Nike (NKE) is jumping into the medical footwear category. The Nike Air Zoom Pulse is a shoe specifically designed for what Nike calls “everyday heroes” — medical professionals.
To see what doctors, nurses and other health-care workers actually need in a shoe, the swoosh brand took to a familiar place, OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. Nike has a longstanding partnership with the Portland, Oregon, medical facility in which child patients design shoes for Nike. Proceeds from the sales go to benefit the hospital.
One of the Air Zoom Pulse’s main goals, according to Nike, is to tackle the physical and mental challenges medical workers face on their feet. To do that, members of the Nike design team sat down with medical workers and learned the rigors of their day-to-day jobs for some on-the-ground product testing. Designers strove to make a shoe comfortable enough for long stretches of standing and versatile enough to support the fast movements required in certain emergencies.
The Air Zoom Pulse, like Nike’s FlyEase series, is easy to get in and out of and easy to clean. The cushioning, fit, and traction systems work together to secure the foot. These shoes are made to be put through their paces. Hospital nurses walk approximately four to five miles and sit for less than an hour during a single 12-hour shift.
Nike looks to compete with Skechers (SKX) in the medical professional footwear space. The Nike Air Zoom Pulse retails for $120 and comes in 6 colorways.
Reggie Wade is a writer for Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter at @ReggieWade.