Put a little Spring in your step, shuffle or stroll: The hottest accessible footwear to slip into this spring

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Spring has sprung! With the snowy, cold and dark days of winter quickly melting out of memory, now is the perfect time to take a cue from the flowers and reflect Spring’s colour, lightness and life in what we wear.

Whether you walk, shuffle or roll, your shoes set the tone for your outfit. For too long the selection of accessible footwear has been limited to neutral colours and uninspired designs; but recently, there is a shift to create inclusive footwear that is both accessible and trendy. Read on for 5 companies who have answered the call for fashionable accessible shoes, providing spring shoe inspiration for all.

1. Friendly Shoes

Friendly Shoes boasts a “shoe for all abilities”. As a company their goal is to blend comfort, function, and style to create shoes that are easy for anyone to put on and take off. All Friendly Shoe styles use a patented zipper system to ensure easy access and have custom outsoles to promote safer mobility and independence for people of all abilities.

Medimoto

The Medimoto is a sneaker available in leather or suede, as a mid or low top design and in a range of colours. The zipper system allows a wider shoe opening than it’s slip-on counterparts while offering the structure and style of a standard sneaker. The biomechanically efficient entry/exit and easy to pull zipper design is especially helpful for people with limited ability to bend and reach, as well as those with limited ability to tie shoelaces. The fun and vibrant Rose Gold Leather Sneaker is the perfect way to update your weekend wardrobe for Spring 2021.

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The line of Friendly Shoes, MEDIMOTO, feature handcrafted top-grain sustainable leather. These shoes are specifically designed for people who have mobility challenges. Friendly Shoes increase mobility and independence by discretely accommodating more adaptive needs than any other shoe technology – without sacrificing fashion, comfort, or support. Easier and better shoe experience: Friendly Shoes.

Friendly Flex

The Friendly Flex is a casual, lightweight slip-on. The breathable mesh uppers and cushioned removable insoles provide unparalleled comfort while the patented zipper technology adds accessibility beyond a traditional slip-on shoe. Along with people who benefit from an easy to slip-on/off shoe, the friendly flex is perfect for people with gait issues or lower extremity weakness requiring a light yet well fitting shoe for safe mobility. Check out their Dress Blue Slip-On for a classic, yet stylish shoe that can be worn with almost everything in your closet.

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Friendly Shoes feature a zipper opening making the shoe remarkably easy to put on and take off. We call this Easy Shoe Access technology, and it works. Simply turn your foot into the shoe and pull the zipper to secure it for a proper fit. You’ll wish all your shoes had ESA!

The reason why Friendly Shoes is making waves in the adaptive clothing industry is because of its function. These shoes are specifically designed for people who have mobility challenges. But, you wouldn’t know it looking at them; the patented ESA zipper is discrete 😉

Marlo Knit

The Marli Knit is a stylish low top sneaker with a classic look. It combines a comfortable breathable jersey knit upper with a lightweight, non-slip outsole to create a versatile shoe, perfect for a range of environments. Friendly Shoe’s patented zipper technology is paired with a foldable heel to allow for even easier access. The foldable heel is beneficial for those with limited ability to bend and reach but especially helpful for those with either increased or decreased tone in their ankles, and feet as it requires less manipulation to get your foot in and out. The Heather Grey and Tan sneaker is a stylish shoe that can take you from work to the weekend and is perfect for everyone from healthcare professionals and college students to busy parents and morning mall-strollers.

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Friendly Shoes feature a zipper opening making the shoe remarkably easy to put on and take off. We call this Easy Shoe Access technology, and it works. Simply turn your foot into the shoe and pull the zipper to secure it for a proper fit. You’ll wish all your shoes had ESA!

The reason why Friendly Shoes is making waves in the adaptive clothing industry is because of its function. These shoes are specifically designed for people who have mobility challenges. But, you wouldn’t know it looking at them; the patented ESA zipper is discrete 😉

2. Nike FlyEase

Nike FlyEase creates athletic shoes that are quick and easy to get into and out of and are more hands-free than traditional shoes. The easy entry designs including, step in, zip up, pull tight and step in (coming soon), expand access for people living with disabilities.

FlyEase Step In

The Nike Metcon 6 FlyEase helps “keep your foot cool when going full steam” regardless of the activity. It features a step-in entry that can be done hands-free by stepping on the back of the shoe with your opposite foot. This is a great option for people with limited/no hand function or those with decreased ability to bend and reach. The stylish Metcon 6 is not only a comfortable and well designed athletic shoe but is available in a blue void/flash crimson/flat silver/vivid purple combination or a black and white/metallic silver, making it a fun statement piece for any shoe lover.

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Hands-free FlyEase entry meets the legendary stability and added breathability of the Metcon 6—giving you an easy-on, easy-off training shoe that powers your toughest workouts. Here’s how it works.

FlyEase Zip Up

The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 37 FlyEase is the trusted quality and craftsmanship of the beloved Nike Air reimagined for an inclusive world. The FlyEase zip up entry system gets you in and out of this lightweight and durable runner quickly and easily but the no-tie lacing ensures a secure fit. Moreover, the wide fit design accommodates braces and other orthotics better than a traditional running shoe. This zip up shoe is ideal for people with limited dexterity for tying shoes; and the easy pull zipper tag can be pulled with a standard reacher tool eliminating the need to get your hands to your feet to fasten shoes, an important feature for those with balance issues and those unable to bend and reach.

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37 years and millions of miles later, the legend lives on in the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 37 FlyEase. Our most trusted running shoe flies into the future with Zoom Air specially tuned to your needs, and a FlyEase entry system that gets you in quickly and easily.

FlyEase Pull Tight

The Nike Air VaporMax 2020 Flyknit is one of Nike’s most sustainable shoes, made from at least 50% recycled content. The stretchy and supportive Flyknit upper, made from recycled polyester yarns, gives the shoe a unique and striking textured look while remaining breathable and light. The VaporMax 2020 uses a FastFit lacing system which not only allows for easy on and off, but also a secure fit that can be customized on-the-fly. The lacing pulls are not only easy to tighten and release for those with limited hand and finger dexterity, but are labelled as such, making it a good option for people with cognitive challenges that may require extra cueing and prompting. This lightweight, athletic shoe is an excellent option for people with lower extremity weakness who benefit from a supportive and comfortable shoe that doesn’t weigh down their feet when walking. The VaporMax2020 is a crowd-pleasing and accessible shoe option for fashion-forward yet environmentally-conscious individuals of all abilities.

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Designed with sustainability in mind, the Nike Air VaporMax 2020 Flyknit is made from at least 50% recycled content by weight. That’s a lot of trash! As part of Nike’s journey towards lowering our impact, we’re discovering new ways to put our waste to good use. By utilizing leftover materials, recycled polyester, recycled foam, and a Nike Air sole made from at least 75% recycled TPU, the VaporMax 2020 Flyknit marks the next step towards our ultimate goal of zero carbon and zero waste.

FlyEase Hands Free

The Nike Go FlyEase is Nike’s first completely hands-free athletic shoe design. The entire heel, including the sole, hinges open for a totally hands-free entry. You simply slip your foot in, step down and go! To take the shoe off, use your opposite toe (or a shoe horn ) to hold the heel and hinge the shoe open. While the hands-free design is obviously a win for people with limited or no upper extremity function; this shoe is also game-changing for individuals unable to bend to put on shoes, and those with balance or spasticity issues who want the freedom to put shoes on from standing. The Nike Go FlyEase has limited availability online, but will be available for widespread purchase later this year.

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Just when you thought you’d seen it all, Nike wows with an all-new way to quickly and easily get into your shoes. The entire heel (including the sole) of the Nike Go FlyEase hinges open for a totally handsfree entry. Slip in, step down and presto! You’re all set.

3. Billy Footwear

Billy Footwear fuses fashion with function. All Billy Footwear styles incorporate zippers that go along the side of the shoe and around the toe, allowing the upper of each shoe to open and fold over completely. Individuals of all abilities then place their foot onto the shoe footbed unobstructed and pull the zipper to close the shoe securely overtop their foot. While Billy Footwear shoes increase access for people living with a range of disabilities they are one of the few shoe brands catering to people unable to slip or slide their foot into traditional shoes. Individuals with extreme spasticity or laxity in their legs, ankles or feet, and those with certain skin conditions made worse by the friction of putting on and taking off shoes benefit greatly from a shoe they can simply place their foot onto. The following are some of our favourite Billy Footwear styles for spring!

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Update your look with the modern style of the BILLY Footwear.

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The leather BILLY Footwear™ Chukka has a streamline yet roomy fit that is ideal for everyday wear. Features a front full-length zipper closure with FlipTop™ technology that allows for easy on and off.

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The leather BILLY Footwear™ Chukka has a streamline yet roomy fit that is ideal for everyday wear. Features a front full-length zipper closure with FlipTop™ technology that allows for easy on and off.

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Update your look with the modern style of the BILLY Footwear® Mid Top sneaker! Crafted from a durable, perforated faux suede upper. This classic Billy style features innovative FlipTop technology, giving you a fun and easy way to put on and take off your kicks. With the wrap-around zipper closure, they just Flip! Zip! Go!

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Update your look with the modern style of the BILLY Footwear.

4. Skye Footwear

Skye Footwear creates beautiful, high-performance, ergonomic, and sustainable shoes and boots made convenient without traditional laces. Their motto is Unleash the laces. We’re done with knots. They use two laceless systems, the Loop-Lok and the Pull-tight; both allow wearers to spend less time tying knots and more time on the move.

The Bungee Loop-Lok System

The patented Loop-Lok system is our original laceless design and was inspired by the bungee cable system of stand-up paddleboarding. It keeps the upper niceley tight while walking but with a little tug on the outsole, loosens enough for the sneaker to slide off. Skye Footwear has 5 designs that use the Loop-Lok system, but our favourite for spring is The Powll a modern desert boot style sneaker that comes in burgundy or beige and red. The shape-fit upper gives 4-way stretch for an incredible form-fit feeling on your feet. This is a great addition to the spring shoe rotation for any one who struggles to tie laces.

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This style-forward chukka boot-style sneaker is a pioneering SKYE shoe. It’s great for strolling the city, shopping on the east side, or an evening at the pub. This eco-friendly sneaker is made with sustainable materials; a biodegradable insole, laceless cable system made from recycled plastic water bottles, and the outsole is a recyclable EVA rubber foam. The future is laceless.

The Pull and Tug System

The Pull and Tug system is exactly as it sounds. The wearer can tighten the shoe by pulling on the tab at the back or loosen it by tugging on the cables on the outsole of the shoe. Skye Footwear has 2 designs that use the Pull and Tug system and both include a discrete but stylish YKK zipper closure system located on the side of the shoe that can be worn zipped or unzipped for added accessibility and comfort. Our favourite for spring is The Stnley a weatherproof leather sneaker-boot mimicking Samurai armor from the Heian period (for any history buffs or fans). The Stnley provides ultimate outsole grip by using a similar water-flushing pattern as Formula One tires combined with a sawtooth profile. These boots are excellent for those in-between spring days where you might have to navigate snow, ice, rain and mud all in the same afternoon. These stylish boots are a great choice for people who would benefit from additional grip on slippery surfaces, those who struggle to slip their foot into or out of a traditional boot, and those with limited ability to tie laces.

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The Stanley is a sneaker boot engineered for the hike, and styled for the city. Its waterproof outer layer is inspired by ancient samurai armor and uses military-grade materials for exceptional endurance. This sustainable sneaker boot is made with eco-friendly materials; a biodegradable insole, laceless system and outer material made from recycled plastic water bottles, and the outsole is a recyclable EVA rubber foam. The future of athleisure is a boot.

Muckboot Company

No Spring footwear list would be complete without Muckboot Company and their dedication to designing footwear that can withstand wet, messy, muddy, dirty muck. Encountering muck in the spring is a universal problem. People, regardless of ability, need footwear that allows them to engage in what they want and need to do while keeping their feet warm and dry. We want to highlight one Muckboot style that is perfect for spring.

Women’s Sharkbite Leather Slip On

The Women’s Sharkbite Leather Slip On is a fun and fashionable waterproof shoe featuring original prints by the Salmon Sisters, two Alaskan fisherman who strive to celebrate coastal heritage, wild places, ocean stewardship through quality products and design. This lightweight, slip on shoe is a great option for people with limited hand dexterity who require a shoe they don’t need to tie, and those with lower extremity weakness who benefit from a shoe that doesn’t weigh them down while walking. As a waterproof shoe, it is beneficial for people who use mobility aids and others not easily able to change course on sidewalks/pathways when they encounter puddles, mud or other mucky situations. It’s slip-resistant design also provides people with balance issues the confidence to access their communities in all types of weather. While we’ve highlighted the fun leather Sharkbyte design, this slip on comes in a range of colours, materials and designs to suit your personality and lifestyle.

We hope we’ve provided you some inspiration for trendy and accessible shoes to indulge in this spring. After a long, cold, pandemic winter, Spring 2021 is the perfect time to get outside and reconnect with our communities, and make sure you do with your most stylish foot forward. Click over to evika.io to learn more about the amazing footwear featured in this article and other products to help you get out and about in your community this spring!

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When you make a living on the water it is critical that your attire perform well both on the boat and off. This versatile shoe can be worn all day or the perfect option to slip on for dinner and a walk on the town. The step-in design features original prints by the Salmon Sisters, two Alaskan fishermen.

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