Adaptive Athletes Applaud Reebok’s Adaptive Shoe Line: “Absolutely Awesome”
On May 19, Reebok launched a new footwear collection for adaptive athletes, Reebok Fit to Fit, designed in collaboration with Zappos.
And to celebrate their partnership with Zappos, the official footwear provider for the 2022 Special Olympic USA Games, Reebok is donating 750 pairs of shoes to the athletes.
The details: The Reebok Fit to Fit collection includes performance and lifestyle footwear, and according to Reebok “offers enhanced features to help people with disabilities gain more independence.”
- For example, the Nanoflex Parafit TR features a medial zip closure and heel pull tab to make putting the shoe on easier, while the Club MEMT Parafit features a medial zip closure, as well as a low-cut design for easy mobility, and a removable sockliner for a custom fit.
- The shoes are now available on both reebok.com and zappos.com in a range of colors, but soon the single shoe options will only be available at zappos.com
What the adaptive CrossFit community is saying: Charlie Pienaar, a Lower Extremity athlete who placed second in the Open and is competing in the Adaptive Semifinals this weekend hoping to qualify to this summer’s CrossFit Games, said the shoe collection is a “great start” at being more inclusive.
- That being said, Pienaar would love to see this taken further in order to give adaptive athletes the ability to customize shoes to their own needs. “For me, (being able to order) a pair of Nano’s with the left shoe half a size smaller and with a half inch lift would help my walking and running gait,” he said, adding that this is still “a big step in the right direction.”
- Similarly, Steph Roach, a CrossFit Level 2 coach with Cerebral Palsy agrees this is a good step in the right direction and “has been a long time coming and honestly something more companies need to focus on daily,” she said.
- As for Kelly O’Reilly, a Level 1 coach and the coach of the Special Olympics Team Illinois powerlifters, she couldn’t be more excited. “I think this is incredible. The shoe options for people with physical disabilities are often very limited. The adaptation of a mainstream shoe with such thought put into features that will help it last longer, accommodate orthotics and be fastened easier, for people who so desperately need them is long overdue and appreciated,” she said.
- Finally, while the collection is designed for adaptive athletes, Athena Perez—the owner of Scaled Nation CrossFit, an affiliate dedicated to training larger bodied athletes, and a long-time advocate for more inclusivity in CrossFit—explained some of the shoes’ features are useful for the larger-bodied community, as well. “This is just absolutely awesome…Easy on, easy off is just one more way of making fitness more accessible. Even aging athletes can have trouble bending and being able to put their shoes on easily,” she added.
The big picture: Overall, this new shoe collection is a great step to make fitness more accessible to all, as these shoes “hit many many demographics that need assistance,” Perez said.
- She added: “The more ways we can make fitness and health accessible, it’s a win for everyone.”