Finding a way to help medical workers stay more comfortable during long workdays on their feet, apparel giant Nike (NYSE:NKE) says it plans to donate 30,000 pairs of Air Zoom Pulse sneakers to healthcare workers across America and another 2,500 pairs in Europe. It announced the donation in a news release on May 4.
The Air Zoom Pulse shoes were chosen as the donation's centerpiece because they incorporate high-tech features designed specifically with doctors and nurses in mind. The footwear features a spill-proof toe box and smooth surfaces to ease cleanup, paired with a polyurethane PU coating. The rubber outsole provides ample traction and the shoes are cushioned for the up to five miles healthcare workers may walk each shift.
The shoes were designed using advice from hospital and university personnel and feature some colorways suggested or created by patients. The Zoom Air technology they use create a springy effect by alternating layers of plastic and synthetic fiber. It was originally developed for basketball.
The 30,000 Air Zoom Pulse sneakers are earmarked for distribution in Veterans Health Administration hospitals, plus hospitals in four major U.S. cities: New York, Memphis, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Good360, a nonprofit organization, will handle the actual distribution of the donated footwear, along with 95,000 pairs of soccer socks which provide some degree of compression.
The Pulse sneaker donation brings Nike's giving during the COVID-19 pandemic to approximately $25 million, up from the $17 million it reported a month ago on April 3.