Teen With Cerebral Palsy Inspires Nike To Create Hands-Free Sneaker

Nike is well-known for its innovative footwear, and now they are taking it one step closer to becoming a more inclusive brand. Those who struggle with shoe-lacing will no longer face this barrier, with the introduction of Nike’s GoFly Ease.

GoFly Ease sneakers eliminate the task of lacing and can be taken off and on without the use of hands, thanks to the kickstand heel and bi-stable heel hinge technologies. 

Stepping on the kickstand heel at the back of the shoe allows the footbed of the shoe to open, allowing you to comfortably place your foot inside. Stepping down into the shoe, it snaps snugly into place, while an underfoot board provides comfort and stability. A tensioner band will prevent the shoe from opening and closing against your choice.

Target marketing for these shoes will be going toward athletes with disabilities, those with temporary disabilities (such as very pregnant women), and those looking to quickly throw on their shoes and get out the door.


This movement was all inspired by 16-year-old Matthew Walzer, who has Cerebral Palsy. Walzer wrote to Nike in 2012, expressing that he was concerned that no athletic brand was producing sneakers adapted for people with disabilities like himself. 

“Out of all the challenges I have overcome in my life, there is one that I am still trying to master, tying my shoes,” wrote Walzer.

“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.”


Nike then recruited the teen to collaborate in the creation of this revolutionary hands-free sneaker. 

The Nike GoFly Ease will become available to selective markets on Monday, February 15th, and will sell for $125. View the shoe collection HERE.

Learn more about the creation and design of this shoe below.


Written by Abigale Racine