Faith in Humanity: Teenager inspires Nike to create shoe for people with disabilities

Jul 15, 2015, 6:06 PM | Updated: 6:07 pm

Nearly three years ago, Matthew Walzer, a teenager with cerebral palsy, wrote to Nike with an incredible idea: develop a comfortable and supportive shoe that is easy for people with disabilities to put on and take off.

“If Nike would design and produce basketball and running shoes with moderate support and some kind of closure system that could be used by everyone, Nike could create a shoe line that attracts people that face the same physical challenges I did and still do, yet it could still be possible for anyone to wear them,” Walzer wrote in the viral letter back in 2012.

Recently, Nike took that idea and made it a reality, according to GoodNewsNetwork.com.

The new Nike Zoom Soldier 8 FLYEASE shoes are the brainchild of Walzer and Nike designer Tobie Hatfield — one that has been three years in the making.

Hatfield and Walzer worked very closely together to develop a shoe that would be easily worn by people with various degrees of mobility, with the teenager even testing out various prototypes to provide feedback.

The shoes use a wrap-around zipper system to make the shoe easily accessible. The design also implements the same ankle support system found in Nike’s Lebron James’s line — the same man who also happens to be Walzer’s favorite basketball player.

“When I put the shoes on every morning, they give the greatest sense of independence and accomplishment I have ever felt in my life,” Walzer said to Nike at the time.

The shoes will be available online in limited quantity on July 16.

Pamela Hughes

Kevin Stone

Arizona AG preparing decision on disputed airport Uber/Lyft fees

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said his office will issue an opinion next month on whether new fees on Uber and Lyft rides at Sky Harbor Airport violate the state’s constitution.
3 years ago
Rodney Puckett (Pinal County Sheriff's Office photo)...
KTAR.com

‘Bruce and Pamela’ listeners named this the ‘Crazy AZ’ story of 2019

KTAR News 92.3 FM's Bruce St. James and Pamela Hughes Show listeners this week chose this craziest Arizona story of the year.
3 years ago
Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman (KTAR News Photo/Steve Zinsmeister)...
Jessica Swarner

Hoffman says vaccine exemption, Pledge of Allegiance bills unnecessary

Arizona's top education official says there's no need for two education-related bills being pushed by a state representative. 
3 years ago
frank milstead...
KTAR.com

Arizona DPS head says he’s ‘surprised’ he was not given speeding ticket

Arizona Department of Public Safety Director Col. Frank Milstead says he was surprised he didn't get a ticket when he was pulled over for going 90 mph on Interstate 17.
3 years ago
(Facebook Photo/Mountain Pointe Football)...
Kevin Stone

High schools linked to Phoenix coach scandal could face postseason bans

High schools sent inside information from a Phoenix coach were directed to investigate their own staff’s involvement and could face postseason bans.
3 years ago
(Facebook Photo/Mountain Pointe High School)...
KTAR.com

Phoenix HS coach allegedly shared information with opponents

A Valley high school was “shocked” to learn that a coach allegedly had been sharing information about the football and boys basketball teams with opponents.
3 years ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Company looking for oldest air conditioner and wants to reward homeowner with new one

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.
...
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
Faith in Humanity: Teenager inspires Nike to create shoe for people with disabilities