Nike has unveiled its first fully ‘hands-free’ shoe, the GO FlyEase.
SEANA SMITH: Let’s talk retail. It’s a big debut happening. Nike launching a brand new shoe. Now this is a slip-on shoe, but it has a little bit of a twist. We want to bring in Reggie Wade for all of those details, and who actually has the shoe here for us. Reggie.
REGGIE WADE: Yes, Seana, thank you. One of the things that I miss most about working from home, besides seeing everyone smiling face in the newsroom, is our unboxings. We used to take these big shoes, we used to put them up on the desk and really get a sneak peek, a good look at them. But we’re going to do this virtually. So I have the new Nike GO Flyease. It is Nike’s first ever completely hands-free shoe. And here you have them.
And what really stands this out from other shoes that may be considered slip-on, is it has this thing called the bi-stable hinge. You see this is the open position of the shoe. So you put your foot in, and then it just snaps right into place. And then when you want to get out of them, you use this kickstand back here, put your foot on it and boom, it opens right away.
This is the latest in Nike’s Flyease design. Flyease, which was of course, designed in 2015 to help people with disabilities get in and out of their shoes. And this is the next generation. And I have to tell you, this is, seldom as many shoes as I look, do you see a shoe and say, wow, I’m really blown away. But this is really impressive. This is blowing me away.
ADAM SHAPIRO: Hey, Reggie, I’m going to date myself here, because I can go back to the original Vans on “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.” You mentioned helping people who might have a disability. But also, who is this who for? Is it for Spicoli for Mr. Hand? Is it for someone young or someone old, the teacher?
REGGIE WADE: It’s for everyone. I spoke with a lot of folks at Nike especially on the design team, and they said their goal was to make a shoe for anyone. Someone who has disabilities to an Olympic athlete. At first when you look at the silhouette, it kind of favors more of a running silhouette. And the folks at Nike said it was looked at as a run shoe.
But you can do a lot of different things in these shoes. And even fence. Pro fencers even use these shoes. And I think a good kicker of this, is that it has no laces here. So that’s why I think it lends itself to a number of different sports. You don’t have to worry about getting tripped up on those laces. And they really have Nike Zoom really embedded here in the heel, and this just gives it excellent comfort.
SEANA SMITH: Reggie, I was going to say, when I first saw these shoes, I wasn’t really convinced that I should be excited about it. But you’re helping. Now I’m a little bit more convinced that this is something that could be a huge success maybe here for Nike going forward. But I’m curious just to get your take as we step back and take a look at Nike and how he has performed over the last several months.
It’s actually been able to weather the pandemic relatively well. I guess from your point of view, what do you think has been the strong parts for the reasons that we’ve seen this out-performance in Nike? And also, where the company could potentially see that success going forward.
REGGIE WADE: Well, Seana, that’s twofold. It’s tech, tech like this. And it’s also tech within direct to consumer. Nike has really said, listen, we want to make a direct to consumer business model that’s unparalleled. So when you go into the Nike stores, they just embed so much different features. There’s right now in their new Nike by Eugene store, you can go in and you can actually grab a product and you can ship it right from the store. So you don’t have to go back online. You could ship it right there from the store wherever you want.
So Nike is really saying that listen, direct to consumer is what we’re about. And they’re really pushing the envelope. And quite frankly, they’re doing it better than anybody else right now.
ADAM SHAPIRO: Reggie, that shoe had me at hello, because I suffer from middle aged man disease. When I throw out my back, that thing is going to be a godsend. I’m curious though, are we going to have that shoe on in 10 years as a collector’s item? Is it the kind of thing that would get the collectors excited?
REGGIE WADE: You know what? That remains to be seen. As a sneaker head, I’m kind of digging this. I always liked the unique stuff. I asked folks at Nike, is this going to be the future? Will we see this technology in a Jordan shoe or in another type of Zoom, another type of shoe? And they said, you know, we don’t want to give anything away, but we might. So I think that’s based on whether they integrate this in other tech. If this becomes really common, then I don’t think it would be a collector’s item. But if this is as far as they go with it, I think definitely.
SEANA SMITH: Reggie, two-part question here. One, if I miss the price, how much do these shoes cost? And two, is this something that Nike is just targeting for here in the US or is it more of a global marketing event specifically with this shoe?
REGGIE WADE: This shoe retails for $120. And right, now February 1, it is on sale. But only for select Nike members. And that is through the Nike app. Later this spring, they’ll have a more worldwide release.
SEANA SMITH: All right, Reggie Wade giving us all the details that we need to know about Nike’s brand new shoe. All right, Reggie Wade, thanks so much for joining.