Nike’s mission is to “bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world,” and they’re living up to their purpose with their recent announcement. Nike plans to donate more than 140,000 pieces of footwear, apparel, and equipment around the world, to support healthcare heroes amid the fight against Covid-19.

Athletes thank frontline workers

The effort includes messages of gratitude from athletes such as Joshua Buatsi, Cristina Chirichella, Amandine Henry, Sabrina Ionescu, Anni Espar Llaquet, Ja Morant, Joc Pederson, Casey Short, and Nafi Thiam, thanking healthcare workers and recognizing them for their mental and physical toughness. They utilize the term “healthcare athlete” to describe nurses, doctors, and other frontline workers, highlighting the long hours, labor-intensive work, mental resilience, and true strength of men and women fighting to save others’ lives.

The shoe designed for healthcare

The Nike Air Zoom Pulse is Nike’s first shoe designed specifically for the “healthcare athlete.” Nike says that “cushioning and traction systems work together to secure the foot in hospital conditions — and all solutions were finalized in tandem with considerations from medical workers at Oregon Health & Science University and Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland, Oregon.”

According to CNN, Nike went to OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital to study the men and women in the profession. “They took into account the challenges of those on the job — including long hours on their feet and liquid spills — and the comfort needed for long shifts,” said CNN.

The shoe is designed like a clog, but more athletic. “The shoe has a laceless upper and an elastic strap keeps the heel securely contained. The shoe is easy to get on with one hand. It has a durable, full-rubber outsole with a sole that provides traction even when liquid or water is present.” The coated toe box protects against spills and the easy-to-clean design assists nurses, doctors, and other frontline workers with sanitation and cleanliness efforts, to protect their patients and themselves.

Nike describes the shoes as feeling like a “soft, snug hug” and most importantly, they are comfortable to wear for long periods of time. Nike found that, on average, nurses walk four to five miles and sit for less than an hour during their 12-hour workday.

Where the shoes are going

30,000 pairs of the custom shoes will go to health facilities in Chicago, Los Angeles, Memphis, and New York City, and also within the Veterans Health Administration. Another 2,500 pairs are being donated to hospitals across Europe.

Other donation efforts

95,000 pairs of compression soccer socks will be delivered to frontline workers in Los Angeles and New York City. Nike has also donated 1,100 Nike Sportswear kits (drawstring bag, water bottle, hat, headband, and socks) to healthcare workers in New York City. Across Europe, Nike has donated nearly 4,000 pairs of shoes and more than 3,500 pieces of sweat-wicking Dri-FIT apparel.

Nike is one of many companies that is doing their part to support the heroes that continue to stand on the front lines for their patients.

At Orbis Biosciences, we support and applaud all efforts to support the frontline workers during the current global health pandemic, and always. Every effort counts, and it is inspiring to see small and large companies utilize their talents and resources to give in any way that they can.