LeBron helps design sneaker for disabled athletes

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CLEVELAND (AP) LeBron James has teamed up on a special sneaker
for special athletes.

The Cavaliers star and Nike have unveiled a new shoe designed
for disabled athletes that can be slipped on and off more
easily. The LeBron Soldier 10 FlyEase is modeled after the
signature shoe worn by James, but it has no laces and can be
secured with Velcro straps and zippers.

”It’s about us empowering every kid and everybody to
understand we are all athletes,” James said.

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The project is near and dear to James, a father of three. He
hosted kids from the Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital for
Rehabilitation last week at the team’s facility and presented
them with new pairs of the stylish, slip-on sneakers.

”Sports should never be taken away from a kid,” the
three-time NBA champion said. ”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.”

Longtime Nike designer Tobie Hatfield said the new model is
designed to eliminate the struggle for some kids to simply get
the shoe on their foot.

”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,” Hatfield said.
”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.”

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