Crowdfunding campaign hopes to beat Nike to auto-lacing shoes

Ever since Marty McFly first wore them in Back to the Future Part II, we've all dreamed of auto-lacing shoes. Nike has now said that a pair will launch in 2015, but despite that, a Canadian startup is taking to Kickstarter to try and beat the shoe giant to the punch with its Powerlace P-One shoes.

Despite their name, Powerlace shoes feature a non-electric system that relies on your body weight to tighten the laces. As soon as you step into the shoes, your heel presses down on a concealed disc that's linked by wires to the laces. There's a lever attached to the back of the shoe that allows you to release pressure to loosen the laces to your taste.

Visually, it's unlikely the P-Ones will win many fans. They look like a typical pair of no-name running shoes, with huge and fairly unattractive "POWERLACE" branding plastered over their sides. The campaign is seeking an astronomically high $650,000 CAD (about $577,000) to make Powerlace a reality, with prices starting from $175 CAD ($155) for early birds and $195 CAD ($173) for everyone else. Should the campaign be successful, the first shoes are expected to ship next May. Given Nike's unspecific "2015" date for its auto-lacing shoes, not even a successful campaign can guarantee that the P-Ones will still be "the world's first" by the the time they ship.