A sports shoe designed with the needs of nurses in mind?
There are thousands of different types of shoes on the market designed for various athletes.
But until now, sports shoes didn’t exist for nurses. (Even though the physicality required to be a nurse can be just as strenuous as any other athletic performance – but without the recognition).
The Nike Air Zoom Pulse is coming out this month and will be the first athletic performance shoe for medical professionals.
Nursing is a sport of its own
It requires the same hustle, grit, and tenacity that many athletes are portrayed as having every single day in the media. But its more than just sweat and tears – nurses are also saving lives and helping humankind in the process.
There are 3 million nurses in the United States – many struggle with chronic foot pain, back pain, and generalized pain as a result of the intensity of our careers. Primarily because, as nurses, we are on our feet for so many hours a day.
In fact, as an Emergency Room nurse, I am always standing and moving for 12 hours a shift. And after only seven years in the profession, I am already struggling with chronic back and knee pain.
The Nike Air Zoom Pulse shoes: occupational hazard prevention for nurses?
Nike says this shoe is for the everyday hero: nurses, doctors, home health providers and other medical professionals who are working round-the-clock to provide patient care.
At first glance, the shoe appears to be a hybrid of a cross trainer and a clog – making it easy to slip on and off, but still sturdy like a tennis shoe.
They are lace-less, which most nurses can appreciate. Working in the hospital setting means coming in contact with fluids and nasty germs – and shoelaces are impossible to get clean.
Also, Nike states on its website that the upper section of the shoes have a protective coating, which makes them easy to clean.
Working in the hospital setting can get slippery
It is no surprise that not wearing a slip-resistant nursing shoe is an occupational hazard for nurses. We are frequently walking around on hard and sometimes wet surfaces. The floors are regularly being cleaned in between patients, and there are occasional spills that can sometimes result in unintended falls.
It happens so frequently that some facilities even pay for nurses to receive a new pair of nursing shoes every six months! In turn, this helps protect nurses from injuries that could have otherwise resulted in an injury and disability from work.
The #1 feature of these shoes that caught my attention was how NIKE is promoting them to be especially slip-resistant on hard surfaces, such as hospital floors. (I once slipped in a patients room and sprained my ankle when I was wearing running shoes that I had been wearing for only a month).
Product testing with nurses in a hospital
What I appreciate most about what I have read about this shoe is that it has been tested on actual medical professionals during working hours at a hospital. All of their product testing was done at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital located in Portland, Oregon. The NIKE Air Zoom Pulse designers worked with nurses in the healthcare environment to create a shoe that works for long stretches of standing and quick movement when emergencies strike.
Can a shoe be both comfortable for long stretches of standing and versatile enough to support the fast movements required in emergencies? The NIKE website states that the Air Zoom Pulse shoes have the following features
- Easy to get on and off
- Super simple to clean
- Have the right cushioning and traction to secure the foot in all hospital conditions
- Slip-resistant “water dispersive traction”
Nike Air Zoom Pulse: game-changer for the nurse athletes?
Time will tell how well these perform on nurses, but I am very interested in finding out. The release date for the Nike Air Zoom Pulse is on December 6, 2019. It is perfectly timed for right before the holidays.
If you are a medical professional who has wear shoes in the workplace, please share your thoughts!
Additional recommended reading:
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❤️ Patient & RN Advocate
🖥 Blogger/Freelance Writer
🏥 Urban Zen Integrative Therapist