Nike’s hands-free Go FlyEase shoes look very comfy and just the right amount of ridiculous

Image: Nike
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Nike is pushing the envelope of shoe technology further with today’s announcement of the Go FlyEase, a contact-less $120 shoe for both athletic and everyday use.

The core innovation here is a so-called bistable hinge that lets the shoe move between two positions: an upright one in which the inner sole of the shoe sits at a roughly 30-degree angle so you can easily slip your foot in, and the collapsed position in which the outer layer sits snugly around the inner one while you walk or run. It is effectively two shoes in one, with the inner shoe popping out as needed.

The concept comes from the standard motion most people make when taking off slip-on shoes like Crocs, slippers, or plain old loose sneakers that involves using one foot to pull down on the heel of the other, according to Fast Company. With the Go FlyEase’s “kickstand heel,” this motion lets you slip out of the shoes while simultaneously sliding the hinge to prop them up. The whole process is hands-free, Nike says.

Image: Nike
Image: Nike
Image: Nike
Image: Nike
Image: Nike
Image: Nike

There’s more than just the aesthetic and laziness appeal here, too. Nike designed these with accessibility in mind, meaning they’re great options for people who might otherwise have trouble bending over to tie their shoes or struggle with the act of tying shoelaces. The FlyEase brand was born from Nike designer Tobie Hatfield, who’s spent years at Nike developing ever-more ingenious accessibility-first shoes at the request of people with disabilities. This effort has occasionally produced some flashy, high-profile products like the self-lacing Back to the Future-inspired shoes, the Nike Mag, and more modern self-lacing variants like the HyperAdapt 1.0 and the Adapt BB.

Fast Company, which tried the Go FlyEase and says the shoes are indeed mighty comfy, also aptly describes the shoes as “the ultimate COVID footwear.” Frankly, I’m already obsessing over snagging a pair — not just because they look quite nice aesthetically, but also because they really do seem like the perfect pair of shoes for a leisurewear age when going out means doing the bare minimum required to leave my remote work bunker of an apartment for an errand or some fresh air.

Nike says the shoe will go on sale starting on February 15th “for select Nike Members,” although it’s unclear how many units will be made available in the first run. The company says “broader consumer availability” is planned for later in 2021.

Comments

That looks super neat. I already have my shoelaces pretty loose so that I can just stick my feet in, but I wouldn’t even need to reach down to fit my heels with those. Hope it comes in plainer colors or completely black, though the one in the pictures isn’t so bad either.

This seems ridiculous but I have a friend that has a debilitating hip issue and can’t reach his left foot to put on a sock or a shoe without seriously struggling. These will be a game changer for some people.

Why is it ridiculous? Possibly it will reduce durability or have some other design flaws, but otherwise it looks like an improvement for everyone.

Yeah, that’s what I thought immediately. The "hinge" of the shoe will probably break or the elastic strap will wear out over time. But hopefully they have that stuff sorted out before they actually release the shoes.

As a Nike fan that is incredibly lazy but not rich enough for Adapt BBs, these are right up my alley.

I need this; this is a shut-up & take my money proposition.

I have a pair of basic Nike slip on runners that are my go to shoe. They are comfortable, lightweight, and super convenient. I’d totally wear these if they had them in more traditional colors.

This reminds me of Kizik shoes, which were reviewed by The Verge. But these Nikes are even more highly engineered.

(I bought a pair of Kiziks but had to return them for reasons unrelated to the easy-on mechanism — which really is brilliant.)

Indeed, Nike is in no way being a leader in the hands-free/easy-on shoes department, at least they didn’t copy the exact same mechanism.
Another brand is: https://zebashoes.com/
With COVID, you really hate to find your laces have untied and are dragging on the dirty ground.

Ok but like how is this gonna work with some Dr Scholls soles? Not all of us are Megan Thee Stallion. The rest of us have crappy knees, back problems, and we need that ground support

Not sure what you mean? These are not high heel platform shoes. They look pretty standard cushioned sneakers. And they were designed for accessibility in mind so I would think comfort and stability are baked in too.

I use orthotics, and it’s obvious these aren’t meant for me and that’s AOK. I love them anyway and for my grandmother who has back problems these could be ideal as purple is her favourite colour.

I can see where a stiff insole might not be flexible enough to work with this folding mechanism. Or maybe the fact that the heel of the shoe moves out of the way might give enough slack to allow your foot to slip in.

Is that your concern with your orthotics?

Yep – I have a custom rigid sole orthotic and generally have to buy wider shoes to accommodate them, plus I typically remove the OEM insole so the orthotics will sit properly. Buying shoes is a real pain (literally), but I’ve found that Asics work best for me and my Blundstones are good too.
This type of shoe looks so cool, but would likely never work with my orthotics.

I just found a YouTube video introducing the shoe. It looks like the entire footbed remains straight when the heel bends, so an orthotic insert might work. Also the upper is very stretchy and doesn’t look to be overly narrow. The bad news is that the insole doesn’t seem to be removable.

Skip to around 6:30 in the video when the reviewer starts talking about how the shoe looks when it is in the open position.

video

Great video. The related one where Jimmy Fallon had the same idea for these shoes, pitches it to Nike, only to find out that Nike had been working on them for 10 years already is hilarious and awesome too.

The GIF makes it look like there’s a relatively normal insole and midsole. It’s only the outsole that splits in two. It looks like a regular insert should fit unless you normally need to tighten the laces in some special manner. If it’s a partial insole, you might need some adhesive to keep it in place, but the same goes for regular shoes too.

I foresee a lot of debris getting stuck in there, but nice concept.

Good call, this might be Nike’s butterfly switch

Nike Air…hmmm

As a dog familiar, whenever I see a pair of Nike’s I think of Michael Vick torturing and murdering innocent animals and Nike being like "OK no problem!" and signing him again anyway. I’ll never EVER purchase another pair or Nike’s – no matter how cool and innovative they claim to be.

LOL I watched this gif loop like 30 times

I try not to ascribe to the "make a mistake and never live it down" of today’s cancel culture. Nike cut him and he took his punishment. After his return, he proved to still be a great player, and Nike signed him again. Not a huge deal IMO. Nike shoes thrive off the "cool" factor. There are much better brands out there.

Not a huge deal IMO.

Cool story. Now read the details of the case against Vick and come back to assert that you’re good with it:

https://aldf.org/case/case-study-animal-fighting-michael-vick/

If you are, then you’re probably a sociopath just like he is. I for one stand up in defense of loving, innocent animals that can’t speak for themselves.

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