First-Of-Its-Kind Shoe Designed Specifically for Native Americans
September 25, 2007
BEAVERTON, Ore. (25 September, 2007) – Nike today unveiled the Nike Air Native N7, a unique athletic performance shoe designed specifically for Native Americans. The Nike Air Native N7 is the result of nearly two years of collaborative research, development and fit testing in partnership with the Native American community. This first-of-a-kind performance shoe is built on a new and unique last created to address the specific fit and width requirements for the Native American foot. The result is a true Native fitting, performance product.
The Nike Air Native N7 shoe marks another milestone in Nike’s long-standing commitment to Native American communities. Profits from the sale of the Nike Air Native N7 will support “Let Me Play” programs on Native American lands that leverage sport to promote an active and healthy lifestyle.
The Nike Air Native N7 shoe also embraces Nike’s Considered design ethos, where details in the development and design of the shoe are geared to deliver sustainable innovation and reduce waste, without compromising product performance. The Considered design ethos also honors the traditional Native American Seventh Generation philosophy, an approach that respects the impact of decisions made today on seven generations. The shoe’s design draws inspiration directly from Native American culture.
The Nike Air Native N7 shoe and “Let Me Play” programs deepen Nike’s long-term commitments to challenge and address some of the specific health and wellness issues that exist within Native American communities. A strong emphasis was placed on providing a performance product that would cater to the specific needs of Native American foot shapes and help provide motivation to Native Americans predisposed to, or suffering from, health issues that can be improved by leading physically active lifestyles.
As well as being built on a new Native specific last, the shoe is constructed from the inside out to ensure significantly improved comfort and fit. This approach results in reduced seams and layering, while the use of performance foams at key points provides additional cushioning in specific areas of the shoe. In combination these elements help to improve overall fit and help wearers to avoid foot irritations caused by ill-fitting footwear. Creating a shoe designed in this way is another step in helping to promote and sustain physical activity and address health issues prevalent within the Native American community.
“Nike is aware of the growing health issues facing Native Americans,” explained Sam McCracken, Manager of Nike’s Native American Business program. “Through the Nike Air Native N7 we are stepping up our commitment to use our voice on a local, regional and national level to elevate the issue of Native American health and wellness. We believe physical activity can and should be a fundamental part of the health and wellness of all Native Americans.”
“The Nike Air Native N7 marks an important moment for us and is a great example of what can be achieved when we challenge ourselves to innovate for a better world,” said Mark Parker, President and CEO of Nike, Inc. “This product represents innovation beyond athletic performance, helping to improve Native American communities. It also exemplifies Nike’s broader commitment towards sustainable design and community involvement.” The Nike Air Native N7 project has been a true collaboration with the Native American community and key stakeholders engaged in the health and wellness issues surrounding Native American populations. Research has engaged individuals from over 70 tribes as well as consulting podiatrists and members of Indian Health Services and the National Indian Health Board.
“Nike’s development of the Nike Air Native N7 comes at a critical time for the health and well-being of the Native American population,” said Dr. Rodney Stapp, Chief Executive Officer for the Urban Inter-Tribal Center of Texas, one of 36 urban Indian Health Centers funded by I.H.S. and a consulting podiatrist on the Nike Air Native N7 project. “Today, more than ever, we are faced with rising rates of chronic diseases brought on in large part by overweight and inactivity and for which physical activity is a noted step in the prevention of such diseases. The fact that Nike has been a long-time advocate for physical activity on Native Lands through its Native American Business Program speaks volumes to its true understanding of the growing need to tackle Native American health issues with the positive antidote of movement and sport.”
The Nike Air Native N7 is a Nike+ enabled fitness shoe designed for a range of sports and activities. The Nike Air Native N7 will only be available through Nike’s Native Business Program as an additional way for Native American communities to provide Nike product incentives at preferential prices to their members through health promotion and disease prevention programs.
Read more about the Nike Air Native N7
About NIKE, Inc. (NYSE:NKE) Based near Beaverton, Oregon, Nike is the world's leading designer, marketer and distributor of authentic athletic footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories for a wide variety of sports and fitness activities. Wholly owned Nike subsidiaries include Converse Inc., which designs, markets and distributes athletic footwear, apparel and accessories; NIKE Bauer Hockey Inc., a leading designer and distributor of hockey equipment; Cole Haan, which designs, markets, and distributes fine dress and casual shoes and accessories; Hurley International LLC, which designs, markets and distributes action sports and youth lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories and Exeter Brands Group LLC, which designs and markets athletic footwear and apparel for the value retail channel.
Let Me Play Let Me Play – Nike’s new signature community effort – will expand the company’s commitment to sports and physical fitness for youth through the recognition that by playing sports, young people can make themselves, their communities and their world better. In additional to building surfaces for play, Let Me Play provides grants and product donations to support young people in their quest for sport; and it brings volunteers, organizations and decision-makers together to improve opportunities that help youth grow up healthy and active.