Nike (NKE) is stepping up its game to meet the needs of people with disabilities. The swoosh brand is expanding and improving its easy-entry footwear system called FlyEase.
One of FlyEase’s main goals, according to Nike, is to create more hands-free solutions, so the shoes are easier to take off and put on. Some of the features include straps that can be adjusted with one hand, drop-down heels, laceless closing, and the ability to modify the shape of the shoe for different foot shapes and sizes.
Nike has expanded the FlyEase lineup of shoes to more than 10 models. The 6 most recent are: the Air Jordan 1 FlyEase ($140); Air Zoom UNVRS FlyEase ($160); Women’s Air Zoom Pegasus 36 FlyEase ($120); Men’s Air Zoom Pegasus 36 FlyEase ($120); LeBron Soldier 13 FlyEase – Big Kids ($110); and LeBron Soldier 13 FlyEase (adult) ($140).
The Air Zoom UNVRS FlyEase was inspired by Olympic gold medalist, forward for the Washington Mystics and 2015 WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne and her sister Lizzie, who has cerebral palsy. The side strap on the shoe features the message, “If you have a body, You are an athlete.”
“FlyEase takes inspiration and insights from athletes of all abilities to drive innovation for all and helps eliminate barriers to play. We’re excited to make an impact with solutions where everyone can benefit,” said Sandra Carreon-John, senior director at Nike.
Adaptive clothing, or clothing that is designed to meet the needs of people with health conditions and limitations, is a segment of the fashion industry that has largely been ignored by major brands. But according to Coresight Research, the adaptive fashion market is expected to climb to $349.9 billion by 2023. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 1 in 4 U.S. adults — or 61 million Americans — has a physical or cognitive disability that impacts major life activities.
Reggie Wade is a writer for Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter at @ReggieWade.