Nike continues to innovate, per usual, but with the introduction of FLYEASE technology, this is no doubt on a far greater scale. FLYEASE basically reinvents the zipper and the way the zipper is made and used. The idea was born when the company’s first employee, Jeff Johnson, who had suffered a stroke and was left with limited mobility, called Mark Parker to ask him for a shoe with easier entry, not only for him but for the millions of others who suffered with other such related conditions.
In further solidifying the need for FLYEASE technology, Parker also received a letter from Matthew Walzer, a 16-year-old junior from Parkland, Florida, who has difficulties tying his shoe laces due to Cerebral Palsy. With Matthew planning to attend college in a couple of years, he wanted to be able to conveniently put on and take off his shoes, without the aid of someone else tying them.
This is where designer Tobie Hatfield entered the picture. He worked closely with Matthew, just as he does with many high profile athletes, to perfect what ultimately became FLYEASE. FLYEASE introduces a wrap-around zipper that opens at the heel of the shoe, in turn providing with easy entry and convenient closure. The system also equips the footwear with sufficient lockdown, eliminating the need for tying traditional laces.
Initially, FLYEASE will be coming to LeBron’s Zoom Soldier 8. Nike will be providing the two U.S. basketball teams competing in the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games with special colorways of the Zoom Solider 8 FLYEASE, as a consumer release will be taking place on July 16 in limited quantities.
To get a closer look at the FLYEASE journey, then hearing from Tobie, Matthew and even LeBron James, press play below.