Talk about a steep adjustment for inflation. A single sneaker worn by Michael J. Fox in the 1989 film Back to the Future Part II sold on eBay Sunday for $92,100. The sneaker, a fictional Nike Mag with self-tying laces, was introduced in the sequel as a sign of 21st century technology.
When Marty McFly (Fox's beloved character in the BTTF franchise) travels 30 years in the future to 2015, he is astonished to learn that this footwear convenience exists. (We're still waiting for these to go mass market, but Nike has actually secured a patent for self-tying kicks.)
The auction listing was for only the left sneaker, and made no secret of its disintegrating condition. "This shoe is extremely fragile (it is deteriorating and should not be handled)," the seller cautioned, adding that "the plastic outsole separates from the shoe if you pick it up and the midsole is cracking and crumbling." But to satisfy purists, "some of the crumbles have been preserved in two small plastic containers."
In 2011, Nike produced 1,500 pairs of a limited edition version of the Mag (pictured below), selling them on eBay as a fundraiser for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. (The actor was diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson's disease in 1991.) In 2016 the sportswear giant released 89 pairs of a new limited edition version, also raising money for Fox's foundation.
How much would you have paid for this crumbling piece of Future history?