Nike announced today that several pairs of sneakers will now be offered with its Flyease easy-entry system.
The brand, in collaboration with NBA star LeBron James, first released the LeBron Zoom Soldier Flyease 8 in July 2015. The Flyease system incorporates a wrap-around zipper that opens on the heel for easy entry and support without the use of laces.
The idea first came from Matthew Walzer, who wrote a letter to Nike asking the company to create shoes with an easier entry based on his favorite Nike basketball silhouettes. Walzer has cerebral palsy, which has limited his flexibility in one of his hands and makes it difficult for him to tie his shoes. Nike designer Tobie Hatfield, who had been working on similar ideas already, connected with Walzer and the Flyease system came to fruition.
The LeBron Soldier Flyease 9 for both adults and kids was released Jan. 1 in select markets and will be available worldwide on Tuesday. The Pegasus 32 will arrive April 1 and the Flex Run is due May 1, both also for adults and kids.
“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,” said Hatfield at the time of the release.