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Nike Gives Converse’s Chuck Taylor Sneakers an Adaptive Makeover

Nike will bring its adaptive, hands-free FlyEase technology to its Converse brand for the first time this winter.

The footwear giant unveiled the Chuck Taylor All Star CX FlyEase Thursday. The shoe marks the latest in a long line of FlyEase shoes that began in 2015. Over the years these designs—until now, limited to the company’s Nike and Jordan brands—have used zippers, Velcro straps and smart, self-lacing technology to make Nike shoes more accessible.

Nike’s latest FlyEase sneaker relies on a flexible heel cage that bends back to let wearers slip the shoe on and off without using their hands. The shoe also offers a stretchy canvas collar and a padded tongue to create a secure fit. The insole, meanwhile, features Converse’s CX foam and an adjustable sock liner for “a more comfortable ride,” Nike said.

The Chuck Taylor All Star CX FlyEase features a flexible heel cage that bends back to the wearer slip the shoe on and off hands-free.
Chuck Taylor All Star CX FlyEase Nike

“By blending Nike FlyEase with the Converse CX comfort platform, we’ve crafted a progressive design, one that marries a suite of comfort-innovation technology with the added benefit of ease of entry, making the Chuck Taylor All Star more accessible to Converse fans of different abilities,” Phil Russo, Converse global vice president of design and innovation, said in a statement.

The Chuck Taylor All Star CX FlyEase will debut in Greater China, Korea and various other global markets Thursday. Launches in Western Europe, North America and on Converse’s website are scheduled for March 17.

The shoe’s design differs substantially from that of the Go FlyEase that Nike unveiled a year ago. Still not widely available, the sneaker relies on a “bi-stable hinge and tensioner” that allows the shoe to bend and flex such that wearers can easily step into the shoe when it is “open,” and then press down so the shoe secures around the foot in its “closed position.”

Earlier this week, Nike was named in Barron’s listing of America’s Most Sustainable Companies. Like last year, it placed 18th out of the 1,000 largest publicly traded companies by market value that Morgan Stanley’s Calvert Research and Management analyzed. The ranking considered each company’s performance across five categories: shareholders, employees, customers, community and the planet. The only other footwear or apparel company to place higher was PVH Corp., the owner of brands like Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein, in fifth.