Powerlace self-lacing trainers to launch May 2015

You can hopefully tie your own shoelaces, but it’s a hassle, right? If you think so, then take heart that lace knotting could soon become a thing of the past, as the self-lacing trainer is being developed by Nike – and now a new startup on Kickstarter.

Powerlace is the name of the auto-lacing shoe technology which we first marvelled at in the film Back to the Future – indeed, it’s getting to be a good year for McFly fans, as a hoverboard is also on Kickstarter courtesy of Hendo, set to be launched next October (it has now almost doubled its funding goal).

Powerlace still has a way to go concerning reaching its funding target, though – currently it has accrued C$32,000 (Canadian dollars, which is £18,000) of a C$650,000 (£365,000) goal.

The hands-free lace system works simply by using the weight of the wearer’s body to tighten the laces – when you put your foot in the trainer, it presses down on a pad in the heel which provides the force to do up the laces. A small lever at the back of the shoe then undoes the laces.

The company boasts: “The Powerlace shoe has been extensively tested in laboratories and has been subject to the wear and tear conditions when in actual use. The easy and adjustable tension design system guarantees the best fit, the best comfort, every time!”

It also promises that the trainers will be durable, waterproof and washable – but whether they’ll have the aesthetic appeal (and brand appeal) of Nike is another question. As Engadget (which spotted the trainers) notes, they look rather generic, and given the large funding target, this one isn’t a crowdfunding cert like the hoverboard (though theoretically, it might actually turn out to be a far more practical investment).