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The brand announced on Monday that it plans to donate 30,000 pairs of its Air Zoom Pulse shoes to health care heroes fighting the COVID-19 outbreak on the front lines. The sneakers will be distributed in hospitals and health care systems in New York City, Chicago, Memphis and Los Angeles, as well the Veterans Health Administration.
Another 2,500 pairs of the kicks will be donated to hospitals in Barcelona, Berlin, London, Milan, Paris and Belgium.
Nike touted the Air Zoom Pulse as the company’s “first shoe designed for the health care athlete, an everyday hero,” in a statement announcing the news. The shoe’s fit, cushioning and traction systems were touted as being designed to keep the foot secure in hospital settings, and the shoes themselves were designed with considerations from medical professionals at Oregon Health and Science University and Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland, Ore., in mind.
“From one athlete to another, Nike athletes recognize the physical and mental resilience of health care athletes,” the brand said, saluting the critical role of health care heroes in the global fight against the novel coronavirus.
Nike has partnered with the nonprofit Good360 to donate the shoes in the U.S. and local organizations in Europe to distribute the shoes overseas. The shoe donation is part of the brand’s largest pledge to give away over 140,000 pieces of footwear, apparel and equipment globally amid the pandemic.
About 95,000 pairs of soccer socks with “mild compression” will also be given to health care personnel in New York City and Los Angeles through Good360.
The athletic wear giant had previously delivered 1,100 Nike Sportswear kits (including a drawstring bag, heat or headband, socks and water bottle) to health care personnel in the Big Apple. In Europe, Nike has distributed an additional 4,000 pairs of shoes and over 3,500 pieces of Dri-Fit clothing to over a dozen hospitals and shelters.
Nike’s global apparel donation is worth over $5.5 million, the company said.