From the ground up
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Vice President of Design at Nike, Tinker Hatfield, walked us through the early sketches that lead to the development of the Nike MAG for the “Back to the Future” film back in the mid 80’s.

The focus with Nike when developing almost all their footwear is with the athelete in mind first and foremost. As Mr. Hatfield discussed this afternoon, the development of the Nike MAG for the “Back to the Future” film allowed for the company to do things a bit differently. In his words, the opportunity allowed Hatfield to “do anything.. try anything… it opens up your mind and in our case, it gave us a lot of freedom to do things we wouldn’t normally do.”

The sketches presented show the history and build-up to the final product. Ideas are laid on paper, tested and re-examined as the Nike design team worked to bring the MAG to life on the big screen. One interesting aspect of original Nike MAG design and the production pair which were used in the film involved illuminating the shoe. Actor, Michael J. Fox carried a heavy battery pack clipped to his back to power the Nike MAG. Today’s version has it all built on the inside.

Stroll through these early Nike MAG sketches. We’ve also included various looks from Mr. Hatfield of the unveiling of the Nike MAG.

Photography: Jeff Carvalho/

More looks after the click.

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