Nike Inc. on Wednesday announced a strategic investment in and exclusive intellectual property licensing partnership with Handsfree Labs Inc., a pioneer in hands-free footwear technology. Terms of the investment were not disclosed.
The technology enables consumers to step in and out of shoes more easily without lacing or the use of hands.
“Our partnership with Handsfree builds on Nike’s leadership in using innovative technology to meet consumer needs,” said Tom Clarke, Nike president of innovation. “Our Nike FlyEase platform is aimed at providing greater access to sport for all athletes, and we believe Handsfree’s ‘easy on and off’ technology has the potential to broaden and enhance this effort by removing barriers to play and making sport easier for more people.”
“Handsfree Labs is passionate about bringing the comfort and convenience of hands-free shoes to everyone, and our partnership with Nike accelerates this vision,” said Mike Pratt, founder and CEO of Handsfree Labs, pictured in main photo. “With Nike, we are reinventing the way people put on shoes, and we are proud to introduce the world to this significant footwear advancement.”
HandsFree Labs’ portfolio includes KIZIK, a brand of hands-free shoes that brings convenience and accessibility to casual, dress and outdoor shoes for men and women. Additionally the company will launch a new brand of modern and fashion-forward athleisure footwear, PILAR, in early 2020.