Foot Locker is taking a big step forward for the autism community through its latest release of adaptive footwear in partnership with Puma and Diadora. The sneaker chain will carry two unique updates (Diadora’s iconic N9002 style and and an adaptive laces take on a Puma classic ) to help raise awareness for autism. The two collaborations are created in tandem with designer Sarath Ton for Diadora and actor Ron Funches for Puma.
“Foot Locker is continuously evolving to better serve and be inclusive of all communities,” says John Hochadel, vice president Commercial Concepts at Foot Locker North America. “These collaborations are particularly close to our hearts because they support the mission of one of our employee resource groups, Laced Differently, which aims to create visibility, raise awareness and strive to empower persons with disabilities. We look forward to expanding our collaborations in the future and continue to invest in Laced Differently to empower people of all abilities to express themselves through the love of sneakers.”
Diadora’s N9002 sneaker receives an upgrade with a custom version designed by artist Sarath Ton, whose brother-in-law is an autistic adult. The sneaker features shock absorption and comes in a classic black and white motif highlighted with an infusion of multiple colors. The sneaker ($175) will be available starting today on www.footlocker.com, www.footaction.com and www.champssports.com. Foot Locker and Diadora will donate $10,000 from the proceeds of this collection to Autism Speaks.
“This Diadora and Foot Locker autism collaboration is something very important to me. It’s dedicated to not only all of the families who include a member who is on the spectrum but to my brother-in-law Joshua who is autistic,” says Ton. “Seeing the energy and love he brings to life is an inspiration to me. His genuine happiness for the little things, whether it be his love for movies and fast food, or talking about girls and singing his favorite songs, is something I try to fold into my everyday life.”
Puma’s shoe honors Funches’ son and features adaptive laces to ensure anyone who struggles with laces can enjoy the sneakers. The lime green sneaker, his son’s favorite color, features noise-canceling headphones on the back heel—a reminder of his son. The sneaker ($150) will be available starting Apr. 28 at 10 a.m. EST on www.footlocker.com. Foot Locker and Puma will donate $10,000 to the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism supporting their mission of helping people and families affected by autism live life to the fullest.
“I am excited and humbled to promote autism acceptance and to celebrate all the things my son has taught me. Thank you, Puma and Foot Locker, for making a dream come true,” Funches states.
Diadora N9002 x Sarath Ton
Puma x Ron Funches