Typically, when a new pair of Nike shoes is announced, there’s a big name athlete like Serena Williams or LeBron James attached. But the company’s latest design is not necessarily fitness focused, but instead targeted at “everyday heroes” like doctors, nurses, and home health aides.
According to a company press release, nurses walk an average of four to five miles and sit for only one hour during a 12-hour shift. That’s a serious amount of work for shoes to live up to. Enter the Nike Air Zoom Plus, which was created for men and women who spend a lot of time on their feet at work. “The fit, cushioning, and traction systems work together to secure the foot in all hospital conditions,” the company says.
The Nike shoes, which were tested at the OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland, Oregon, are designed to be easy to take on and off, but also “comfortable for long stretches of standing and versatile enough to support the hurried movements required in emergency situations.” The sneaker is inspired by a clog (a popular footwear choice for people in the medical field, as you may have noticed at your last checkup). The Air Zoom plus is a less clunky alternative that’s also boosted with Nike’s Zoom Air heel technology typically reserved for the brand’s most high-performing athletic shoes.
The shoe pros that they are, Nike also thought about the special conditions one encounters in a hospital environment that you wouldn’t on, say, a basketball or tennis court. Since workers may encounter spills, they added a coated toe box to the shoe. Because hospital floors are smooth and can be slick, there’s a special traction pattern on the sole. And of course, they look great. Even if you don’t work in a hospital, they sound pretty fantastic—especially if your job also requires you to spend a lot of time on your feet.
The release sends a powerful message: Nurses and doctors deserve to be just as well taken care of as the world’s top athletes.