Monday, 1 October 2007

Nike shoe for Native Americans

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In an effort to fit the taller and wider foot of the American Indian and combat the population's high obesity rates, Nike has designed the Air Native N7 shoe for Native Americans. Not only is the shape unique, the look is culturally specific, even the name. N7 refers to some tribes' use of the seventh generation theory to seek wisdom from three preceding generations and to look ahead three generations for their legacy.

Nikes have always been too narrow for my foot. The Air Native has a wider toe box, fewer irritating seams and a thick, comfy sock liner. Nike is also pledging to reinvest the shoe's profits in tribal health programs. You won't find N7s in the stores, they'll be distributed to tribal schools and wellness programs nationwide at the wholesale price of $42.80 a pair.

Check out this interesting article summarizing the responses of supporters and cynics to Nike's first culturally-targeted product ever designed. Reactions range from "Nike is socially responsible" to "Nike is racist." What are you thinking?

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