Resellers have once again managed to ruin a release for people who actually wanted the shoe, however, this time it’s a little different.
The sneaker in question is Nike's first-ever hands-free sneaker, which, thanks to resellers, is no longer affordable for the people who need it most.
The Nike GO Flyease was released in February, becoming the Swoosh's first truly accessible sneaker. Through a tensioner, essentially a giant rubber band above the midsole, the shoe is able to snap on and off the wearer’s foot without them having to bend over, tie laces, or otherwise adjust the sneaker with their hands.
The hands-free shoe was designed to make life easier for people with disabilities — a demographic that is too often underrepresented in the sneaker industry.
To make matters worse, the sneaker innovation was released with an affordable $120 price tag. Yet, if you're in the market to buy a pair of Nike GO Flyeases now, get ready to pay upwards of $600.
A viral TikTok video by Louie "notlewy" highlights just how revolting these price hikes are. "The shoe itself has been so hyped up and praised for its inclusiveness and its accessibility for people, like myself, with a disability that it became limited, and resellers and bots have got a hold of all the pairs and gouged the price up," he says in the clip.
However, resellers aren’t the only ones at fault for the situation we find ourselves in. Resellers, after all, only act on supply and demand, and judging by the sneaker’s resell prices, supply was very limited.
As Nike so often does with new models, the hands-free shoe was initially dropped in a limited run, with a wider release to follow down the line. This was catnip to resellers’ feline instincts, as they snatched up the shoe and quickly listed it for nearly six times the retail price.
That prompted some to question why Nike would release a limited supply of what is supposed to be an accessible shoe? Wasn’t the whole point of the GO Flyease to give people who were previously excluded or disadvantaged easier access to sneakers? Was this all performative activism?
There’s definitely some blame to lay at the feet of Nike, even if you don’t think that the release was used primarily as a marketing tool. The fact is, that people who want the shoe because they need the shoe can’t currently get it.
On the flip side though, Nike has promised a wider release of the silhouette, so maybe everyone who wants a pair will eventually get one. Additionally, one could argue that the first truly accessible sneaker being so hyped and successful sends a message to Nike and all of its sportswear competitors that there’s a demand for accessible and inclusive sneakers. If brands are smart, they’ll look to satisfy that demand sooner, rather than later.