Nike’s Go Flyease Sneaker Is First Truly Hands-Free Shoe
True story: I’ve tried to turn just about every pair of low-top everyday sneakers I’ve ever owned into slip-ons. From Nike’s Metcons to my pair of Air Jordan 6 lows (that didn’t go well) to my Reebok JJ Watts, low-top sneakers, in my mind, aren’t always meant to be laced up. The entire lacing process just takes time, and when I’m running out to the gym for a workout, or just running to the store, I don’t want to be bothered.
Thing is, none of those shoes are meant to be hands-free slip-ons, and whenever I’d struggle to hop into them, they’d remind me of that very fact. Sneakers with laces are meant to be, well, laced up, no matter how badly I want to skip that step.
Enter Nike’s new Go Flyease sneaker, the actual fix for my aversion to lacing up. The first truly hands-free sneaker of them all, Nike’s Go Flyease attempts to kickstart a new template for sneakers, all for a reasonable price, $120. The shoe is available via invite for select Nike Members for now, with broader consumer availability planned for later this year.
It asks a very relevant question: Why do we have to lace up anyway? And then it shows you precisely why you shouldn’t have to lace up, especially for a casual, on-the-go situation. Go Flyease challenges you to rethink everything you know about sneakers, and it does so in an inclusive and fun way that has both practical and casual uses. I love it because I don’t want to lace up. Somebody with a bad back will love Go Flyease because they don’t need to bend down to lace up, and anyone with a busy lifestyle will dig, too.
Laceless sneakers aren’t wholly new. Trace back to Reebok’s Instapump line or Nike’s Kobe AD sneakers, and we’ve had several pairs here and there. Easy-to-enter sneakers aren’t new either. Nike’s been pioneering the space through it Flyease line for awhile, creating a line of sneakers that are easier to enter for adaptive athletes. The jewel of that collection was last year’s Metcon Flyease, a slick training shoe.
But those sneakers weren’t truly hands-free. You’d have to drop to one knee to hit a button, or wedge a finger behind the heel to help get your foot in. And very often, you were wearing out the sneaker itself in the process.
Go Flyease is all about hands-free, and it delivers on that promise with a unique hinging sole. The sole actually bends in the middle, essentially “opening” the shoe and allowing you to slip your foot into and out of it. Apply some pressure with your foot, and the sole shifts down into standard position, locking into place in part because a full-length tension band on the shoe.
From then on, it performs just like a classic sneaker, delivering comfort and stability. My initial fear was this: I’d put on the shoe and constantly walk around worrying that it would “open” at random times. Fledgling tech and all ya know? Except that was never the case. I’ve taken Go Flyease out for light jogs and used it in my strength training workouts, and once I got over the novelty, I stopped thinking about it entirely.
Point blank: Go Flyease works. You need to trust it, but once you do, it’s the perfect quick-use sneaker, the one you’ll use every day. No, it’s not ready for, say, the basketball court or the high-speed, high-stakes world of sprinting; you’ll still want to lace up for those. But it thrives as a casual shoe for quick activities, and the fact that it holds up during basic workouts tells you it can put in some work, too.
The Possibilities Are Endless
You don’t realize the beauty of Go Flyease until you start using it. But once you do, you uncover a brand new world. Get ready to pick up a heavy box upstairs, walk down your stairs, and seamlessly slip into your shoes so you can take said box out to the car. And because Go Flyease lets your foot out with similar hands-free ease, you might never have to touch your shoes again period, a worthwhile fringe benefit in this era of COVID-19.
Go Flyease seems built for anyone who’s busy and on-the-go. You can don them to do some quick yardwork, or to pick up the kids quickly, or you can don them moments after you pick up your toddler. The options are endless. And if Nike sticks with the idea, expect it to slowly but surely get even better.
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