I first introduced Nike’s accessible shoe, FlyEase, nearly two years ago. Its design features groundbreaking shoe technology that grants independence to users with limited dexterity. This spring, Nike unleashed an updated, more accessible version of the shoe: LeBron Soldier 10 FlyEase.
The original FlyEase design relied on a wrap-around zipper to fasten the shoe. It also included a larger opening at the back of the shoe to make it easier to slide feet in and out. The new, improved version opens from the heel to the midpoint and uses a flatter zipper and Velcro straps to secure the shoe around the foot.
Tobie Hatfield, Senior Director of Athlete Innovation at Nike discussed the new design:
“One of the key learnings we’ve had in crafting accessible footwear is the importance of easy entry and exit of the shoe, not just simplifying its fastening system. Eliminating the intricate hand movement of lace tying is important, but if the athlete cannot get their foot into the shoe, lacing becomes a moot point.”
While working closely with athletes of all abilities, Hatfield and his team reimagined the Soldier 10 as a shoe that opens up from the midfoot, all the way through the heel counter. The shoe looks just like the traditional Soldier 10, but with a “far more generous opening for the foot.”
Features of Nike’s LeBron Soldier 10 FlyEase Shoe:
- Easy to slide foot in and out of shoe
- Lace-free FlyEase closure system connects a hook-and-loop strap to a wraparound zipper
- This allows the wearer to open or close the shoe “heel and all, in one fluid motion”
- Adjustable straps hug the wearer’s ankle and midfoot for a secure fit
- Tri-layer foam and textile upper for lightweight, breathable comfort
- Compression inner sleeve for snug-fitting support
- Materials are reinforced in high-wear areas for increased durability