Nike Designer Tim Hatfield recently announced that self-tightening power laces, like the ones seen on Marty McFly's Air Mag shoes in "Back To The Future Part II," could be arriving as soon as next year. The revelation sent sneaker aficionados into a frenzy, but it also hinted that a radical shift in shoe design is just around the corner.
D'Wayne Edwards, a former shoe design director for Nike's Jordan Brand and founder of Pensole, a footwear design academy for youth, told DNews he expects big innovations in the coming years. While some shoe companies may capitalize on the "cool factor" of emerging technologies to create gimmicky products, he said "if technology is used in it's pure form -- to make the human body better or to make the person more in tune with their body, feet or footwear -- then it will only be an enhancement."
While there's no shortage of fitness tracking applications for shoes, Edwards foresees even greater advancements coming down the design pipeline -- from 3D-printed shoes and sneakers that tell runners if they over pronate, to soles that stimulate muscles and alert wearers if their back needs adjusting.