Nike will be debuting a new Nike Air Zoom UNVRS with the help of Olympic gold medalist, Washington Mystics forwards, and 2015 WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne. The new shoe is garnering such special attention because it will also be introducing Nike’s new FlyEase technology.
The FlyEase technology is a system that allows easy entry and exit from the shoe. The idea for the system came from observing and listening to athletes with disabilities. That feedback resulted in three design criteria—easy to open and close, easy to get in and out of, and adjustable to accommodate different foot shapes and sizes. In order to get the Nike FlyEase classification, the shoe must meet at least two of those three criteria.
Donne is an ideal representative of this new style thanks to the insights she has learned from her sister, Lizzie, who lives with disabilities. Donne played an important role in ensuring that FlyEase not only works for those with disabilities, but was also a high-performance basketball shoe. “I wanted to show people that a professional athlete can wear it. Male, female, adult, people with disabilities—this shoe is going to work,” says Donne.
The system features a magnetized heel that folds down and connects to the midsole, making both entrance and exit simpler. The wearer simply slides his or her foot in or out, all without the use of hands. An articulated strap that engages with Flywire cables provides a customized fit with just a one-handed, two-step motion. The sole of the shoe is a full-length, articulated Nike Air Zoom cushioned piece. The upper is made of Flyknit, which Nike also uses in their Alphadunk shoe.
The Nike Air Zoom UNVRS is a part of Nike’s continued effort to provide solutions that benefit everyone regardless of their situation, giving credence to their motto that everyone is an athlete. The UNVRS will be available in November.