NIKE shoes customizedNike yesterday unveiled the Nike Air Native N7, a unique athletic performance shoe designed specifically for Native Americans. The N7 is the result of nearly two years of collaborative research and fit testing in partnership with the Native American community to develop the first performance shoe based on the unique shape of the Native American foot. Profits from the sale of the Nike Air Native N7 will to support “Let Me Play” programs on Native American lands that promote an active and healthy lifestyle through sports.

The shoe’s design draws inspiration directly from Native American culture, honoring their traditional Seventh Generation philosophy, an approach that respects the impact of decisions made today on seven generations. Decisions like the effort to produce less waste.

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.

“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.”

“This 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 engaging 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.


hanks to Laura, a GNN member, for recommending this story, and called it “a very good example of corporate compassion and responsibility.”


  1. It’s great that companies are increasingly taking pride in doing what they can with their areas of specialist knowledge. More and more companies are doing this, and each one I hear about touches me. Thanks, Geri for writing this and to Laura.

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