News | July 17, 2015


FGCU Honors student teams with Nike, meets LeBron

1 - minute read

Nike's FLYEASE shoes
Nike’s FLYEASE shoes

Matthew Walzer, a sophomore in the Honors Program at Florida Gulf Coast University, has been in the national spotlight for inspiring Nike to develop shoes for people with physical challenges.

Walzer, who has cerebral palsy, wrote an impassioned letter to Nike CEO Mark Parker in 2012 that ended up going viral as #NikeLetter.

“Out of all the challenges I have overcome in my life, there is one that I am still trying to master, tying my shoes,” he wrote. “Cerebral palsy stiffens the muscles in the body. As a result I have flexibility in only one of my hands, which makes it impossible for me to tie my shoes. My dream is to go to the college of my choice without having to worry about someone coming to tie my shoes every day.”

With Walzer’s input and NBA star LeBron James’ support, Nike designer Tobie Hatfield created FLYEASE, a shoe with a wrap-around zipper closure that’s easy for anyone to use.

  • Click on the video above to hear Matthew’s inspiring story
  • Read more about Matthew’s collaboration with Nike
  • Read Matthew’s original  #NikeLetter
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