Nike has just revealed it plans to donate 32,500 pairs of its Air Zoom Pulse sneaker to healthcare workers, as part of a partnership with nonprofit organization Good360 that aims to assist those in the frontlines of the battle against COVID-19. Altogether, the brand announced on Monday that it will give away more than 140,000 pieces of footwear, apparel, and other equipment in the U.S. and to local organizations across Europe, along with $25 million earmarked to help with relief efforts for the novel coronavirus.
A shoe for heroes— Launched late last year, Nike designed the Air Zoom Pulse from the ground up with nurses, doctors, and home healthcare providers in mind. The silhouette features a black upper and white midsole, which is complemented by light blue hues throughout and a small cross with a Nike swoosh. There's also a version of the sneaker with lighter accents and a message on it that reads "HOPE," a design that was created by an OHSU Doernbecher patient named Sawyer Miller. Nike told Input that the black Zoom Pulse, along with a new white model, are the ones that will be donated to medical personnel.
"Nurses, for example, walk approximately four to five miles and sit for less than an hour during the course of a 12-hour shift. The work is physically and mentally demanding," Nike said in a blog post about its Zoom Pulse. "The design for the Air Zoom Pulse tackles those challenges with simplicity in mind. The shoe is easy to get on and off, and equally simple to clean. The fit, cushioning and traction systems work together to secure the foot in all hospital conditions."
Broad effort — Nike says that 30,000 pairs of its Air Zoom Pulse are being donated to health facilities and hospitals in Chicago, Los Angeles, Memphis, and New York City, while the remaining 2,500 will go to medical centers in Barcelona, Belgium, Berlin, London, Milan, Paris, and other cities and countries in Europe.
These efforts are only the latest from the sportswear giant, which last month also announced it would be repurposing materials typically used in its shoes — including its Nike Air technology — to make face shields and air-purifying respirator (PAPR) lenses for healthcare workers. Nike donated that crucial personal protective equipment (PPE) at a time when there was a short supply across the U.S., with the company noting that it would "continue to seek ways to further support the courageous healthcare workers in their tireless efforts to support, heal and comfort our communities through these extraordinary times."