We cover a variety of sneaker releases at ‘LLERO from the latest Jordan’s to whatever adidas is hatching in their lab. This week however, a different kind of shoe dropped – onto the feet of those who need it most these days.

In recognition of frontline healthcare workers combating COVID-19 around the world, Nike is partnering with nonprofit Good360 in the United States and local organizations across Europe to donate more than 140,000 pieces of footwear, apparel and equipment globally.

The shoe in question – the Nike Air Zoom Pulse. According to a statement released by Nike, “it is Nike’s first shoe designed for the healthcare athlete. Fit, cushioning and traction systems work together to secure the foot in hospital conditions.” The company partnered with medical workers at Oregon Health & Science University and Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland, Oregon. Studying the movements, environment and needs of medical workers on the frontlines. They took that input and got to work in engineering the shoe.

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Several athletes joined with Nike to help announce the donation. 30,000 pairs of Nike Air Zoom Pulse to health systems and hospitals in Chicago, Los Angeles, Memphis and New York City, and within the Veterans Health Administration. An additional 2,500 pairs are being donated to hospitals across Europe, including Barcelona, Berlin, London, Milan, Paris and in Belgium.

Donations of the Air Zoom Pulse in the U.S. will be administered by nonprofit Good360. A longtime Nike partner specializing in efficient distribution of product donations. “This partnership ensures delivery of the footwear to health systems and hospitals when they are ready to receive and deliver them to their staff,” said Nike in a released statement. 

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Of the initiative Nike simply stated in its release “The effort is led by messages of gratitude to healthcare professionals…From one athlete to another, Nike athletes recognize the physical and mental resilience of healthcare athletes.”

The generous donation has not gone unnoticed. New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio tweeted his appreciation “Stepping up for New Yorkers? Nike Just Did It! Thank you so much for supporting our front-line health care heroes and the @NYCMayorsFund”.

It’s looks like Nike is about more than “just the shoes”.

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