Want to join the hands-free footwear movement? There’s Kizik, the newest addition to the category with a new line of men’s sneakers that makes getting dressed in the morning a bit easier.
The collection is based on a patented technology that makes laces obsolete. “Unlike a slip-on, Kizik shoes are a step-in automatic sneaker that gives you a custom fit without using your hands,” said industry veteran and president Pat Hogan.
The shoes use a virtually invisible technology dubbed F.A.S.T. (Foot Activated Shoe Technology), designed with an internal spring wire that allows for easy step-in entry that then adjusts to a customized fit. When activated, a proprietary internal wing shape automatically opens to let your foot in, and then closes to keep it in. The retractable heel material is built to repeatedly collapse and quickly regain its shape. Simple adjustment strips on both sides of the tongue create a customized fit for wide or narrow feet.
The leather shoes come in in two styles, the Boston and the New York, and retail from $180 to $190. They’re now available online and in select Dillard’s locations.
According to the company, the collection will be expanded for spring, with a companion women’s line set for fall ’18.
Kizik was launched by Mike Pratt, forrmer chairman and founder or Ogio, a brand of bags and luggage, which he sold to Callaway Golf last year. The technology, according to the entrepreneur, was in development for five years.
The company joins other brands in the hands-free footwear market that include ZeroTie, which are based on a self-lacing system that allows the wearer to adjust the laces without using their hands through a self-contained mechanism built into the heel of the shoe. Instead, it uses the weight of one’s leg and slight movement of the foot to tighten the laces.
There’s also Quikiks, a line targeting those with dexterity challenges and foot issues, built around a patented Step-in-Go system embedded into the shoes, whereby the rear portion of the shoe tilts back on a hinge, allowing wearers to easily slip in their foot. To remove the shoes, they simply strike the rear part of the sole on a hard surface. This movement pops them open, allowing the foot to be easily released.
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