Time Traveling: A Look Back at Nike's Air Mag Inspired Sneakers

words // Brandon Richard

On this date in 1989, one of the most legendary sneakers of all time was introduced to the world, when Back to the Future Part II opened in theaters. Originally worn by Michael J. Fox's character Marty McFly, the Nike Air Mag went on to become one of the most revered sneakers amongst collectors of both sneakers and movie memorabilia alike for more than two decades. With light-up features and a self-lacing system, the shoes existed in the year 2015 in the movie (still ahead of our time!) and were thought to be virtually impossible to replicate for an actual release.

The road to an official Air Mag release has been a long one, and along the way, we've run into several Nike-produced sneakers that are spawns of McFly's futuristic footwear. As we look back at the anniversary of the launch of the Nike Air Mag eBay auctions, let's take a look back at the full lineup of Nike Air Mag inspired kicks.

 

Nike Hyperdunk "McFly" (2008)

Nike Hyperdunk "McFly" (2008)

Nike Hyperdunk "McFly" (2008)

If Nike didn't have plans to deliver the futuristic Air Mag, the next best thing was a McFly-inspired colorway of their newest flagship basketball sneaker, the Hyperdunk. The shoe took on the familiar color scheme of Marty McFly's futuristic hover boarding sneakers, throwing in a "2015" stamped tongue and glow-in-the-dark outsole for good measure. If the shoe wasn't a big enough deal itself, Nike set up shop at UNDFTD Santa Monica for the official launch and invited Kobe Bryant to swing by for the festivities. Kobe arrived in a Delorean, by the way.

 

Nike Zoom Tre AD "McFly" (2008)

Nike Zoom Tre AD "McFly" (2008)

Nike Zoom Tre AD "McFly" (2008)

What made the "McFly" Tre AD such an interesting choice for an Air Mag inspired release is that nobody saw it coming. However, it made sense to release a shoe from the brand's skateboarding range because riders had the opportunity to mimic Marty's hover boarding antics on their own boards. Of course, the colorway was insanely popular after the success of the Hyperdunk too. The shoe, which boasted a heather grey base, featured the familiar speckle print on the front half of the midsole and glow-in-the-dark Swoosh logos.

 

Nike Hypermax McFly

Nike Hypermax McFly

Nike Hypermax "McFly" (2009)

The "McFly" Hypermax was Summer 2009's basketball follow-up to the wildly popular version of the Hyperdunk from 2008. Unlike the Hyperdunk, the Hypermax ditched Flywire technology for a jetstream grey satin-based build. Glow-in-the-dark-ready Pale Blue accented the shoe on the midsole support wrap, outsole and various details on the upper. Other features included an enlarged Swoosh, custom insole graphics and tongue font, a removable cross-strap and the famous Air Mag splatter print on the midsole. Unfortunately, these bad boys were scrapped and never made it to retail.

 

Nike Hyperdunk Low "McFly" (2010)

Nike Hyperdunk Low "McFly" (2010)

Nike Hyperdunk Low "McFly" (2010)

If you couldn't get your hands on the Air Mag, owning the "McFly" Hyperdunk was the next best thing. If those managed to evade you as well, the "McFly" Hyperdunk Low was a suitable replacement -- or would've been. Essentially a takedown of the midcut sneaker that caused commotion two years prior, the would-be hot seller was also canned, making it a highly collectible sample amongst Air Mag enthusiasts.

 

Nike WMNS Lunar Racer "McFly" (2010)

Nike WMNS Lunar Racer "McFly" (2010)

Keeping up with the theme of unreleased Air Mag inspired shoes, this curious women's colorway of the Nike Lunar Racer popped up on eBay a year ago. Undoubtedly taking its inspiration from Marty's self-lacing kicks, this Lunar Racer featured a grey synthetic and mesh build, blue and orange Flywire supports and white Swoosh branding. Like we've seen with the other "McFly" releases, a blue-speckled midsole provided the finishing touch on this pair.

 

Nike Hyperdunk 2010 (2011)

Nike Hyperdunk 2010 (2011)

Nike Hyperdunk 2010 "McFly" (2011)

There's a good chance you haven't seen these images before. As a potential sequel to the shoe that reignited the whole "McFly" craze back in 2008, Nike created an Air Mag-inspired version of the Hyperdunk 2010. The "McFly" Hyperdunk 2010 featured a matte-finished silver upper with white working the tongue, laces, trim along the collar, heel detailing and Swoosh logos. The inner liner was done in pink, while blue handled Flux Capacitor graphics on the tongues, Nike branding on the heel and the famous midsole speckle print. The interiors are lined with modernized "Grays Sports Almanac" footbeds featuring stars from Nike's current lineup like Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. Capping off the look below is a glow-in-the-dark rubber outsole. As you may have guessed, these were left on the cutting room floor and only exist in sample form.