Nike creates, donates sneakers specifically for healthcare workers

(ABC NEWS) – Nike has officially pledged to donate over 30,000 pairs of sneakers to health systems and hospitals working on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.

The athletic apparel company is giving away the brand’s 2019 Air Zoom Pulse sneakers, which were specifically created with the footwear needs of nurses, doctors, and other medical workers in mind.

This charitable effort was announced in partnership with nonprofit organization Good360, as well as Nike athletes such as WNBA player Sabrina Ionescu, Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies and LA Dodgers baseball star Joc Pederson.

“When I think about our healthcare athletes, I think about how they’re all fighting for something bigger than themselves right now,” said Ionescu in a statement. “That kind of strength and courage speaks volumes, and inspires us all.”

The Nike Air Zoom Pulse sneakers feature a comfortable fit, cushioning and traction system that cohesively works together to secure the foot in hospital conditions. The prototypes were also initially tested by medical workers at Oregon Health & Science University and Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland, Oregon

“We’re announcing the donation of Air Zoom Pulse and other products, totaling more than $5.5 million, to healthcare athletes across the United States and Europe,” said Jorge Casimiro, Nike chief social & community impact officer.

Several weeks earlier, Nike also announced it was contributing millions of dollars toward COVID-19 relief and has confirmed donating more than 140,000 pieces of footwear and apparel and equipment globally — totaling over 25 million towards fighting the global coronavirus crisis.

Some of the designs are part of Doernbecher Freestyle program, which turns over the design process to kids at the Portland hospital. The six patient designers added the Air Zoom Pulse to their collections this year, coming up with six unique colorways. All profits of those sales go to the OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.

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