People don’t often look at the bottom of their shoes. Why would they? The bottoms of shoes spend most of their time face-down, collecting dirt and yet selflessly supporting our weight all the while. It’s obviously not the best canvas for a designer. But sometimes subtle messages find their way there anyway – found only by those who dare to look. And Nike has just given new life to the bottom of their latest shoe design, made especially for nurses and others working those long, grueling hospital shifts.
In the hospital, urgent issues that require long, unpredictable hours of constant attention are the norm. That’s why doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals are assigned to such long shifts, which often keep them on their feet all day long. It’s hard on the body – especially the feet.
And who better than an expert shoe company to design a shoe that can best support these working conditions?
Nike went straight to the source, examining healthcare workers at the Children’s Hospital in Portland to collect insights from the staffers on what their feet need to perform best and stay in good shape, then develop and test a sneaker design for them. The end result? The Nike Air Zoom Pulse.
Comfort is the name of this shoe. Nike’s investigations found that healthcare workers “walk approximately four to five miles and sit for less than an hour during the course of a 12-hour shift.” First, they added extra comfortable features to the mid-sole and heel so that the shoes could be as supportive as they are secure for a busy environment. That was paired with rubber soles, providing extra traction on slippery floors. Then they added an efficient, laceless exterior, coated with a material that’s easy to clean with a simple wipe.
Flip the shoe over, and you’ll see a lifeline stretching from the toe to the heel…and from Nike to their perhaps most timeless clients.
Six versions of the shoe will be available for purchase on December 7th, and Nike is also committing a portion of the profits to Children’s Hospital.