22 Mar Nike Improves Shoe AccessibilityMarch 22, 2017
By: Shaun Heasley
Source: Disability Scoop
Nike is taking steps toward increased accessibility with a new shoe designed to make it even easier for people with disabilities to slip their feet in and out.
The athletic-wear giant said this week that it’s introducing a new iteration of its FlyEase lineup, a collection of sneakers that include special accessibility features.
Nike first introduced FlyEase in 2015 after hearing from a teenager with cerebral palsy who sought a shoe he could put on independently. The original FlyEase design relied on a wrap-around zipper to fasten the shoe and included a larger opening at the back to make it simpler to slide feet in and out.
“One of the key learnings we’ve had in crafting accessible footwear is the importance of easy entry and exit of the shoe, not just simplifying its fastening system,” said Tobie Hatfield, senior director of athlete innovation at Nike. “Eliminating the intricate hand movement of lace tying is important, but if the athlete cannot get their foot into the shoe, lacing becomes a moot point.”
The new version — called the LeBron Soldier 10 FlyEase — opens from the heal to the midpoint and uses a flatter zipper and Velcro straps to secure the shoe around the foot.
“It looks just like the traditional Soldier 10, but with a far more generous opening for the foot,” Hatfield said. “Of all the shoes we’ve ever made, this may be the easiest one to get into.”
The LeBron Soldier 10 FlyEase is available online in both kids and adult sizes.