From the sporty “dad sneaker” to the high fashion Balenciaga and Louis Vuitton statements, sneakers are the go-to for style and practicality.
Their traditional sneakers and classic styles aside, Nike have created a sneaker that’s fuss free and “hands-free.”
Nike’s new GO FlyEase (£ 104.95, available from 15 February) is a sneaker that means you no longer have to bend down to tie your laces – instead, you can just slip them on and go.
Nike’s new offering is targeted at people on the go, as well as those who may be pregnant, or have physical disabilities that don’t allow them to reach their feet so easily.
Kathy Gomez, Nike’s vice president of NXT footwear says, “For some, these shoes are simply easier to put on. But for others, they are the reason it’s possible.”
This month, David Wagner, a wheelchair tennis athlete will be wearing the new Nike sneakers to compete in the Australian Open.
Disability design for the win!— Jaipreet Virdi (@jaivirdi) February 1, 2021
In 2012, Matthew Walzer, a teen with cerebral palsy, wrote to Nike asking for athletic shoes for disabled people. Nike invited him to collaborate in the design of the original adaptive Nike FlyEase shoe. https://t.co/0S3cAUhCCY
Where a slip-on sneaker may not be a new concept, Nike’s version is one that doesn’t need to be pulled on. Using a simple, yet effective, technology, the sportswear giant has created a bi-stable hinge that “keeps the shoe securely open upon entry and exit and closed when in use,” as explained by Gomez. The sneaker somehow works using “human intuition,” the wearer simply slips their foot into the shoe, and to remove them will exit by using the opposite foot against the heel.
Nike had initiated an “internal competition” within the company for its creatives and designers to come up with a completely “hands free” shoe – and this new drop has taken 5 years to develop and perfect. Within this time, the company has developed technology that could be used when designing high performance sneakers and more.
Kathy Gomez also added, “The initial winning prototype [of the competition] was a modified Nike Roshe [trainer] split down the middle, but it sparked a larger idea that a dedicated team of people has been working to refine ever since. Ultimately, this patent-pending shoe reinvents how you put on and take off your shoes, which is no small feat.”