Foot Locker looks to raise awareness for autism through two unique product collaborations with Puma and Diadora

Foot Locker, Inc. is taking a big step forward for the autism community through its latest release of adaptive footwear alongside sports company Puma and Italian sportswear brand Diadora.

In support of the autism community, the company has joined forces with Puma and Diadora to bring two unique sneakers to the market 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, Inc. is continuously evolving to better serve and be inclusive of all communities,” says John Hochadel, VP Commercial Concepts at Foot Locker, Inc. 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 iconic N9002 sneaker receives an upgrade with a custom version designed by artist Sarath Ton – whose brother-in-law Joshua is an autistic adult. The sneaker features shock absorption and comes in a classic black and white motif highlighted with an infusion of multiple colours.

The sneaker priced at US$175/£125 will be available starting 27 April at 10 am EST on, and Foot Locker, Inc. and Diadora will donate US$10k/£7.19k from the proceeds of this collection to Autism Speaks.

“This Diadora and Foot Locker, Inc. 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 Sarath 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 favourite songs, is something I try to fold into my everyday life.”

“We were very happy to team up with Foot Locker, Inc. and Sarath Ton on this capsule collection. We believe in sport as a way of life, and we know sport is about teamwork, which means we know when to step up for our teammates and when to step aside when it’s their time to shine,” states Diadora.

“We stand by Sarath’s side in supporting a cause that he feels very strongly about, and we were happy to provide the right product for him to express himself, the best possible canvas to spark his creativity. This was an enriching experience, as all the best collaborations are.”

In addition, the retailer partnered with actor Ron Funches, an advocate for the autism community, for an adaptive Puma sneaker that honours Ron’s son and features adaptive laces to ensure anyone who struggles with laces can enjoy the sneakers. The lime green sneaker, Ron’s son’s favourite colour, features noise-cancelling headphones on the back heel – a reminder of his son.

The sneaker priced at US$150/£108 will be available starting tomorrow 28 April at 10 am EST on Foot Locker, Inc. and Puma will donate US$10k/£7.19k 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,” says actor and advocate Ron Funches.

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