December 13, 2019

Nike Zoom Plus is Now Available: Custom-Designed Shoe for Healthcare Workers

Nike zoom plus promotion for nurses

Image via Nike

Update 12/13/2019 

The wait is over! Nike Zoom Plus is now available to purchase. The shoe was designed especially for healthcare workers and features designs by pediatric patients.

Get it here

Original story 11/14/2019

Do you know what stands between a good day and just a getting-through-it-day as a healthcare worker? 

No, it’s not the right training (although that helps), the perfect set of patients, or even the labs that magically come back within normal ranges. Instead, it all comes down to footwear. 

Yup, that’s right — the right shoes can make or break a healthcare worker and if you think I’m lying, go spend 18 hours on your feet, dashing between rooms, pushing code carts, and yes, fetching the occasional ginger ale and warm blanket — only after you’ve made it all the way back to the nurse’s station of course. 

To help ensure that healthcare workers get the shoe that they need to make a difference, Nike has taken the incredible stride of working with OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland, Oregon to custom-design a sneaker just for healthcare workers: meet the Nike Air Zoom Pulse. 

A Shoe Designed for Healthcare Workers

To create the perfect shoe for nurses, doctors, and anyone who works with patients, the Nike team worked with healthcare workers to analyze their day-in and day-out routines on the job to customize a shoe that would fit their needs. 

Their work revealed some fascinating data — and if you’re a healthcare worker, it probably won’t surprise you, but is nonetheless validating to hear, such as the fact that nurses actually walk approximately four to five miles and sit for less than an hour over the entirety of a 12-hour shift. 

Every aspect of the shoe was designed with the needs of healthcare workers in mind, such as providing long-lasting stability and comfort, flexibility and support, and protection from slips and spills. Features of the shoe that are designed specifically for healthcare workers include:

  • No laces to drag on the floor, getting dirty or posing a fall hazard
  • Upper portion of the shoe has a protective PU-coated synthetic vamp for easy cleaning 
  • Elastic strap to let you slip the shoe on and off easily with one hand
  • Water-dispersive traction pattern to keep you going no matter what questionable liquid you happen to step in

The shoe also features a flexible drop-in midsole with Zoom Air heel unit, to allow for comfort in long hours on your feet, while still providing flexibility and stability for the quick movements when a healthcare worker needs to spring into action suddenly. 

More than Just a Shoe

Perhaps the coolest part about the Nike Air Zoom Pulse, aside from how dang comfortable it sounds, is the fact that real pediatric patients at Doernbecher worked directly with Nike to bring their own design versions of the shoe to life. 

Every year, six pediatric patients at the hospital custom-design their own Nike shoe, bringing to life a shoe shape, fit, and style that is based on their own experiences. For example, the 2019 designers include 14-year-old Lymphoma fighter Zion Thompson, whose shoe features a rose pattern that represents her cancer journey because “bravery helps you bloom” and 16-year-old Ethan Ellis, whose sneaker proudly bears the number “6,” the exact number of heart surgeries the teen has undergone. 

According to Nike, the shoe design is part of the Doernbecher Freestyle Program, now in its 16th year. The program was started by Nike’s once-creative director, Michael Doherty, whose son, Connor, had the vision of patients working to design their own Nike shoes, and then donate the proceeds back to the hospital. Along with the annual sale of the shoes that the young patients design, six of their design adaptations will also be used for the Nike Air Zoom Plus and sold as limited edition designs. 

Since its inception, Nike says that the program has raised over $27 million with close to 100 young designers, contributed new treatments and research, and inspired a devoted community of fans who proudly feature their #doernbecherfreestyle shoes on social media. 

Just in Time for Christmas

If you’re looking for some new shoes as a gift, we have good news: these shoes will be released just in time for the holidays. You can look for the shoes — both the Nike Air Zoom Plus and the one-of-a-kind sneakers by the six talented young designers — that you can snag for yourself, your friends, or family starting on December 7th on and in select in-person retailers.

If you are looking for other great Christmas gifts for nurses, check out our Top 20 Gift Recommendations

And don’t forget: all profits from the shoe sales will be donated to the OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital, so you can feel good in your shoes and do good with them too.

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