Nike has unveiled a new Air Native N7 sneaker aimed at the Native American population, marking the company's first shoe designed for a specific race or ethnicity. The athletic apparel maker says that the Air Native was designed with a larger toe box after the company's research revealed that the average Native American has a much wider and taller foot than the average shoe accommodates, according to CNNMoney. Additionally, the design features what one product manager refers to as heritage callouts, such as feather designs. (No, seriously.)
Jerry Bread, outreach coordinator for the Native American Studies program at University of Oklahoma, says the unique shoe design is an excellent gesture, though he expressed skepticism that the shoe would address the unique needs of people from many different tribes. Bread may be most pleased by the fact that tribal wellness programs and schools around the country will be able to obtain the shoe at wholesale, and Nike estimates that it will raise up to $200,000 for tribal programs.
Nike shares are nearly unchanged this morning, and it appears that the stock may be consolidating into support from its 10-day moving average before attempting to run higher. The shares spiked on September 21 after reporting better-than-expected earnings. Option traders are skeptical of Nike's prospects; its Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio of 1.16 is higher than 91% of other such readings taken during the past year.