Nearly 3 years ago we profiled special LeBron X shoes created for Matthew Walzer in order to help solve sneaker lacing problems for disabled athletes. Turns out it was only the beginning of a beautiful journey. Over the years, renowned Nike designer Tobie Hatfield has been involved in a number of projects addressing the problems of disabled athletes. Nike developed a new entry-and-closure system for athletes who have trouble getting in and out of shoes, and securing them called Flyease, which was adapted onto the LeBron Soldier 8. The standard Soldier 8 has benefited from the idea and the laceless solutions takes it one step further.
“Matthew inspired us at Nike to be able to bring something special that will not only be for himself but also for the masses,” asserts LeBron. “The shoe and the inspiration he gave us is going to go way beyond Nike, Matthew and myself. I am very honored and blessed that my shoe is part of the whole process. This is an unbelievable story, and Nike has done a great job of being able to create something that’s so incredible and will last a lifetime.”
As Lebron notes, the vision Hatfield brought to life was never intended for just one athlete. “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. Like the asterisk accompanying Nike’s mission statement says, “If you have a body, you’re an athlete.” That means everybody and we never forget that,” adds Hatfield. As a nod to that idea, the LeBron Soldier 8 FLYEASE carries an asterisk just under the strap on the medial side. Hatfield and team are already working on styles and silhouettes beyond basketball, and future FLYEASE designs will also feature the asterisk.
Nike was not kidding about being ready for mass production. The LeBron Soldier 8 FLYEASE in a great Cavs-inspired colorway will be available on July 16th in limited quantities. Bravo, Nike!From Soldier 8 Show Album