Nike Introduces Hands Free Trainers For Disabled Athletes

When you first set eyes on the new Nike GO FlyEase it’s like something out of Back To The Future. The brightly coloured slip on trainers morph from regular foot gripping shoes, to something else entirely, right in front of your eyes. While it might seem like a bit of a gimmick to sell shoes, it’s actually an important step forward in accessible design.

The removing action shown in the video below will be familiar to most of us that have kicked off our shoes after a long day, but this will damage regular trainers. To re-image the process of being able to not just take off but also put on your shoes with no hands took lots of thought and loads of testing. The below video goes in depth on the design and also testing with disabled athletes.

The secret in enabling this unique design is a ‘bi-stable hinge’ and Nike GO FlyEase tensioner, allowing the shoe to be stable whatever state it is in. The midsole tensioner changes flexibility depending on the force applied to it. Meaning the trainer is rigid when needed, enabling the “accessible and empowering design”.

With disabled athletes at the core, that doesn’t mean the Nike GO FlyEase is not for everyone. This new shoe aims to encompass everyones needs due to its all around nature. Paralympic athlete Sarah Reinertsen, who was involved in the evolving design, explained that unlocking the benefits of accessible technology means everyone can benefit. “If a shoe works for someone who has no hands, then it will work for people who have two hands” she added.

We wish this kind of design was at the heart of everything that is produced, but for now we can just lust after these trainers. Admittedly the colours do take a bit of getting used to, but there is a black version, and no doubt more colours will be available when they fully launch following this ‘teaser’ announcement.

The Nike GO FlyEase will be available firstly in no doubt very limited quantities and only via invite for Nike members from February 15. They won’t then be available to anyone else until later in the year priced at £120.