Paves the way for further licensing of patented category-changing technology
VINEYARD, UTAH -- Nov. 20, 2019 -- HandsFree Labs, Inc., a pioneer in hands-free footwear technology, announced it has received a strategic investment from Nike, Inc., the world’s leading designer, marketer and distributor of authentic athletic footwear, apparel and equipment. The partnership includes an intellectual property license, and extends the reach of HandsFree Labs’ patented portfolio of Foot Activated Shoe Technology (F.A.S.T.) solutions, which allow consumers to step in and out of shoes without using their hands.
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.
“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 Monte Deere, CEO of HandsFree Labs. “We intend to continue our momentum of bringing hands-free technology to every type of footwear, from children’s shoes to boots, and our ultimate goal is to provide access to a better footwear experience to everyone.”
Hands-free technology was originally created when innovative Ogio International founder Mike Pratt – based on his experience with technology and materials – saw the need for a solution for putting on and removing shoes without the need to use hands. From that vision, Pratt began to build the F.A.S.T. collection and to sell it under the KIZIK brand. From there, HandsFree Labs was created, and the company is actively inventing hands-free technologies for a broad range of uses.
In addition to its investment from and licensing partnership with Nike, HandsFree Labs will roll out its technology through licensing deals with other footwear categories and manufacturers.
“F.A.S.T. is a growing collection of technologies for the footwear industry and an irreversible step forward in the way shoes are made and worn, introducing broad accessibility and convenience in footwear,” continued Deere.
“Our partnership with HandsFree Labs builds on Nike’s leadership in using innovative technology to meet consumer needs,” Nike President of Innovation Tom Clarke said. “Our Nike FlyEase platform is aimed at providing greater access to sport for all athletes, and we believe HandsFree Labs’ ‘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.”
For more information about HandsFree Labs, visit www.handsfreelabs.com.
About HandsFree Labs, Inc.
HandsFree Labs, Inc., based in Vineyard, Utah, is led by innovator Mike Pratt. HandsFree Labs features an entire portfolio of patented step-in shoe technologies branded as F.A.S.T.® (Foot Activated Shoe Technology) and is a parent of footwear brands KIZIK® (https://kizik.com) and PILAR (https://pilar.com). For more information on HandsFree Labs, Inc., please visit https://handsfreelabs.com.
About Nike, Inc.
Nike, Inc., based near Beaverton, Oregon, is the world's leading designer, marketer and distributor of authentic athletic footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories for a wide variety of sports and fitness activities. Wholly-owned Nike, Inc. subsidiary brands include Converse, which designs, markets and distributes athletic lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories; and Hurley, which designs, markets and distributes surf and youth lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories. For more information, Nike, Inc.’s earnings releases and other financial information are available at https://investors.nike.com. Individuals can also visit http://news.nike.com and follow @Nike.
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