In 2008, then-Nike CEO Mark Parker learned that the company’s first employee had suffered a stroke and lost the use of one hand. So Parker put one of his top designers, Tobie Hatfield, onto making a shoe that required limited dexterity. By 2015, that prototype—a gift to a single employee—evolved into Flyease. It was a shoe technology that anyone could buy and put on one-handed, because it could be zipped on and velcroed shut.
Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Nike worked to craft the pair of shoes for a time where people are working from home more than ever, and are looking for something comfortable — a quick — to slip on.
“This shoe really responds to our current-day situation living in these Covid times,” Sarah Reinertsen, manager of FlyEase Innovation at Nike, said in an interview with CNBC. “This is actually an innovation that has been cooking up in our innovation kitchen for a little while … but it just came out right at the right time, when we needed it more than ever.”
Behind the shoe’s smooth motion is a bi-stable hinge that enables the shoe to be secure in fully open and fully closed states.
This duality allows another signature detail: the Nike GO FlyEase tensioner. The tensioner’s unique flexibility super-charges an action many might take for granted (kicking-off a shoe) and completely reimagines this movement as basis for accessible and empowering design.
The Nike GO FlyEase is available initially via invite for select Nike Members, with broader consumer availability planned for later this year.
For more information head over to Nike Go FlyEase