Blame the movie Back to the Future for letting our imaginations run wild over what the future might actually be like. That franchise, especially the sequel, had our mouths gaping in awe of what the year 2015 could hold for humanity. We should have known it was just a movie.
But some designers took notice. The sneaker craze was on its way up in 1989, and those with the money (courtesy of large shoe companies) to back up their wild imaginations ran away with it, pun intended. Here are the craziest sneakers to have entered the market.
8. Adidas Tubular (1994)
Pumping air into sneakers was all the craze back then. Not wanting to be left behind, Adidas thought it would be great to incorporate customizable cushioning in its running shoe. Hence the birth of Tubular in 1994. The concept was to pump air in its inflatable air bag found in the sole of the shoe. The idea of having to carry around an inflating contraption did not seem practical to runners, so the model was discontinued after it was introduced.
7. Nike Ovidian (2000)
At the turn of the millennium, Nike thought that the world would be better off with a utilitarian sneaker. The Ovidian was marketed as a 3-in-1 shoe, and even came with instruction manuals. It was a skater shoe that could turn into a casual sneaker by removing the inner bootie and turning the shoe inside out. The inner bootie itself could be worn as is, as a third option. The Ovidian could have been ahead of its time, as reception to the shoe was nonexistent 16 years ago. Who knows if this will be a hit now?
6. APL Concept 1 (2010)
5. Nike Air Pressure (1989)
4. Puma RS Computer Shoe (1986)
Talk about being ahead of the curve, Puma went crazy with the idea of a futuristic shoe by incorporating a computer within a sneaker—in 1986. The RS Computer Shoe comes with an affixed pedometer. While we enjoy now the joys of GPS-ran apps that track down the number of steps we take, runners did not have that luxury in the 80s. Ultimately the RS Computer Shoe was simply too clunky to be considered seriously by athletes.
3. Adidas 1.0 (2004)
Way before that kid came up to Michael Jordan in 2015, sneakerheads were going “what are those?” in 2004 when these babies came out. The 1.0 boasted itself with having a built-in microprocessor which it claims to enable the shoe to adjust the level of cushioning you might need, depending on the surface you’re treading. Unfortunately the shoe weighed around a kilo, which defeats the purpose of it providing your feet comfort.
2. Nike Air Mag (2011)
The internet went bonkers when Nike announced that it was releasing the Marty Mcfly shoe in 2011. Unfortunately only 1500 pairs were auctioned off, all in benefit of Michael J. Fox’s foundation for Parkinson’s disease research. The Air Mag was spot-on: the LED lights were there, the material on the upper looks just like the one from the movie. All it lacked was the self-lacing mechanism.
1. Nike Hyper Adapt (2016)
Self-lacing, you say? In 2016 Nike is bent on making every sneakerheads’ wet dream come true: the Hyper Adapt is the first shoe to actually incorporate auto-lace tech in a sneaker. The tech will initially come wrapped in a running shoe, but it’s only a matter of time before the Air Mag gets a re-release with the same technology. What a time to be alive. All we need now are a self-drying jacket and a hoverboard. Oh, wait.
Got your own list of crazy sneakers ever invented? Do let us know about them in the comments section!