A Hands-Free Shoe From Nike
Nike has launched a new shoe that takes accessibility to a whole new level. The GO FlyEase is Nike's new hands-free shoe, designed to be accessible to athletes of all abilities.
Nike introduced the new Nike GO FlyEase Monday (Feb 1st). The shoe features a bi-stable hinge, which makes it possible to put your foot into the sneaker without the use of hands. The shoe also features a midsole tensioner, which allows the shoe to remain secure once it's on.
Nike saw the need for such a design for shoes so it could be made more accessible for athletes of all abilities, like Italian fencer Bebe Vio, who uses a wheelchair.
"Usually I spend so much time to get in my shoes," Vio said in a release. "With the Nike GO FlyEase, I just need to put my feet in and jump on it. The shoes are a new kind of technology, not only for adaptive athletes but for everyone's real life."
Nike has been working toward developing a hands-free shoe for years and are now finally ready to offer the GO FlyEase after all of the research and testing was done to make sure they got it right.
In 2012, Matthew Walzer who was 16 years old at the time and a student at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida wrote a letter to Nike about the need for an athletic, supportive, self-lacing shoe. Matthew was born with cerebral palsy and not able to tie and untie his shoes himself. He just wanted to have the independence of being able to do it himself especially when he started college.
That letter Walzer had written ended up in the hands of Nike designer Tobie Hatfield, who had been working with Special Olympians and designing for Paralympians with similar challenges. Hatfield worked with Walzer to develop a shoe he could put on himself. Three years later in 2015, Nike launched the first version of the FlyEase design.
The new Nike GO FlyEase will initially only be available to selected Nike members but the company plans to make the shoe available to more customers later this year.
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