Nike designed new shoes for people with disability
Posted On July 17, 2015
Those who live with some form of physical disability overcome many obstacles every day. These everyday things may seem simple for those who don’t have limited mobility but can become very complicated for those who do. One of these difficulties is to tie the laces of their own shoes.
A new product launched by Nike promises to help people with this task. The Zoom Soldier 8 sneaker comes with a special Flyease tech, a wrap-around zipper solution that eliminates the need to tie traditional laces, providing sufficient lockdown. The most interesting part about the idea is knowing how it came about: it all began in 2012 when the student Matthew Walzer sent a letter – that went viral in 2012 – to the company telling them that he suffered from cerebral palsy and, despite having overcome many obstacles, he still needed help to tie his shoe laces.
The letter ended up in the hands of Nike designer Tobie Hatfield, creating a partnership between the two to develop the new model, which can be put on with one hand. “Your talented team of designers has thoughtfully created a shoe that, for the first time in my life, I can put on myself. When I put the shoes on every morning, they give the greatest sense of independence and accomplishment I have ever felt in my life,” said Walzer at the time.
“In talking to Matthew and many other athletes with disabilities, the ease of entry was just as important as the lacing solution,” explains Hatfield. “While varying levels of mobility make it difficult to provide a universal solution, we feel this is a significant development for anyone who has ever struggled with independently securing their foot within Nike shoes.”
The story became an exciting video, which also serves as a life lesson.