Remember in Back to the Future: Part II when Marty travels to 2015 and sees those awesome Nike sneakers that tie themselves? Well, nearly six years after the events of that beloved sequel, Nike is finally freeing us from having to tie our shoes like a bunch of chumps with the Go FlyEase, laceless shoes that can be put on and taken off without any use of the hands.
Nike unveiled the Go FlyEase yesterday, announcing that the innovative sneakers will be available for $120 in limited quantities starting on February 15 followed by a gradual rolled out this year. The Go FlyEase will be a welcome product for anyone who gets frustrated with having to tie and untie their shoes each time, but the laceless sneaker that can be taken on and off without having to lean down is expected to be especially useful to people with disabilities who often are unable to wear Nike or other athletic shoe brands because of the difficulty with lacing and putting the shoes on.
In fact, the concept of the Go FlyEase began way back in 2008 when Mark Parker, who was Nike’s CEO at the time, discovered that an employee had lost the use of one of his hands after suffering a stroke and found that his limited dexterity made it nearly impossible to wear most Nikes. Parker asked one of his top designers to create a shoe that would be easily wearable for him or anyone else with physical disabilities and by 2015, the first prototype for the FlyEase had been developed.
Sarah Reinersten, a designer on the Go FlyEase and a Paralympic athlete, said that while people with disabilities, pregnant mothers, and busy parents were some of the primary demographics the team was thinking of during the Go FlyEase’s development, the ultimate goal was to create a sneaker that would appeal to everyone.
“If you design for the most extreme needs, then you’re unlocking benefits for everybody,” she said. “If a shoe works for someone who has no hands, then it will work for people who have two hands.”