Universally designed shoes? Why not? Many people struggle with laces, bending down to get shoes on and off, or poor grip because of arthritis. Velcro is still the industry standard for “functional” shoes, but fashion and style seems to have eluded the designers. It is the same with many things that are “good for people with disability”. But Nike has come to the rescue. While shoes for playing basketball aren’t for everyone, Nike has come up with a stylish version that is highly adjustable and easy to get on and off. It is a good example of universal design with style. However, Nike is an expensive brand. But perhaps some of the design ideas could be picked up by others? The shoe features a drop down back section and wrap around fastening section.
There are lots of reasons to use universal design principles when designing clothing and footwear. And back fastenings in dresses should have disappeared with the laced up corset (and the maids who fastened them).
Watch the video below of the designers talking about the brief they were given – to design a shoe suitable for an athlete and a person with a disability.
“Designed as a high-performance basketball shoe for WNBA player Delle Donne and as a usable shoe for her sister Lizzie. FlyEase shoes feature a magnetised heel that drops down to make it easier to get in to and out of and easier to open and close. Handy for people with limited dexterity, but also for people rushing to get their shoes on and off.”
What about a recycled shoe? Adidas has found a way to recycle your shoes – send them back and you get a recycled pair. Interesting concept that could take off with other products.