When Kizik shoes launched in 2018, the idea was simple: make shoes that you can put on and take off without using your hands.
“Our shoes have a titanium band in the back that is pre-loaded,” explained Kizik CEO Monte Deere. "When you push down in the shoe with your heel, you step in and it pops up right around your heel."
Deere said the shoe design was originally made for convenience and for people with limited physical mobility.
“We also made them for individuals who can't bend over, who have chronic health conditions and need the help,” said Deere.
A recent study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highlighted a troubling revelation. It said shoes worn by health care workers could spread COVID-19 in hospitals.
"Even in the pharmacy area where there were no patients, doctors had inadvertently carried the COVID virus out of the intensive care unit and patient rooms and into the pharmacy area," explained Deere.
Some health care workers had already figured out the benefit of Kizik’s hands-free design. The company decided to help some health care workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 fight by giving back.
“We are giving a thousand pairs of shoes to healthcare workers, doctors nurses and others,” said Deere.
Kizik received more than 7,000 applications for the free shoes, which normally cost between $99 and $170. They are reviewing the submissions and giving the shoes to workers most in need.
“We feel fortunate to have come upon and found a way to help,” said Deere.
More hands-free options could be coming soon. Kizik’s parent company, Hands Free Labs, is a technology company that partnered with the shoe giant Nike last year.
"So, you'll see our hands-free technology come out not only in Kizik shoes, but in other companies' shoes as well,” said Deere.
Kizik appears to be a changemaker ahead of the curve. In a post-COVID-19 world, their hands-free shoe technology could become the new normal for footwear.
You can check out all their hands-free options by visiting their website here
This article was written by Tamsen Fadal and Juan Carlos Molina for WPIX.