Thursday, February 4, 2021

Nike debuts a hands-free sneaker

Nike's done it again for people with disabilities, this time coming out with a hands-free sneaker. I'm legit excited. Max hasn't yet been able to manipulate a sneaker on his own, but this one could do the trick.

Some of you may recall that Nike's foray into adaptive sneakers started when a high-school junior in Florida with cerebral palsy sent the company a letter about the challenges he had tying his shoes. Nike created specially-engineered shoes just for him. That was back in 2012; three years later came FlyEase, sneakers with a wrap-around zipper solution on the back that made it possible to slide a foot in and out. 

Max has had a pair of FlyEase, and he thought they were cool. He's now into Easy Slip Chucks, which open at the heel and attach with Velcro, though we have to give him a hand with them. He wears custom foot inserts inside for stability. 

And now there's GO FlyEase, which allow users to slip into shoes without a single adjustment or closure. A bi-stable hinge allows the shoe to stay open when someone inserts their foot, and stay fully secured when closed. It's unclear on whether they will, however, fit foot braces. (In our experience, some extra-wide sneakers can do the trick, if the insole is removed.).

You can see a video of how how the sneaker works on Nike's press-release page.

At $120, though, these sneakers are pricey—and may therefore be inaccessible to some people. It remains to be seen whether they will be available in extra-wide sizes that can accommodate orthotics. They'll be available on to members starting February 15, and more broadly available in the spring. I assume that at some point, there will be children's sizes, too.

"Usually I spend so much time to get in my shoes," Paralympic champion Bebe Vio said. With the new sneakers, "I just ned to put my feet in and jump on it." 

Jumping into anything isn't exactly Max's thing, but I can see him being able to handle these sneakers on his own if he has holding onto a chair or the wall for support when he slips them on and off. And that, friends, would be another big step toward independence. 

1 comment:

  1. NIKE needs to make their adaptive shoes in WIDE sizes for people who wear orthotics. My son wears Men's sizes now, and there is currently 1 shoe they make in Wide that he can wear (because of orthotics). Why would you not make adaptive shoes in Wide when you know so many people with disabilities wear orthotics and need a bit more space? My son is so sad that he saw these and then I realized that they will only come in standard width which will never accommodate his orthotics. PLEASE join me in asking Nike to make these shoes in WIDE widths!


Thanks for sharing!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...