Nike’s innovative Go FlyEase sneaker is set to re-release for only the second time ever.
The completely hands-free sneaker, intended for use by people with disabilities, was an instant object of fascination upon its debut in February. But because hype was so high for the sneaker across the board, the very people it was designed for were largely shut out of the release as resellers commanded more than $500 for the sold-out shoe.
A re-release came this summer with a new “Bright Crimson” color variant, and now a fifth iteration is slated to release soon in “Black and Gum.” The new color scheme keeps things relatively simple compared to previous releases, which could mean it’s been easier to produce at scale in order to meet demand from the disabled community. And while an official release date has yet to be confirmed, we can expect the Go FlyEase to return soon and, hopefully, make true on Nike’s promise of accessibility.
What makes the shoe a game-changer? — Hailed by Time as one of the best inventions of 2021, the Go FlyEase makes remarkable use of design to completely eliminate the need for hands to put on or fasten the sneaker. A combination of a hinge and tension band allows the shoe to bend open simply by stepping onto the heel, and once your foot enters the sneaker snaps back into place with a sock-like fit replacing the need for laces.
Nike has previously catered to the disabled community with its FlyEase series, but the Go FlyEase is its most remarkable and easily worn sneaker yet. Still, there’s room for Nike to better cater towards its target audience not only by making enough of the shoes to avoid sell-outs, but also by expanding its sizing to be more inclusive to a variety of foot shapes.
Even at the retail price of $120, the Go FlyEase is still too expensive for many of the people who need it most. The poverty rate for people with disabilities is twice as high as it is for those without, according to the National Council of Disability, and despite making up 12 percent of the working-age population, those with disabilities account for more than half of all people living in long-term poverty.
Credit goes to Nike for creating the most accessible sneaker we’ve ever seen — but with that progress comes an expectation to take further steps in order to live up to its mission.