Today we’ll have a look at the Zoom Pulse, one of Nike’s specialty shoes created for medical personnel, and review its features. For decades, Nike has been a champion in innovating with their shoes and creating new styles that address specific needs by athletes. With the Zoom Pulse the brand stepped up their game and addressed a new field, the workers in medical facilities. To create this one of a kind shoe the designers worked with the healthcare workers at the Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland where one of Nike’s headquarters is located. The goal was to create a comfortable shoe, easy to clean and wear. The shoe was released in November 2019, just before the Covid 19 pandemic began. It was sold out immediately and was only available again later in 2020.

How They Fit

We got on our hands a pair of the original colorway released initially, the black with teal tint and blue hero colors. Out of the box the shoes feel very comfortable and lightweight. The look is close to the ones of clogs but this is where the comparison ends. It is a slightly bulky shoe yet stylish, featuring Pulse design throughout along with the Swoosh logo.

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The Nike Zoom Pulse features a synthetic material upper that is water resistant to address one of the main concerns with the shoes nurses wear, keeping them clean. The healthcare workers often wear Nike shoes but none of them were made especially for this purpose and this is one of the aspects this new style addresses. However, we found that in some instances the synthetic material starts showing cracks within months of use. Even if they are waterproof in the first place it may not hurt to add some waterproof spray coating anyways to delay the cracking. They are very easy to put on and take off due to the 2 pull tabs and a flexible heel which features an elastic band that is supposed to keep your feet comfortably locked in. However, you must figure out the correct size in order not to have the heel area rub with your heel with every step and even get blisters. In our case we felt that the shoes fit true to size and they felt comfortable to walk in and stand for many hours. However, each foot is different and you may have to go down or up half a size in some cases. The toe box is very roomy which makes these great for those with wide feet while for others it will look and feel a bit bulky. 

Sole Unit

The sole unit is made of two parts; a removable insole and the outsole. It looks like Nike skipped the midsole all together with a clear goal of keeping these shoes lightweight. The insole is made of soft foam that is probably engineered EVA and it also features a ZOOM cushioning patch in the heel for added support. The insole is responsible for all the cushioning you get with this shoe. It is very comfortable at first but especially for those with a flat foot or high arch the support wears off after a while which may be an issue when wearing these on long shifts. What we came to realize during our Nike Zoom Pulse review was that these work great for normal pronators. The outsole is very thin and flexible, being made of a rubber material that ensures great traction on wet and dry surfaces.

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Bottom Line 

To conclude our Nike Zoom Pulse review, these are certainly a solid option when it comes to shoes for nurses and doctors. They are one of the only specialty shoes made by a major brand and they are worth trying. Even if the original retail price of $120 may be a turn off, you can find these at a much lower price at outlets or on eBay. These are unisex in sizing so if you are not sure what size to get you can check our Nike size chart here

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