HANDS FREE SHOE

NIKE HAVE CREATED A SHOE ACCESSIBLE TO NOT ONLY ALL ATHLETES, BUT ALSO FOR EVERY TYPE OF BODY.

Great design enables us and it also excites us. These new trainers from Nike are definitely on my to buy list. Whether you are a parent with toddlers in your arms, or on the way back from the shops with heavy bags, or having trouble getting down to tie laces because of your arthritis, or for me, trying to get shoes on and navigate the dog, these shoes are just amazing. Not only are they easy to get on and off but they look bloody good too!

A hands free shoe? Why wouldn’t you! Built with accessibility in mind, no matter who you are, what challenges you have, you will be able to get in and out of these shoe without using your hands. These shoes have no laces or velcro. And this is the ingenious bit of the design technology that Nike use. In the place of laces or velcro, is a unique hinge that enables the shoe to be secure in fully open and fully closed states. The shoe has a step-in heel and one-pull fit system which it means it is quick and easy to get into for everybody.

“Not only are they easy to get on but they look bloody good too!”

The design is brilliant and is very desirable but it is the backstory behind the inspiration of this design that is even better. In 2012, Matthew Walzer, a US teenager with cerebral palsy, wrote to Nike asking for a shoe for those, like Matthew, who struggled with tying laces. He also wanted a shoe which didn’t scream ‘accessibility.’ And this is the magic part, Nike then invited Matthew to collaborate in the design of the Nike FlyEase technology.

When asked about who would wear the shoes, Nike said, “the shoes translate to serving the broadest range of active lifestyles possible from an athlete, to a parent with their hands full.”

Ultimately, guided by the principles of universal design — basically design which can be used by the greatest number of people regardless of their age, size, ability or disability — Nike have created a shoe accessible to not only all athletes, but for every type of body. Nike were smart enough to listen to Matthew’s lived experience. It always generates insights which benefit all of us. As I always say to designers and business leaders, design for the extreme and you benefit everybody. Not only is it good for people, it is good for business. So why wouldn’t you?

Thank you Nike for showing that desire and accessibility can go together. Time for other brands to think delight + accessibility, don’t you think?

“The shoes translate to serving the broadest range of active lifestyles possible from an athlete, to a parent with their hands full.”

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"LOREM IPSUM DOLOR SIT AMET, CONSETETUR SADIPSCING ELITR, SED DIAM LOREM IPSUM DOLOR SIT AMET, CONSETETUR SADIPSCING ELITR, SED DIAM"

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