Nike will donate 30,000 shoes to frontline workers fighting Covid-19

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(CNN Business)-Nike is donating 30,000 pairs of shoes — specifically designed for healthcare workers — to health systems and hospitals in cities across the United States.

The Air Zoom Pulse, which was released in November 2019, is the company’s “first shoe designed for the healthcare athlete, an everyday hero,” Nike said in its announcement on Monday. The company went to OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland, Oregon, to study those in the profession.

They took into account the challenges of those on the job — including long hours on their feet and liquid spills — and the comfort needed for long shifts.

Nike (NKE) 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, according to Nike. The company said health care workers in New York City and Los Angeles will also receive about 95,000 pairs of soccer socks offering mild compression.

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

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted his appreciation for the sportswear company.”Thank you so much for supporting our front line health care heroes,” he wrote on Monday. Hospitals across Europe — including Barcelona, Berlin, London, Milan, Paris and Belgium — will receive an additional 2,500 pairs, Nike said.

More than 3.5 million cases of the novel coronavirus, including at least 251,000 deaths, have been recorded worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University. Nike’s donation comes as healthcare workers continue to help battle the coronavirus pandemic, often putting themselves at risk.

Many are helping patients without adequate supplies and equipment. Nike said some of its teams came together to help create and donate full-face shields and powered, air-purifying respirator (PAPR) lenses to help protect healthcare workers. To date, Nike and the Nike Foundation have committed more than $25 million to Covid-19 relief efforts, according to the company.

— CNN’s Elise Hammond contributed to this report.

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