Although the Nike Go FlyEase was overwhelmingly well-received by the public, Crocs has something to say about the discussion surrounding the shoes.
Yesterday, Bleacher Report Kicks tweeted “Nike unveils the Nike Go FlyEase, the first ever hands-free shoe” with an image of the shoes. The Crocs account responded without words, only sharing a gif of a confused Britney Spears.
— Crocs Shoes (@Crocs) February 1, 2021
Responding to FN’s request for comment, Crocs applauded Nike’s efforts but took issue with the Go FlyEase being deemed the first hands-free shoe.
“We’re thrilled that Nike is bringing a more accessible shoe to market. As a brand that’s offered an accessible, easy on/off product for nearly 20 years, Crocs believes that everyone has the right to be comfortable in their own shoes. While they’re certainly not the first to bring a ‘hands-free’ shoe to market, we truly hope they’re not the last,” Crocs said in a statement emailed to FN.
Nike did not respond to FN’s request for comment by time of publication.
Dozens of Twitter users criticized Crocs’ post, mostly signaling that they found it insensitive given that Nike’s Go FlyEase is an adaptive shoe that targets differently-abled people. “Crocs: hands-free and taste-free,” user @TwittsMcGee wrote in a quote retweet.
And user @FischKicks noted, “This ain’t it. Shade on enabling the disabled? Probably not the tweet you were going for.”
However, not all retweets were against Crocs. “LOLLL i was thinking the same thing… very much Croc-ish,” wrote @lyricalbert of the Nike Go FlyEase sneaker.
Crocs: hands-free and taste-free https://t.co/dkjuWifeu8
— Yung Oat Milk (@TwittsMcGee) February 2, 2021
LOLLL i was thinking the same thing… very much croc-ish https://t.co/3gU9i6L76D
— lyric (@lyricalbert) February 2, 2021
Yesterday, Nike unveiled the Go FlyEase, a hands-free sneaker equipped with a Bi-stable Hinge added to keep the shoe securely open when putting it on and to keep it closed when worn. It also features a kickstand heel that the brand says “mimics the action many intuitively perform to kick off their shoes, but by design and without compromising the heel;” a diving board that was added to maintain “a continuous foot-bed for comfort and stability;” and a tensioner band that holds the shoe open and closed.
The Nike Go FlyEase will launch for Nike Members on Feb. 15 and a wider release will follow this year. The shoe is priced at $143.
The FlyEase journey started in 2012 when Nike designer Tobie Hatfield began working with Matthew Walzer, a college student with Cerebral Palsy who overcame several physical limitations throughout his life but still had challenges tying his shoes. Three years later, the brand would release the Zoom Soldier 8 FlyEase, featuring its new easy-entry shoe system.