One of the world’s largest athletic brands is expanding its lineup of shoes specially designed for people with disabilities.
Nike said this week that it will add a new product to its FlyEase collection — which features sneakers that include special accessibility features — this summer.
The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 35 FlyEase was developed in consultation with Justin Gallegos, a member of the University of Oregon track club who has cerebral palsy, the company said.
Nike designers indicated that they worked with Gallegos as he trained for his first half marathon, studying his unique gait and stride and listening to his needs in order to make a shoe that would be easy to get on and off, be durable in the forefoot, offer good cushioning and provide a stable platform.
The result is a sneaker that features a zipper-and-strap enclosure so that Gallegos can easily slip in and out of them and does not need to worry about laces becoming undone mid-race.
“I want people to know that this technology exists, and regardless of what your sport is, the Nike FlyEase technology can help you; it can change your quality of life in incredible ways,” said Gallegos who clocked a time of two hours and three minutes in the race.
Nike first unveiled its FlyEase concept in 2015 after hearing from a teen with cerebral palsy who wanted a shoe he could take on and off independently. Since then, the athletic-wear giant has grown the line to include sneakers for adults and kids.
The new FlyEase shoe will be available July 1 on Nike’s website.