Michelle Reed


Thu, 16 Jul, 2015

Nike releases new shoe design for the physically disabled

Nike releases new shoe design for the physically disabled

In an effort that will certainly garner them good press, Nike has put forward a line of shoes made specifically for those who are physically disabled.

In 2012, Nike was contacted by Matthew Walzer, a student who was born with cerebral palsy. As he was unable to tie up his own shoes without outside assistance, Walzer wrote an appeal to Nike asking them to create shoes that would lessen his plight.

“Out of all the challenges I have overcome in my life, there is one that I am still trying to master, tying my shoes. Cerebral palsy stiffens the muscles in the body. As a result I have flexibility in only one of my hands which makes it impossible for me to tie my shoes. My dream is to go to the college of my choice without having to worry about someone coming to tie my shoes everyday.

“I’ve worn Nike basketball shoes all my life. I can only wear this type of shoe because I need ankle support to walk. I am currently wearing the Lunar Hyper Gamer and LeBron Zoom Soldier 6s. At 16 years old, I am able to completely dress myself, but my parents still have to tie my shoes. As a teenager who is striving to become totally self-sufficient, I find this extremely frustrating, and at times, embarrassing.”

Three years later, Nike has answered Walzer, and many others’, request. The corporation has recently launched their Zoom Soldier 8 which features a zipper technology that allows those with physical limitations to put on their own shoes with greater ease. These shoes are expected to help people not just with cerebral palsy, but anyone with physical limitations due to, for example, accidents or strokes.

On review of the shoe, Walzer assessed: “Easy entry, easy access, easy adjustment, easy closure,”

Athelete Lebron James was deeply invested in the production of the shoe, which comes out as part of his line.

“There is a real need for a solution like this and it feels good to be a part of something that is going to help so many people,” James told Nike.com.

From here, Nike is looking to expand on this type of shoe to incorporate a wider variety of shoes for those who live with all types of disabilities. 

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