By Matt Evans
Remember Back To The Future, and Marty McFly's self-tying Nike shoes? We're not quite there yet, but Nike appear to have come up with the next best thing.
Sure to join the list of some of the best workout shoes around is the Nike GO FlyEase, a sports shoe which you can intuitively click into place rather than tie up.
The shoe has a bi-stable hinge which is said to make it one of the first "hands-free shoes" ever made. To put it on, you simply place your feet in and press down on the heel, and the "tensioner" band secures your shoe in place.
To take them off, you perform the motion of kicking your shoe off with the other foot, which pulls the hinge in the opposite direction and allows you to slip the shoe clean off.
In a press release, Nike said: "Behind the shoe's smooth motion is a bi-stable hinge that enables the shoe to be secure in fully open and fully closed states.
"It's intuitive — easy on, easy off — and evidence of how design, innovation and engineering can meet to answer an ambitious North Star: the creation of a hands-free shoe."
The motion of kicking off your shoes at the heel is something we're all familiar with, and many of us have worn shoes down before their time, as they aren't really built for that sort of behaviour. Nike seem to have built a shoe that works with this in mind.
It's sure to help those of us too lazy to tie our own shoelaces, but people with medical issues, such as joint problems like arthritis in the fingers or mobility issues preventing you from bending at the hips, now also have the option of a sports shoe built with them in mind.
What is unclear is the performance capabilities of the shoe. At the moment, we're not sure if this is suitable for running, gym wear, one of the best cross training shoes or it's simply a lifestyle sneaker. If running shoes could be built like this (and remain secure and snug on the foot until it's time to take them off) it could be a game-changer for runners. As yet, Nike has not made it clear what kind of workout the shoes will be best suited for.
However, we'll have to wait until later in the year to find out. The Nike GO FlyEase has already been given to a select few Nike members, but most of us will have to wait until later this year. Each pair will retail for around $120, in black and pastel colorways.
Matt Evans is an experienced health and fitness journalist and Channel Editor at Fit&Well. He's previously written for titles like Men's Health and Red Bull, and covers all things exercise and nutrition on the Fit&Well website.
Matt originally discovered exercise through martial arts: he holds a black belt in Karate and remains a keen kickboxer and runner. His top fitness tip? Stretch.
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