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Brief Published: 28 Nov 2019

Nike for Nurses: New Sneakers Designed for Medical Workers


Available from December 7, the Nike Air Zoom Pulse is specifically designed for nurses, doctors, and other medical professionals whose jobs require them to be on their feet for prolonged periods throughout the day. The shoe was developed with direct input from workers in the industry themsleves.

Featuring a rubber sole for extra grip on wet floors, the mid-sole and heel structure were specifically developed to ensure the wearer’s comfort when standing and walking in medical environments for long hours. Both comfortable and functional, the Pulse’s flexibility means it is able to adapt to the varied paces required of the wearer. The exterior material is also easy to clean, and the shoes are elasticated instead of laced, making them easy to put on and take off.

A percentage of the proceeds made from the sale of the shoes will go to the Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland, Oregon, where they were co-developed with and tested by staff. Nike prioritised regular sessions with the workers so that they could better identify and tackle daily issues workers might encounter. For example, discovering that nurses can walk an average of four to five miles during a 12-hour shift helped to inspire the design of the shoe’s extra-flexible sole.

Brands would be wise to follow Nike’s lead by working directly with their target audience, to accurately identify their needs. For more on purpose-led design, see Instagangs: Design for Purpose and Humanising the Hospital: IV-Walk Wearable.