For those trips to the shops and walks around the park, there’s a new trainer in town and it’s here to spice things up a bit. Nike’s new GO FlyEase (£ 104.95, available from 15 February) is a “hands-free” trainer that means you no longer have to worry about tying up your shoelaces – rather, just slip on and go.
Aimed at anyone who lives an on-the-go lifestyle, the Go FlyEase also makes life a lot easier for everyone from expectant mothers in the late stages of pregnancy to those with disabilities: “For some, these shoes are simply easier to put on,” says Kathy Gomez, Nike vice president’s of NXT footwear. “But for others, they are the reason it’s possible.” David Wagner, a wheelchair tennis athlete, will be wearing the trainers to compete in the Australian Open later this month.
To create a shoe that genuinely doesn’t need to be pulled on or off (all you have to do is slip your foot in, and exit the shoe by using the opposite foot against the heel) Nike created a bi-stable hinge that “keeps the shoe securely open upon entry and exit and closed when in use”, explains Gomez. The beauty of it is that it works with human intuition, making getting your shoe on and off, using just your feet, a breeze.
Starting as little more than a Nike “internal competition” to find a completely hands-free shoe, the new trainer has been five years in the making, and its birth has uncovered technology that might well be used for high-performance trainers in future: “The initial winning prototype [of the competition] was a modified Nike Roshe [trainer] split down the middle, but it sparked a larger idea that a dedicated team of people has been working to refine ever since. Ultimately, this patent-pending shoe reinvents how you put on and take off your shoes, which is no small feat,” says Gomez.
As you might expect from a Nike trainer, they’re ultra comfortable too. With a “diving board” design, the footbed is cushiony soft and envelopes your foot when you slide into it. “We engineered pattern and materials to maintain a continuous footbed for comfort,” explains Gomez. “Our team were obsessed with comfort and convenience.”
Originally published on Vogue.co.uk