Watch video recap of the Nike Ease Challenge.
Nike has officially announced the winner of the Nike Ease Challenge, a design competition which invited designers, engineers, makers and innovators to advance and reinvent footwear design for athletes of all abilities.
And the winner of the Nike Ease Challenge is... Brett Drake from Cheynne, Wyoming.
“The initial inspiration was from rear entry snowboard bindings. I questioned how I could create a system where a mid or high top shoe could be slipped on rather than pulled on,” he explains. “This is where the hinged heel came into play. By allowing the heel to hinge near the midsole and rotate back the athlete can then slide their foot into the shoe.”
The rear entry system uses powerful, lightweight magnets to transform the heel counter into a ‘drawbridge’ and provide a simple, wide entry and exit area. The magnets are light enough to not add significantly to the weight of the shoe and strong enough to lock the athlete down once inside the shoe.
Brett was one of three finalists who visited Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon earlier this month to present their solution to a panel of judges that included NIKE Inc. Chairman and CEO, Mark Parker.
The video recap below includes footage from the finalist presentations as well as interviews with Brett, Tobie Hatield and athletes such as Carl Lewis and Elena Delle Donne, who has a personal connection to creating innovation for athletes of all abilities.
Check out the kicks in the gallery above.