A 19-year-old Florida man who was born with cerebral palsy challenged Nike to create a running shoe for disabled athletes and that sneaker is now available, MyFoxNY reported.
At age 16, Matthew Waltzer wrote directly to Nike CEO Mark Parker for help— he wanted a sneaker he could put on himself.
“Having my parents tie my shoes at 15, 16, it’s frustrating to me because I’ve always been the type of person, despite having a disability, always want to do everything by myself, for myself,” Waltzer, from Parkland, Fla., told the news channel.
Parker and his team of designers got to work developing a running shoe for disabled athletes.
“The main thing was about him getting in the shoes, adjusting the shoes, closing the shoes and then being able to get out of the shoes, all by himself,” Parker said in a Nike video.
The company used the sneaker designs of professional basketball player Lebron James as a template and designed new technology to create the Zoom Soldier 8 Flyease.
“I’ll never forget putting on my own shoes for the first time in my life and doing the strap and zipping them up and just walking around like everyone else. It was just an amazing feeling,” Parker said.
“He inspired us at Nike to be able to bring something special for the masses,” James said in the Nike video.
The sneaker are on sale now for $130.