The story behind Nike’s revolutionary shoes!
We all associate corporates with cut-throat competition and profit-making management. Companies strive to improve on their technology to gain on their rivals and earn more profits. But not all innovations are intended for money, some also have a heart-warming story behind their creation. Something similar has happened with Nike’s new range of shoes.
The shoes brand is popular not only among sportspersons but also common people. There are many people who have only worn just one brand. And one of them is Matthew Walzer. Though Walzer was born with cerebral palsy, he had overcome most of the mobility and motor skills challenges associated with the congenital disorder by the time he turned 16 in 2012. However, there was still one thing for which he needed someone’s help: tying his shoelaces.
The teenager wrote a heartfelt letter to his favourite shoe brand, requesting them to do something for his problem. Little did he know that his request would lead to the creation of Go FlyEase — the world’s first fully hands-free sneaker!
While working on the design for Walzer, Nike realised that this is not just his problem but an issue with many people with physical and mental limitations.
The company started with Velcro and zip shoes for Walzer and kept improving on the design while sending each new creation to him for testing. Finally, in 2021, Nike found the perfect solution.
The new shoe features a bistable hinge — which toggles between two different positions. When not worn, the hinge props up. Angled at about thirty degrees, it allows the foot to slide in easily. Once the foot is in, the hinge snaps shut, and the shoe tightly grasps onto the foot with a suctioning motion. Hence, no use of hands while wearing your shoes.
Nike is correctly pronounced ‘ny-kee’ and the name comes from the Greek goddess of victory.