Nike: Just Don’t Do It

Nike’s GO FlyEase shoe is designed to slip on without having to use your hands.

On Feb. 1, Nike unveiled a new shoe unlike any other shoe that appeals to everyone. The GO FlyEase is a hands-free running shoe designed for people that require adaptive wear, such as people with disabilities. But that may not be such a good thing.

This is not Nike’s first piece of adaptive wear. It is simply one of the first products they have decided to heavily market. In 2016 Nike released the Nike Adapt 1.0, a shoe with auto lacing capabilities that mimic the sneakers seen on Marty Mcfly in the 1989 film, “Back to the Future Part II.” This new technology created a lot of buzz for people who struggle with standard footwear. However, the Nike Adapt 1.0 retails at approximately $400, a significant cost for a pair of shoes that very few can justify spending.

The Nike GO FlyEase however, is being sold at $120, available exclusively online in North America, alongside other FlyEase products which have existed in various models since 2015.

Nike has always been a company that focuses on innovation, regularly launching inspiring advertising campaigns all over the world. But Nike’s positive messages have not always aligned with the everyday actions of the company.

The billion-dollar company has made headlines for lawsuits filed by workers for gender discrimination, sexual harassment claims, accusations of running sweatshops and violating child labor laws, using offshore investments to avoid taxes, and athlete doping scandals that shut down Nike training facilities.

That is not all; Back in 2019, the same year Nike ran their “Dream Crazier” campaign that exclusively featured women, several female runners represented by Nike went on the record with The New York Times about unfair treatment.

Nike-sponsored athlete Olympian Mary Cain spoke about her treatment as a female Nike athlete, and the abuse that she endured at the hands of her Nike team Coach Alberto Salazar. Nike responded by blaming Cain for not coming forward sooner, and launching an investigation that remained private.

Six months after Cain spoke out about Nike, runners Alysia Montano and Kara Goucher, broke their nondisclosure agreements to speak about the poor treatment and lack of representation given to them by Nike after having children. According to the women, Nike refused to pay them while they were recovering, and forced them to return to competition before they were physically ready. This resulted in severe injuries for the women.

Few things have happened between then and now that give anyone reason to support Nike, until they unveiled the GO FlyEase, which is being praised for its innovation and appeal to a wide range of consumers. But the truth is, if Nike genuinely wanted to make an impact, they would by making their shoes affordable and readily accessible to people who need it the most.


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