAEL J. FOX TRIES ON MARTY MCFLY STYLE SELF-LACING SHOES

Limited edition Nike Mag that mimic's Marty McFly's iconic shoe
Limited edition Nike Mag that mimic's Marty McFly's iconic shoe

Limited edition Nike Mag that mimic’s Marty McFly’s iconic shoe

Michael J. Fox, who played the beloved character in the film franchise, was gifted the first pair of self-lacing Nike Mag shoes on Back to the Future Day, October 21, 2015. 

During Back to the 1989 film Future Part II, Marty travels to October 21, 2015 and puts on a pair of Nike High Tops that automatically tighten and adjust to fit his feet – using so-called power laces.

A photo of the 54-year-old actor trying on the first pair of the Back to the Future-inspired sneakers was shared on Twitter on Wednesday afternoon by the Michael J. Fox Foundation For Parkinson’s Research.

Nike released a limited range of McFly’s Nike MAGs with manual laces in 2011, and earlier in 2015 – the year Back To the Future II was set in, Tinker revealed the power laces would arrive soon after.

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