As frontline workers soldier spending long and brutal hours battling the coronavirus in hospitals, Nike is doing their part to try and help by donating special sneakers to aid in the fight. Nike said they will donate 30,000 pairs of Air Zoom Plus to health systems and hospitals in cities across the United States.
The company said they had observed what the conditions were like for medical workers inside OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland, Oregon where the staff are spending a majority of their time on their feet. Nike wanted to curb some of the spills workers took due to inadequate footwear and help relieve pressure on their feet.
Nike announced they partnered with Good360, a non-profit specializing in efficient distribution of product donations, to help deliver the shoes to workers in Chicago, Los Angeles, Memphis and New York City, and within the Veterans Health Administration.
"The effort is led by messages of gratitude to healthcare professionals," Nike said in a press release. "From one athlete to another, Nike athletes recognize the physical and mental resilience of healthcare athletes."
The company said they are also sending the sneakers overseas, with an additional 2,500 pairs being donated to hospitals in European cities, including Barcelona, Berlin, London, Milan, Paris and Belgium.
The company said they are also donating 95,000 pairs of compression socks, normally used for soccer players, to also aid in the wear and tear on workers feet.
Following the news of Nike’s donation, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted his gratitude.
"Thank you so much for supporting our front line health care heroes," he wrote Monday.
Nike Air Zoom Pulse was first released in 2019 and is the company’s first shoe designed for the healthcare athlete, “an everyday hero” they said in a statement.
Nike didn’t stop at the shoes and socks. They also announced donated 1,100 Nike Sportswear kits, which included drawstring bag, water bottle, hat or headband and socks to healthcare workers in New York City.
“Our Nike family has come together to serve our communities and support our COVID-19 response efforts in communities around the world. Nike’s leaders, employees, the Nike Foundation and Nike have committed more than $25 million to these efforts, including $2 million in employee donations, supercharged by a two-to-one match since mid-March to support community organizations in need. Teams across Nike also came together to create and donate full-face shields and powered, air-purifying respirator (PAPR) lenses to help protect healthcare workers against the coronavirus,” the company said.
As of Tuesday, there are 1.21 million confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States. Around 160,000 people have recovered, while more than 69,680 have died from the virus.