In 2008, then-Nike CEO Mark Parker learned that the company’s first employee had suffered a stroke and lost the use of one hand. So Parker put one of his top designers, Tobie Hatfield, onto making a shoe that required limited dexterity. By 2015, that prototype—a gift to a single employee—evolved into Flyease. It was a shoe technology that anyone could buy and put on one-handed, because it could be zipped on and velcroed shut.
Six years later, Nike is taking Flyease to its next stage with the Flyease Go, which will premiere in a gradual rollout this year for $120.
“It’s our first hands-free shoe,” says Hatfield. And while Go is made for people who have difficulty tying their laces—that could be anyone from a pregnant woman in her third trimester to an older adult with arthritic hands—Nike believes its lace-less design will resonate with anyone who’d like to slip into their shoes with more ease.