A teenager’s letter to Nike went viral recently, after people picked up on what seemed like a great idea. According to reporting on Mashable, the letter got picked up by people on Twitter—hashtag #NikeLetter—and has become something of an Internet sensation.
A Simple Request
The teenager asked the CEO of Nike, Mark Parker, to develop a shoe that would help people who have cerebral palsy and who have difficulty walking and running. He asked for a shoe that had excellent ankle support and that could be used for sports or for everyday use. He also asked that the shoes be self lacing. Performing tasks that require very fine motor coordination is typically quite difficult for people with cerebral palsy, hence self-lacing shoes would be tremendously advantageous.
There are many different types of cerebral palsy and any of them can have effects on mobility. Some people with cerebral palsy have difficulty walking because the muscles in their legs have uneven tone, making some of them insufficiently strong to support their weight and others permanently stiffened or, at least, prone to having spasms that make walking difficult.
Athletic shoes, of course, tend to have excellent ankle support already, and the teenager who wrote the letter manages to get around on crutches and a pair of Nike shoes, according to the reporting. The self-lacing feature and, perhaps, other modifications may make such shoes even more suitable for people with cerebral palsy.
Many everyday activities are very difficult for people with cerebral palsy, including walking. Some people with cerebral palsy need a wheelchair to get around, but others participate in athletic events, enjoy hiking and other activities that involve a lot of walking or running. The degree of difficulty that people have with mobility can vary tremendously between one person who has cerebral palsy to another.
Equipment such as athletic shoes, walkers, crutches, and many others are used to help people with cerebral palsy to get around. Athletic shoes have been developed and redeveloped over the years to the point where they can offer very specific forms of support. There are shoes, for instance, made specifically for runners and shoes made specifically for basketball players. Thanks to a letter from the teenager, it may be possible that Nike will take on the challenge of developing an athletic shoe made specifically for people who need extra ankle support due to having cerebral palsy.