Nike has enlisted LeBron James to support and help develop a new sneaker which will support disabled athletes and help them put on their sportswear more efficiently. The sneakers, named the LeBron Soldier 10 FlyEase has proved to be a personal and rewarding project for James, who is a father of three.
James said to ESPN: "Sports should never be taken away from a kid. "It creates fun. It creates laughter. It creates brotherhood or sisterhood. To be able to have shoes that are easy to get on and off gives kids another opportunity to live out their dreams."
"It’s about us empowering every kid and everybody to understand we are all athletes."
The new sneaker will be without laces and can be slipped on, and secured through the use of zips and Velcro. Nike designer Tobie Hatfield said, "One of the key learnings we've had in crafting accessible footwear is the importance of easy entry and exit of the shoe, not just simplifying its fastening system. Eliminating the intricate hand movement of lace tying is important, but if the athlete cannot get their foot into the shoe, lacing becomes a moot point."
Recently, James presented the new sneaker design to children from the Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital for Rehabilitation, where they could choose between blue, white and black designs. The shoes are now also available on the market for both adults and children, to help support all children and encourage them to engage in active sports.