17 Jul Nike Presents Flyease
The new model was announced by the US-based company as the result of a new shoe technology, “the first of its kind”. Shoes will help the lives of people with disabilities
Matthew Walzer was born with cerebral palsy which prevented him from doing things as simple as tying his sneakers. Lacking the dexterity to perform such actions, he had to enlist the help of his mother and father or others.
During the summer of 2012 Walzer decided to publish an open letter to Mark Parker, Nike’s CEO.
“My dream is to go to the university of my choice without the worry of having someone with me to tie my shoes. I am 16. Used basketball shoes Nike all my life, because I need to support the ankles. I dress myself but my parents still have to tie my shoes, which is very frustrating and embarrassing. ”
The message touched Mr parker, who asked senior director for athlete innovation Tobie Hatfield to get his department working on a solution. Tobie’s department had already started a project for athletes with disabilities as one of the oldest employees of Nike, Jeff Johnson, have had a stroke that paralyzed the right side of the body.
What resulted in the three years since was a partnership between Walzer and Hatfield’s team at Nike that culminated with the company’s unveiling of the Zoom Soldier 8 Flyease. The shoe was announced as “the first of its kind for the company, and perhaps any athletic brand specifically designed and dedicated to help those with disabilities and difficulties of buying and wearing shoes”.
The Flyease model, working with Velcro and part of the Nike line created for basketball player LeBron James, will be available July 16 in limited quantities at Nike.com for North America.
Watch the Nike Flyease story here.