Nike Urges Designers to Create More Hands-Free Sneakers

Nike’s ease-of-entry FlyEase technology garnered massive attention when it was introduced in 2015. The athletic giant is now pushing its focus on alternative closure systems further, urging designers to step forward with fresh and new ideas.

The label announced its Nike Ease Challenge today, an effort the brand explained hopes to attract innovators in footwear and share fresh and new solutions for a more hands-free design to help athletes of all abilities to more easily put on, secure and take off their shoes. The challenge will help the brand assist athletes with living more active and independent lives.

“We have a lot of innovative ideas already in motion inside the company, but we’re certainly open to the possibility that great minds outside the company are also inspired by these challenges and working on new solutions,” designer and creator of Nike FlyEase footwear Tobie Hatfield said in a statement. “Knowing how important — how life-changing — it can be for people who’ve never tied their own shoes to have a viable alternative, we feel a great sense of urgency to explore new solutions for all. The extensive amount of feedback we received regarding FlyEase taught us two things: 1) We are on the right path 2) There is still more work to be done. If there are innovators out there with actionable plans, we’re definitely listening.”

Nike debuted the technology on the LeBron Zoom Soldier Flyease 8, and in March announced that several other pairs of its sneakers will now be offered with Flyease in kid’s and adult sizing, including the LeBron Soldier Flyease 9, the Pegasus 32, and the Flex Run.

Nike Flyease Sneakers
The Nike LeBron Zoom Soldier 9, Pegasus 32 and Flex Run Flyease sneakers.
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand.

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