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Nike Revolution 6 FlyEase Next Nature review

Nike Revolution 6 FlyEase shoes miss the mark on zipper accessibility

Side view of  Nike Revolution 6 FlyEase Next Nature on carpeted floor. Credit: Reviewed / Christopher Groux

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  1. Product image of Nike Revolution 6 FlyEase Next Nature

    Nike Revolution 6 FlyEase Next Nature

Nike FlyEase made waves in 2021 with the flexible-heel Go FlyEase shoe being sold as the storied apparel brand’s first ever hands-free shoe. Since then, the FlyEase family has expanded to include dozens of men’s and women's footwear styles centered around the promise of comfort, accessibility, and easy entry for those with dexterity disabilities.

The Nike Revolution 6 FlyEase Next Nature occupies a curious spot on the roster as the most budget-friendly option in Nike’s hands-free lineup, but can it deliver those awesome benefits in wearability and luxury at a fraction of the cost? As a massive fan of Nike’s own Converse All Star FlyEase, I was eager to find out. Is this low-price sneaker the one to finally outclass the bland Velcro mainstays championed by the disability community for decades?

$50 at Nike Store

Perhaps more importantly, how does our first official Nike FlyEase review compare to those for the growing number of competing products offered by the likes of Kizik and Billy Footwear? As a young man who struggles with the dexterity limitations of moderate cerebral palsy, I’m glad to see a plethora of tailored shoes flooding the market, but are the FlyEase Next Nature truly the best I’ve tried?

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How do the Nike Revolution 6 FlyEase Next Nature shoes work?

The FlyEase brand is perhaps best known for the flexible heel featured in its Nike Go FlyEase and Glide FlyEase offerings, but buyers of the Nike Revolution 6 should know this product doesn’t offer a hands-free Kizik-inspired entry mechanism. Veering much closer to the Billy Footwear philosophy, this shoe offers a small zipper opening on the back of the heel that allows easy step-in access. Once your foot’s inserted, wearers can zip up the heel and cover it with a smartly placed Velcro strip.

In short, the Nike Revolution 6 FlyEase shoes are, more or less, a budget-conscious version of the zipper-laden Air Zoom Pegasus FlyEase. Aside from that zipper-Velcro mechanism, these are a reasonably standard pair of shoes.

Side back view of white Nike Revolution 6 FlyEase.
Credit: Reviewed / Christopher Groux

With easy step-in access, no laces or straps are necessary–just a small a zipper.

They don’t require laces, of course, but there’s nothing fancy by way of design flexibility here. For the environmentally cautious, it’s also worth noting the Nike Revolution 6 are comprised of at least 20% recycled material, which may be an attractive benefit to some.

The Nike Revolution 6 FlyEase retail for around $65 MSRP but have recently been on sale for less. They’re designed to fit men’s sizes six to 14. There are Black/Iron, Thunder Blue, and Black/Dark Smoke Grey colorways available, but we purchased a pair of 6.5 Thunder Blues for the purpose of this review.

What I like about the Nike Revolution 6 FlyEase shoes

They’re stylish and comfy

I was immediately attracted to the Thunder Blue colorway as soon as I came across these shoes, and the style absolutely delivers when seen in person. The basic running shoe design may be a touch too traditional for some, but that sense of familiarity could also be refreshing to disabled folks who aren’t as accustomed to having accessible shoes that actually look good in a modern context.

Despite their low price, these shoes were also quite comfortable. The foam midsole does more than enough work to ensure these kicks are padded for all-day comfort.

Disabled folks likely know how tight shoes can begin to feel if you’re not walking in them. In my testing with the Nike Revolution 6 FlyEase, I never felt compelled to take them off. Overall, this pair has a very natural feel that’s even soft to the touch. Especially for shoes in this low-cost bracket, the Nike Revolution 6’s feel great on the feet.

Understated, accessible laces

With regard to raw accessibility, I also liked how understated the cosmetic laces were in the design of the Nike Revolution 6 FlyEase as well. In trying to chase after that completely casual look, there’s no denying that real laces that functionally do nothing can sometimes get in the way while trying to put the shoes on. Then there’s also some apprehension about what the dexterity-challenged should do if, by chance, those laces happen to come untied.

Front view of white Nike Revolution 6 FlyEase.
Credit: Reviewed / Christopher Groux

These comfy sneakers are comprised of 20% recycled materials, so you can feel good knowing they're eco-friendly.

Because these shoes only have some elastic laces up front that aren’t at risk of coming undone, wearers can feel secure in knowing the fit and feel of the shoes can’t be tampered with through wear and tear. If this fit works for you now, it’s always going to stay that way. I see that as a benefit overall, but it also means you may have to get particular about sizing if you prefer tighter support.

What I don’t like about the Nike Revolution 6 FlyEase shoes

Lackluster zipper design that can’t compete

As a longtime owner of Billy Footwear shoes, I’m more than familiar with the benefits of a zipper-first accessible design. That said, the general creative philosophy of the Nike Revolution 6 FlyEase doesn’t cut it as a product for the diverse disability community.

The idea of the zipper heel opening makes sense at face value, but the execution here is mediocre at best. Nothing that has a zipper is entirely hands-free, but the zipper opening in the Nike Revolution 6 is so small, you actually need to have a good amount of flexibility in your fingers and feet for these shoes to work for you.

To start, the zipper is incredibly difficult to fully unzip. It gets about 80% of the way there fairly easily, but you really need to force the issue if you want the heel to be fully open. This shortcoming wasn’t just a byproduct of my limited dexterity either, as I also watched a trained occupational therapist struggle to open the zipper as well. The wearer must then have the dexterity to hold the heel flap back while handling the shoe and placing their foot in the opening.

Provided you can get the heel open wide enough to accommodate your foot, the potential for difficulty doesn’t end there. Because the heel’s zipper compartment is in the center of the arch, there’s a small bit of extra fabric to support the bottom half of the enclosure that your foot must be flexible enough to completely clear when putting each shoe on.

Person using thumb to pull down back strap on white Nike Revolution 6 FlyEase.
Credit: Reviewed / Christopher Groux

The zipper flap opens wide, but it may be difficult to clear based on the flexibility in your foot.

Given this questionable design choice, I often found myself stepping on that extra fabric and then having to essentially pick out the bottom of the zipper with my fingers. This became a massive accessibility blocker for me and ultimately led me to avoid wearing these shoes altogether. When you’re breaking a sweat trying to put on accessible shoes, that’s never a good sign.

The reality of the situation is that, if you prefer a pair of zipper-based shoes, there are better alternatives that don’t suffer from these flaws. Billy Footwear, most notably, puts its zippers around the entire topline of the shoe, giving wearers an absolutely massive opening to step into any way they want.

The small zipper on the Revolution 6 is sleek and discreet, but it sacrifices wider accessibility for aesthetic purposes. Whether you wear orthotics or not, if you have any significant limitation in foot or hand mobility, chances are there are better shoe selections to be made.

Are the Nike Revolution 6 FlyEase shoes good?

Not really, unless you really love the design.

It goes without saying that, like most accessibility products, your mileage may vary when it comes to your personal ability to wear this particular pair of FlyEase shoes. However, if you're in the market for some modified kicks, there are alternatives to the Nike Revolution 6 FlyEase that are stylish and comfortable without any of the accessibility drawbacks these shoes have.

If you want a truly hands-free shoe, the All Star FlyEase or Kiziks are great slip-on alternatives. If zippers are what you’re after, you can’t beat the unrivaled accessibility of Billy Footwear. The Nike Revolution 6, as a result, is stranded between many better options. They may be a little cheaper to buy, but you’re probably better off paying a little extra to endure less frustration.

$50 at Nike Store

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

  1. Product image of Nike Revolution 6 FlyEase Next Nature

    Nike Revolution 6 FlyEase Next Nature