This is Nike GO FlyEase
Nike’s newest shoe is “easy on, easy off” for those who can’t put their shoes on without assistance – or cannot be bothered. Called the Go Flyease, it’s Nike’s first pair of lace-less sneakers that can easily be put on and taken off without using your hands. The casual shoe arrives at a time when people are touching fewer things during the pandemic and a revival of comfier counterparts that take minimal effort to take on and off, such as Crocs.
The idea behind the FlyEase technology was inspired by Matthew Walzer, who was born with cerebral palsy and wrote to Nike about creating a shoe he didn’t need to tie.
“At 16 years old, I am able to completely dress myself, but my parents still have to tie my shoes,” reads an excerpt from the letter sent in 2012. “As a teenager who is striving to become totally self-sufficient, I find this extremely frustrating and, at times, embarrassing.” A Nike designer reached out to Walzer and started work on shoes that might fit his needs, according to a 2015 post by Nike detailing the history of FlyEase.
The invention’s core is a bi-stable hinge (the red element at the base of the shoe) and the midsole tensioner (that belt that wraps around) that gives the pair structural strength to be used as athletic footwear.
Most of all, Nike Go FlyEase is the ideal solution for people with disabilities keeping accessibility in mind, and that’s what makes them worth the time spent in R&D by the Nike team led by designer Tobie Hatfield who’s known for developing ingenious shoes for disabled people (and who’s also the brother of iconic footwear designer Tinker Hatfield). It is as easy as using one foot to hold the kickstand heel of the other and stepping out with utmost ease. When in the opened-up position the shoe’s inner sole is at an angle of 30-degree, making it easy to slip in the foot. In the collapsed wearable position the outer layer encapsulates the foot snugly in position for dynamic activities like playing football or running.
This makes even more sense when in times of COVID-19 hygiene is paramount and you are skeptical about touching anything that’s been exposed to the elements for a considerable time. The fact that the pair is ideal for all kinds of activities and casual wear too, makes them so irresistible. According to Nike, they are going to make these available for sale to select Nike members from February 15 in a limited number. If the idea clicks with most users Nike will make then commercially available in the latter half of 2021.
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