Nike's new hands-free shoes are a little engineering marvel

Nike's new hands-free shoes are a little engineering marvel

For those with mobility and movement challenges, Nike has created its first hands-free sneaker called the GO FlyEase that also happens to arrive in the middle of a pandemic when minimising touch is an important part of staying healthy.

Although the new trainers are hands-free, they look far from it with the shoe hugging the foot and sitting as any other Nike style does.

This is the latest addition in Nike's Flyease Design series, which was launched in 2015 to aid people with disabilities get in and out of their shoes comfortably.

Users can slip the shoes on and off without bending down thanks to a "bistable hinge" in the shoe.

Building on how a person might kick off a shoe, Nike designers incorporated a bi-stable hinge and a tensioner - which works like a big rubber band - to allow the shoe to smoothly open and close, remaining secure in both positions.

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Nike's newest shoe is "easy on, easy off" for those who can't put their shoes on without assistance - or cannot be bothered.

"Sophisticated, accessible solutions, like those in Nike GO FlyEase, are emblematic of the "better is temporary" mentality that drives Nike FlyEase technology", read the copy on the Nike site. However, broader consumer availability is planned for later this year.

The design also makes it easy for the wearer to slip the show off simply by pressing on the heel with the opposite foot.

During the launch event of the shoe, American Paralympic athlete and member of Nike's FlyEase innovations team, Sarah Reinersten said, "We kept wanting to create something new and different".

The shoes will be priced at $120 (R1,800) in the U.S., the Nike spokesperson said. Nike said the shoes will be on sale overseas "for select Nike Members" starting February 15. Our immediate thought is a hipster who keeps an "Asian" household, but let's see how the general public reacts in the coming months.

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