PORTLAND, Ore. - Medical workers have some of the toughest jobs day in and day out, so Nike designed a new shoe that can stand up to the specific challenges that they face on the job while also providing extra support.
The Nike Air Zoom Pulse was created with nurses and doctors in mind, so the designers looked to medical workers for detailed insights into their specific footwear needs.
“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 says. “The design for the Air Zoom Pulse tackles those challenges with simplicity in mind.”
Nike teamed up with Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) Doernbecher Children’s Hospital to get in touch with the providers they call “on-the-ground athletes” to collect insights and perform product testing.
The designers knew that the shoe had to be both comfortable for long stretches of standing and also versatile enough to handle the hurried movements necessary during emergency situations. They fitted the Pulse with a full-rubber outsole, a flexible drop-in midsole and a super snug heel to ensure a full range of movement and maximum support.
Nike says the Air Zoom Pulse is like “a traditional clog made athletic — all the arch and posture support of that industry favorite is augmented in the Pulse, with a smooth capacity for natural motion.”
Working as a medical provider isn’t just tough, it’s also messy and often quite hectic, so the Pulse is super easy to get on and off and even easier to clean.
The Pulse features a laceless upper design with an elastic strap around the heel to allow for flexible and easy one-handed entry, and it is coated with a protective polyurethane synthetic vamp that protects against any kind of spill.
An Asterisk logo was added to the visual design to symbolize Nike’s company mission and the belief that, "If you have a body, you are an athlete."
In addition to a basic black, white and teal design, the Air Zoom Pulse will also come in six versions designed by patients at Doernbacher Children’s Hospital, which will be available Dec. 7.
All profits from the sales of the designs will be donated back to the hospital.This year marked the sixteenth iteration of the Doernbacher Freestyle Program, which gives patients at the children’s hospital the opportunity to design a Nike shoe from the ground up. The program has raised more than $27 million for Doernbecher.
These are the six patients whose designs were selected to be featured on the Air Zoom Pulse:
Desiree Castillo, 12. Treated for: Type I diabetes, celiac disease and depression.
Nike Air Zoom Pulse, designed by Doernbacher Children's Hospital patient Desiree Castillo, 12. (Nike)
Kahleah Corona, 11. Treated for: traumatic brain injury.
Nike Air Zoom Pulse, designed by Doernbacher Children's Hospital patient Kahleah Corona, 11. (Nike)
Ethan Ellis, 16. Treated for: congenital heart defect.
Nike Air Zoom Pulse, designed by Doernbacher Children's Hospital patient Ethan Ellis, 16. (Nike)
Bransen Fernando, 13. Treated for: kidney cancer, kidney transplant.
Nike Air Zoom Pulse, designed by Doernbacher Children's Hospital patient Bransen Fernando, 13. (Nike)
Sawyer miller, 12. Treated for: brain cancer.
Nike Air Zoom Pulse, designed by Doernbacher Children's Hospital patient Sawyer miller, 12. (Nike)
Zion Thompson, 14. Treated for: Hodgkin lymphoma.
Nike Air Zoom Pulse, designed by Doernbacher Children's Hospital patient Zion Thompson, 14. (Nike)
This story was reported from Los Angeles.