The new HI-TEC Freedom 67. Picture: Instagram/@sneakerfreakermag.
The new HI-TEC Freedom 67. Picture: Instagram/@sneakerfreakermag.

HI-TEC honours Nelson Mandela with limited-edition sneaker

By Thobile Mazibuko Time of article published Jul 16, 2021

Share this article:

Sportswear brand HI-TEC is honouring the late Nelson Mandela this Mandela Day by launching a new sneaker.

Nelson Mandela Day is commemorated annually on July 18 to celebrate his birthday.

Every year, people dedicate 67 minutes of their time doing charity work to help those in need.

The Freedom 67 is adapted from HI-TEC Wimbledon, the sneakers that the late former president of South Africa wore in 1990.

The sneakers were a gift to him from his former wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

And when an opportunity to auction the sneakers came in 1996, Frank van Wezel, the founder of HI-TEC put in a winning bid for the pair.

Now, the brand is bringing back the sneaker in a more modified way under a new name, Freedom 67.

Sneaker Freaker reported that HI-TEC product designer Gordon Stokes revealed that creating the new Freedom 67 wasn’t easy.

Due to its significance, the HI-TEC team treated the project with the utmost thought and dignity.

“The challenge was not only about recreating his sneaker but creating an object that paid homage to an incredible human being – a man that has dedicated his life to freedom for all.

“Not only was Mandela fighting against apartheid, but he was also fighting for a better world, in which the freedom, justice and dignity of all were respected.

“The shoe had to be more than just a sneaker but needed to tell a story, from authentic messaging to significant symbolism,” said Stokes.

He added that to create Freedom 67, they used imagery and 3D modelling from the Mandela Wimbledon.

“From the graphic elements, materials, sole and midsole, colour-blocking, as well as sizing, everything had to be perfect.

“Even with the packaging, we had to treat it with the same attention to detail as that of the sneaker, conveying consistent messaging throughout this project. Mandela’s legacy had to be respected in the body of this development, as much as it was to honour what he stood for,” explained Stokes.

The new Freedom 67 is limited to only 67 pairs. The pair number 67/67 will be auctioned on Mandela Day here.

Share this article: