Of the more than 50 pairs of shoes in his collection, Harry Do can say only one pair is from “the future.”
The self-lacing Nike Mag shoes from the iconic 1989 film “Back to the Future Part II” were raffled off by the shoe company and the Michael J. Fox Foundation to raise money for Parkinson’s disease research. Fox portrayed Marty McFly, a teen from 1985 who travels in time in a DeLorean. In the franchise’s second installment, McFly dons a pair of futuristic self-lacing sneakers when he travels to Oct. 21, 2015.
As a sneaker enthusiast and fan of the film franchise, Do entered one ticket at the last opportunity.
“I entered at the 11 o’clock hour, pretty much,” he said. “I told myself that the chances were slim to none to win it.”
Last week, his number came up. He won one of the 89 pairs of shoes made.
“As a person (who) loves sneakers, it feels like the sneaker lottery,” the 20-year-old Gainesville man said.
To enter the drawing, Do and other contestants purchased tickets by giving a $10 donation to the Michael J. Fox Foundation, with no limits on the number of tickets.
The shoes are a limited release with other pairs auctioned off in Hong Kong and London. Another auction is set for Nov. 12 in New York.
According to Hong Kong-based auction house Dragon 8, one pair of shoes sold for $104,000.
The athletic-wear company said on its website “100 percent will go to The Michael J. Fox Foundation and drive critical research to accelerate development of a cure for Parkinson’s disease.” Fox was diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson’s disease in 1991, according to his foundation’s website.
Do, who works at the Nike and Ralph Lauren stores at the North Georgia Premium Outlet in Dawsonville, said he considers himself “really big into sneakers.”
“I stay up to date with all sneakers that come out,” he said.
When handling the shoes Friday, Do showed off the buttons above the sneaker’s tongue. One button to turn it on, and two buttons to respectively tighten and loosen the shoe.
“As soon as you put your foot in it, it laces by itself,” Do said, estimating a 3- to 4-hour battery life before it needs recharging.
When the shoes arrived, Do said at least 90 percent of his friends and family told him that he’d be crazy not to sell them. Considering the slim chance of ever finding the shoes again and its potential increase in value, Do said the shoes are staying put.
“As of right now, I’m keeping it,” he said. “As a person (who) loves to collect shoes, it’s more of a sentimental value.”
The “icing on the cake,” Do said, is the signature on the case from Tinker Hatfield, Nike’s sneaker designer known for the line of Air Jordan shoes.
Being a fan of Fox and his movies, Do said the continued research for Parkinson’s disease and these fundraising methods “gives you a feel of hope for them to possibly find a cure.”
If he ever chooses to market the shoes, Do said he would designate 25 percent to the Michael J. Fox Foundation; 25 percent for his future nonprofit; 25 percent for friends and family; and the remainder for his future business ventures.
According to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, roughly 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with the disease each year. An estimated 10 million people live with the disease worldwide.
“The shoe is in my life now, so it’s only right that I continue to give back to his foundation and help others with Parkinson’s disease,” Do said.