2. Nike Zoom LeBron Soldier 8 FlyEase
This may be the most surprising pick on any top 10 list, but I don’t think another sneaker released this year can have a bigger impact on human lives. We in the sneaker community often focus on what sneakers are the best looking or most sought after, but at the core of what sneakers are supposed to do is be functional. Whether for protection or performance, sneakers are designed to be functional and help us move more comfortably.
It’s easy to take for granted the simple act of just lacing up our own sneakers, but some people with special needs can’t do that without help. Inspired by a teenager with cerebral palsy, Nike designed a sneaker that can be taken on and off using a back strap, instead of traditional laces. While special sneakers like this existed before, the fact that Nike created one on a LeBron sneaker is special. I just ordered a pair for my younger brother who loves basketball and also has cerebral palsy, and I can’t wait to see the look on his face when he can finally put on his sneakers without any help. I hope to see more sneakers like this from Nike and other brands in the future.