LeBron Soldier 8 FlyEase by Nike, US LeBron Soldier 8 FlyEase by Nike, US
LeBron Soldier 8 FlyEase by Nike, US LeBron Soldier 8 FlyEase by Nike, US
LeBron Soldier 8 FlyEase by Nike, US LeBron Soldier 8 FlyEase by Nike, US

Independence for all

16 : 07 : 2015 Nike : Mark Parker : Jeff Johnson

Oregon, US – Nike has created the FlyEase trainer, the sportswear brand’s first mass-market shoe inspired by the disabled.

  • Designers at Nike worked with cerebral palsy sufferer Matthew Walzer to design an easily closed athletic shoe
  • The result is a basketball trainer with a zippered heel that enables the wearer to slide it on with ease

In 2012 cerebral palsy sufferer Matthew Walzer sent an open letter to Nike CEO Mark Parker explaining that while he can dress independently, limited motor function makes tying his own shoes impossible.

As it turns out Nike had secretly been working on a solution since Jeff Johnson, Nike’s first employee, suffered a stroke that left the right side of his body paralysed. Three years of testing with Walzer, consulted just as Nike would with a professional athlete, has resulted in the Zoom Soldier 8 FlyEase, a variation of the LeBron James popular shoe.

‘At some point some people become less able sooner than others, but eventually we all become less able,’ explains lead designer Tobie Hatfield. ‘It’s not just about stroke victims, and it’s not just about people who suffer from cerebral palsy. It’s about everyone.’

The Big Picture: Treat access as an opportunity, not an obligation. Read our Access For All microtrend for more on brands using the experience of their disabled customers to help improve service across the board.

You have 2 free News articles remaining. Sign up to LS:N Global to get unlimited access to all articles.
Discover Our Memberships Sign in

What do we use cookies for?

We use cookies to enable the use of our platform’s paid features and to analyse our traffic. No personal data, including your IP address, is stored and we do not sell data to third parties.

Learn more