Nike to donate 30,000 pairs of shoes to health care workers


OHSU / Kristyna Wentz-Graff / Nike / CC BY 2.0

An Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) nurse wears a version of the Air Zoom Pulse created by OHSU patient Sawyer Miller.

On Monday, Nike announced that they plan to donate 30,000 pairs of their Air Zoom Pulse shoes to health care workers.

“Our Nike family has come together to serve our communities and support our COVID-19 response efforts in communities around the world … From one athlete to another, Nike athletes recognize the physical and mental resilience of healthcare athletes,” the brand said, acknowledging the huge role front line workers have been playing in the global fight against COVID-19.

To create the sneaker, the company went to Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland, Oregon, to study the challenges those in the medical profession face during this time. Their findings resulted in the creation of Nike Air Zoom Pulse sneakers, designed to be worn specifically by health care workers.

They feature a secure fit to the heel, durable rubber outsoles, and are resistant to spills. The shoe also has a cushioning and tractioning system, keeping in mind that workers often stand for extended periods of time. Nurses, for example, walk approximately four to five miles and sit for less than an hour throughout a 12-hour shift.

The retail giant has partnered with the nonprofit Good360 to donate the shoes to major cities in the U.S, and other organizations are helping them distribute an additional 2,500 pairs to hospitals across Europe, including some in Barcelona, Berlin, London, Milan, Paris, and Belgium. 

Nike officials announced that over 95,000 pairs of soccer socks are to be donated to the workers as well. The items will be delivered with the help of professional athletes including volleyball player Cristina Chirichella, soccer players Casey Short and Amandine Henry, and professional boxer Joshua Buatsi.

“We love and appreciate what they’re doing,” Buatsi said.

Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City shared his appreciation to the company for their efforts. The city has seen over 178,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19. 

Stepping up for New Yorkers? Nike Just Did It!” de Blasio said in a tweet on May 4. “Thank you so much for supporting our front line health care heroes and the @NYCMayorsFund.”

Community members locally also recognize the stress health care workers are under during this time, and wholeheartedly support Nike’s initiative.

“I think it’s great that they’re doing this,” said Emilie Kosman, a sophomore. “I’m sure the workers are super grateful.” 

As of today, the company has committed more than $25 million to COVID-19 relief efforts. 

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