The Nike Ease Challenge Offers a $50,000 Reward for the Best Hands-Free Sneaker Solution

An open call to sneaker designers
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Image via: Nike

Image via: Nike

Today finds Nike announcing the Nike Ease Challenge, an open contest that invites designers and engineers to devise a new sneaker solution for athletes of all abilities. The challenge is meant to build upon the advancements of Nike's various silhouettes -- including the Nike HyperAdapt 1.0, Nike Flyease, Nike Air Rift, Nike Sock Dart and more -- that allow athletes to slip on and off their shoes with ease. .

"Nike is driven by a competitive spirit that drives us to do the seemingly impossible for our athletes," says Mark Parker, Chairman, President and CEO of Nike. "Today, we are working with others who share our passion for removing barriers through breakthrough innovation. I can't wait to see what powerful ideas come out of this challenge."

The Nike Ease Challenge officially kicks off today, with a submission deadline of December 15, 2016. Three finalists will be selected at the end of March 2017, and they'll be invited to Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon, to present their designs in person to a panel of Nike leaders and athletes. The winner will be chosen in April 2017. 

You can apply now at NikeEaseChallenge.com. Get inspired by scrolling through a brief history of alternative entry systems in Nike history in the gallery below.

Also check out the new Nike SB Dunk High "Gray Box," as well as Nike Basketball's "Battle Gray" pack.