Innovation stems from rethinking norms. Nike FlyEase is an example of how sustained development and research focused on a set of specific needs can advance footwear for a wider spectrum of people. It is not about singular solutions. Instead, FlyEase is driven by a design ethos that champions the value of a suite of systems that work toward a common goal: making shoes easier for everyone.
Nike FlyEase extends Nike’s long-standing commitment to “always listen to the voice of the athlete” by formulating fresh considerations about how shoes should function. The ideas continue to be inspired and driven by insights from adaptive athletes and have helped affirm a set of criteria that results in smarter and better-designed footwear for all athletes.
Breaking Down FlyEase Design
1. Easy to open and close
The underlying functionality of FlyEase is about solutions that allow wearers to open, close and feel secure in a shoe using one or no hands. This includes consideration of alternatives to traditional shoelaces ranging from zippered uppers to cable-and-strap systems.
2. Easy to put on and take off
To make it easier for people to slide a foot in and out of a shoe, FlyEase considers how to create larger entries at the mouth of the shoe or offers alternative entry systems, such as the magnetized heel featured in the Nike Air Zoom UNVRS.
3. Accommodates different foot shapes
A benefit of FlyEase technology is adjustability to a broad range of foot shapes. This can mean feet with wide widths or versatility for a variety of braces and supports.
Since its debut, FlyEase technologies have been employed in more than 20 footwear styles across basketball, running and sportswear. Each successive design creates more sophisticated solutions that balance the rigor of FlyEase criteria and Nike's overarching performance standards. To wit, FlyEase products have been worn on the WNBA court (by 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist and 2015 and 2019 League MVP Elena Delle Donne), the NFL field (by Seattle Seahawks linebacker Shaquem Griffin) and through competitive distance runs (by Justin Gallegos, one of only a few runners in the world with Cerebral Palsy to complete a half-marathon and a full-marathon).
Considering ease of use when designing exponentially improves product across the board. FlyEase might start with an aim to improve the lives of athletes with disabilities, but the application of its solutions makes sport and life easier for all. FlyEase innovation continues to grow through increasing collaboration with athletes of all abilities and a newly announced, exclusive intellectual property licensing partnership with Handsfree Labs, Inc., a pioneer in hands-free footwear technology.