What Are Nike MAGs? - Sneakers Meet Cinema

Back to the Future fans know the Nike MAGs, but the history behind their release also involved supporting a great cause. With so few in circulation, they’re highly sought after sneakers.

What Are Nike MAGs? - Sneakers Meet Cinema

Nike MAGs

Nike MAGs are a piece of cinematic history. They first premiered in the 1989 film Back to the Future II and immediately became one of the most sought-after shoes in history. Unfortunately for the fans, these shoes were created just for the film and were unavailable for purchase by the public. However, as time passed, Nike MAGs became much more than just a dream shoe and eventually became a reality.


What Are Nike MAGs?

In the film Back to the Future II, Marty McFly flew to the year 2015 and switched on his Nike MAGs, which had self-tying laces. The moment became an iconic part of footwear history, yet in 1989 Nike didn’t capitalize on its popularity by releasing an actual pair. Instead, the original MAGs used for the film sat on a shelf until 2018 when they sold on eBay for a whopping $92,100!

What Are Nike MAGs?

Fans that were hoping for a commemorative version got their wish when Nike announced the release of the iconic MAG sneaker in 2011. They teased the release with a video of Marty McFly’s closet where Nike MAGs lined the shelves. There were 1,500 MAGs auctioned off, and all proceeds went to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. This raised a total of $5,695,190.53.

In 2016, Nike went on to release another pair of the famous shoe – but this time it included the “power laces” with Adaptive Fit technology. These laces sense the wearer’s motion and adjust by tightening or loosening accordingly. The production was limited to only 89 pairs – the first of which went to Michael J. Fox, free of charge. The production of shoes was once again auctioned off for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research and raised $6.75 million.

What does MAG Stand for?

You might be surprised to know that the “MAG” in Nike MAG actually stands for something – Magnetic Anti Gravity. Now while the shoes are pretty amazing, they don’t have any actual anti-gravity technology, so don’t get your hopes up to be dancing on the ceiling.

Nike Air MAGs

The limited-edition shoe was a replica of the Back to the Future II shoe. If you didn’t read between the lines, that makes this shoe incredibly expensive, hard to find, and coveted by collectors. The good news is, for that price tag you get a piece of history, a futuristic aesthetic, and a shoe equipped with glowing LED lights on the heel and midsole.

When Did Nike MAGs Come Out?

Nike Adapt BB MAG Low-Top

In 2019, Nike created the Adapt BB Nike MAG. This low-top version is a replica of the original MAGs with the same power lacing. You can use the shoe along with the Nike app to refine the fit and customize its features – the lights, custom presets, and checking the battery levels.

When Did Nike MAGs Come Out?

The original Nike MAGs appeared in the Back to the Future II movie. But as we explored earlier, shoe fanatics had to wait a decade and a half before the shoes were officially released.

  • 2011 - Nike released 1,500 MAGs through auction
  • 2016 - Nike released 89 MAGs through auction
  • 2019 - Nike created the Adapt BB MAG Low-top

Why Are Nike MAGs So Expensive?

Getting your hands on one of the 1,589 pairs of Nike MAGs will cost you a pretty penny. Why? There are 3 main reasons:

  • Nike MAGs were a limited-edition shoe.
  • The shoes benefit from a cult-like following of Back to the Future films.
  • Nike MAGs are a renowned design including extra features like light-up elements.

What Are Nike MAGs

Sneakerheads can’t wait to get the opportunity to add a Nike MAG to their collection due to one of those reasons – or a combination of all of those reasons! Because of this, on the market, you can expect to pay upwards of $30,000.

Most Expensive Nike MAGs

The original Back to the Future II Nike MAGs are the most expensive on record. As we mentioned earlier, these kicks sold for $92,100 back in 2018 but are likely worth much more now.
Most Expensive Nike MAGs

All Nike MAGs are highly sought-after. However, pairs that remain brand new, in their original box, and haven't been worn are most popular.

Where to Buy Nike MAGs

If you’re looking to get your hands on a pair of Nike MAGs, you are going to have to do your research and ensure you’re finding an authentic pair. Consider looking at the following websites that ensure the shoes are authentic.

Where to Buy Nike MAGs


StockX is a great location to find and buy limited-edition sneakers. They have a global marketplace and a multi-step verification process to ensure that the shoes are authentic.


GOAT is another online platform that resells luxury and limited-edition shoes and apparel. There are over 30 million members of the platform and over 600,000 sellers.


If you’re looking for authentic sneakers, eBay has one of the largest selections online. Just be sure that you’re purchasing an authentic pair and that eBay backs their authenticity of them.

What to Watch For When Buying Nike MAGs

With all limited-release and highly sought-after shoes, there will be scammers. Here are a few things that you should consider when purchasing to ensure they aren’t fake:

  • Too good to be true pricing
  • Check the Nike Swoosh logo for flaws
  • Inspect the size tag
  • Inspect the lighting features

Nike Mags Authenticity

At such a steep price point, you’ll want to do your due diligence and ensure that you’re not getting scammed by a fake pair of sneakers.

Adding Nike MAGs to your Collection

Adding a limited-edition pair of kicks is always an awesome piece for a collection. But it comes with a steep price tag that is nearly impossible to avoid. While both the 2011 and 2016 MAGs are highly coveted, the 2016 drop has fewer in circulation and are harder to find – making them more costly.

Nike MAGs purchased on the resale market don’t directly support the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, as they did in the original drop. Although your purchase won’t contribute to the fund, you can now add Nike MAGs to your collection with pride in knowing their history.