Hoka One One is donating 5,000 pairs of its heavily cushioned shoes to health-care workers across the country.
The retailers that sell the brand’s shoes will identify the doctors, nurses and other health-care employees in their communities to whom the sneakers will be distributed. To launch the program, Hoka has partnered with JackRabbit, a New York-area sporting goods chain, to supply more than 400 pairs to two severely impacted hospitals in the New York and New Jersey area.
“Right now, front line medical workers are faced with a tremendous battle, and we are here to support them however we can,” said Wendy Yang, president of Hoka. “Their job is to save lives, which makes manufacturing and selling footwear seem trivial by comparison, but we hope by donating these shoes we can help provide some assistance and relief during this incredibly strenuous and demanding time.”
In addition, Deckers Brands, Hoka’s parent company, has committed more than $1 million in funds and product donations to the fight against COVID-19. On Monday, it said it has established the Santa Barbara Better Together Fund at the Santa Barbara Foundation to help provide economic support to the community of the greater Santa Barbara, Calif., area where Deckers has been based for over 47 years. So far, one grant has been awarded to Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV), an organization aimed at empowering women business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs and currently working to provide emergency financial assistance to small businesses during COVID-19 crisis.
Hoka, which is best known for its cushioned running shoes, have now become a fashion industry favorite, partnering with Opening Ceremony, Outdoor Voices, Engineered Garments and others. It recently launched its first apparel and accessories collection.