Nike Looks to Tap into Home Health Labor Market

Nike is saying “just do it” to home health care.

The international footwear and sporting apparel behemoth earlier this month unveiled a brand new shoe specially designed for “nurses, doctors, home health providers and others who tirelessly support patients.”

Developed hand in hand with medical workers, the Nike Air Zoom Pulse will be released on Dec. 7 and retail for $120.

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“The designers of the Air Zoom Pulse learned the rigors of … health care workers’ day-to-day efforts,” Nike spokesperson Sandra Carreon-John told Home Health Care News in an email. “Nurses, for example, walk approximately four to five miles and sit for less than an hour during the course of a 12-hour shift. The work is physically and mentally demanding.”

Product testing for the new shoe took place at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland, Oregon, not too far away from Nike’s global headquarters.

To support home health workers and other on-the-go medical professionals, the Nike Air Zoom Pulse is easy to slip on and off, simple to clean and comfortable to wear.

The shoe additionally comes with a coated toe box, protecting workers from any type of potentially hazardous spill.

“One can think of the Air Zoom Pulse as almost a traditional clog made athletic — all the arch and posture support of that industry favorite is augmented in the Pulse, with a smooth capacity for natural motion,” Carreon-John said.

While Nike hopes its new shoe will assist home health care workers with their demanding jobs, the Air Zoom Pulse also reflects the mounting attention the industry is receiving more broadly.

An estimated 1.5 million home health employees worked in the field in 2018, according to the latest Home Health Chartbook from the Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation and Avalere.

Meanwhile, the employment of home health aides and personal care aides is projected to grow 36% from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.

Those figures make home health care a substantial market to tap into — for Nike or any company.

Nike’s full-year revenue checked in at $39.1 billion for its 2019 fiscal year, which ended May 31. All profits from the Nike Air Zoom Pulse will be donated to OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, according to Nike.

Nike did not respond to an HHCN inquiry asking if any home health providers had planned to purchase the shoe for their workers.

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