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)
You can’t buy this kind of publicity: Athletic Propulsion Lab’s Concept 1 basketball shoe was deemed to give wearers such an unfair advantage that the National Basketball Association (NBA) banned it. Whether the company’s claim that it gives wearer a boost in their vertical leap is true or not, the APL Concept basketball shoes continue to thrive despite not having an NBA player endorsing it. Sales must have been good since the Concept went on to have a 3rd incarnation.
5. Nike Air Pressure (1989)
The Nike Air Pressure must have been a direct outcome of the popularity of Back to the Future II. It certainly bore some resemblance of the shoe worn by Marty Mcfly in the movie. Of course the technology shown in the Hollywood flick was not available yet in that era, so the Air Pressure ended up getting an unwieldy pump mechanism by the ankle area. The shoe was so popular among sneakerheads that it saw a retro release in early 2016.