Editorial: Celebrate the Air Native N7 shoe

"Happy Native American Day.

South Dakota has been celebrating it ever since the state legislature changed the second Monday in October from Columbus Day to Native American Day in 1989.

This year, Native Americans have something else to celebrate — a new pair of shoes from Nike designed to address health and lifestyle challenges in the Native community. the Air Native N7.

While acknowledging that the Air Native N7 shoe is a bit of marketing genius by Nike that garnered plenty of free publicity for its brand name, we think the athletic shoe company deserves recognition for its positive efforts to address obesity, diabetes and other health issues among Native Americans. Nike has had its share of bad publicity in the past for producing shoes with sweatshop labor and low wages in Third World countries.

Citing its own field research that indicates many Native people have a wider and taller than average foot, the Air Native N7 is a wide shoe with a bigger toe box. This led some of our Native acquaintenances to joke, with characteristic humor, that Nike thinks they’re related to the mythical Bigfoot, even while they expressed a positive reaction to the customized shoe.

Like many in his community, Bruce Long Fox was excited that a major retailer identified a Native American market. “Manufacturers don’t often customize to us. That’s refreshing and exciting,” he said."

Get the Story:
Edtorial: Air Native N7 shoe a reason to celebrate this holiday (The Rapid City Journal 10/8)

Another Story:
Shortbull spokeswoman for Nike Air Native N7 (the Rapid City Journal 10/6)

Relevant Links:
Nike - http://www.nike.com

Related Stories:
Column: Put me down for the Air Native N7 shoe (10/4)
Nike's 'Air Native' shoes draw some complaints (10/3)
Nike develops the 'Air Native N7' for Native feet (9/26)