LeBron James gave a group of children from Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital for Rehabilitation a day to remember after he personally presented them with their own pair of easy-entry sneakers at the Cleveland Cavaliers practice facility in Independence, Ohio, on Monday.
James helped design the Nike’s new LeBron Soldier 10 FlyEase sneakers—footwear which features a zipper and Velcro straps instead of laces, with its easy to slip on and off system designed with disabled athletes in mind.
The Children’s Hospital patients were met by James, who showed them how the sneakers worked and helped fit them on their feet. “It’s about us empowering every kid and everybody to understand we are all athletes,” the basketball player said.
“Sport in general should never be taken away from any kid,” he added. “It creates fun, it creates laughter, it creates competitiveness, it creates brotherhood or sisterhood. To be able to have access to shoes that are very easy to take on or take off, you give kids another opportunity to live out their dream.”
Nike designer Tobie Hatfield said that though their experience, the team has learned about how important easy shoe entry and exit can be. “Of all the shoes we’ve ever made, this may be the easiest one to get into,” he said, in a statement.