Nike is unveiling its first pair of slip-on slip-on sneakers, hoping to build on the same momentum rivals like Crocs and Vans have seen during the pandemic, as more consumers turn to comfortable, slip-on shoes. hassle, CNBC reports.
The new shoe, called Go FlyEase, is marketed as not requiring the use of the hands to put it on and take it off. The company said it was inspired, in part, by Asian cultures, where it’s customary to take off your shoes before entering a home. The beginnings also come at a time when people are more aware of not touching dirty surfaces, such as the bottom of their shoes.
“This shoe really responds to our current situation in these times of coronavirus,” said Sarah Reinersten, manager of FlyEase Innovation at Nike, in an interview. “It’s actually an innovation that has been simmering in our innovative kitchen for a little while… but it came out just at the right time, when we needed it more than ever. “
Go FlyEase is part of the Nike FlyEase line of running, football and basketball sneakers that would be easier to wear and would fit better on the feet. Nike has been working on FlyEase innovations for about five years, including shoes with a side zipper and a pair with a drawstring at the back to tighten the shoe around the heel.
“We’ve been using laces for a long time,” Reinersten said of Nike’s decision to go without them. ” But often [people] try to get around those laces, they try to use a foot to anchor the shoe and slide. The laces are kind of a problem. We wanted to make the shoes easier for everyone.
These don’t look anything like a pair of rubber Crocs, if that’s what you had in mind. For a slip-on shoe, Nike’s version is quite unique and complex. When not worn, the Go FlyEase stays in the open position. A separate sole platform, detached from the base of the shoe, moves up and down, thanks to an integrated hinge at the bottom.
A band wraps around the top of the shoe and snaps into place once the foot is inside, as there are no laces to help tighten. The biggest problem with slip-on shoes, for many consumers, tends to be quite tight around the foot.
There is also a “kickstand” on the heel to help remove the shoe. Reinersten said many people already intuitively step on the back of their shoe to remove it.
According to Reinersten, Nike’s latest shoe is not designed for endurance sports, but rather for relaxed movements like walking. She said Nike plans to build on the Go FlyEase design and create more slip-on sneakers in the future. The additions could help Nike to position itself not only as a brand for athletics, but also for everyday activities.
The new sneakers will be available to select Nike members in its largest markets for a retail price of US $ 120, starting February 15. Later, the shoes will be sold more widely.
The phased launch gives Nike’s most loyal customers initial access, with the hope that more people will join its free membership program, which also offers workout classes and podcasts. By creating memberships, Nike is able to learn more about its customers and target them with products that better fit their active lifestyle.