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Check out Nike’s unbelievably cool sneaker zipper for people with disabilities

Published Jul 20th, 2015 7:15PM EDT
Nike Zoom Soldier 8 Flyease Sneaker
Image: Nike

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Nike has an awesome new sneaker design ready for people with disabilities that makes it easier than every for them to take their shoes on and off. The new zipper is meant to help any disabled individual get those shoes off and on quickly, without having to waste time or fight with traditional shoelaces or zippers that might be otherwise harder to operate. The Zoom Soldier 8 Flyease sneaker, shown in the image above, has a wraparound zipper system that lets the wearer open the show with just one hand, at which point he or she could remove the shoe without much physical effort.

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The Flyease system was developed by Nike designer Tobie Hatfield, who worked on the system for several years together with a few individuals with physical disabilities.

The company has highlighted one particularly inspirational story about helping a man named Matthew Walzer, who was born two months premature and had to overcome many limitations, including an inability to tie his shoes on his own thanks to only having the proper flexibility in one hand.

“My dream is to go to the college of my choice without having to worry about someone coming to tie my shoes every day. I’ve worn Nike basketball shoes all my life,” he said. “I can only wear this type of shoe, because I need ankle support to walk. 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.”

Hatfield received Walzer’s letter and began working with him to fix this particular issue. In designing the shoes, the Nike expert also used elements from existing Nike shoes, including LeBron James’ footware.

A limited edition LeBron Soldier 8 Flyease will be available on July 16th. Meanwhile, a video about this Nike project follows below.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.