Nike has revealed a new sports shoe with no laces, zips or other fastenings, which can be put on and removed hands-free.
The design of the new Go FlyEase is inspired by the way many of us take our shoes off without undoing the laces – using the toe of one shoe to push down on the heel of the other. It's a technique that usually stretches out the shoe and breaks down the back.
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The design was originally intended to support athletes with disabilities that mean conventional shoes are inconvenient to use, but is now being made available more widely. It has a flexible sole unit that bends up in the middle when not in use, with a stretchy tension band that snaps it flat when your foot is inserted.
One small step for footwear...
The first prototype was a shoe cut almost in half, with the upper part held together by surgical tubing. Nike then conducted research to determine the best design and materials – particularly for the band – eventually settling on a bi-stable hinged sole with mid-sole tensioner.
Nike says that the shoe will be available "via invite for select Nike members" from February 15, with a launch price of $120 (about £90 / AU$160), which is on par with a typical pair of mid-range running shoes, if not slightly cheaper. The company plans to release it more widely later in 2021.
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Cat is the editor of TechRadar's sister site Advnture. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better)