After previewing the 2017 Doernbecher Nike Air VaporMax, we now give you a full look at the 2017 Doernbecher collection from the Swoosh. Six kids continued the 14-year-long tradition of the OHSU Doernbecher Freestyle program with their individual takes on the Nike SB Zoom Stefan Janoski, Nike Air VaporMax Flyknit, Nike Air More Uptempo, Air Jordan 12, Nike Air Max Thea Ultra Flyknit, and Nike Air Huarache Run Ultra.
For those who don’t know about the program, Nike recapped what the initiative has meant to the company since its inception in 2003 — Connor Doherty, the son of Nike creative director and OHSU Doernbecher Foundation board member Michael Doherty, suggested letting the young patients in the hospital design their own Nike sneakers. In 14 years, the program has raised $17 million USD for the hospital and has allowed 85 patient-designers to bring their unique sneaker visions to life in the span of eight months between February and October of each year.
“More than anything though, the Doernbecher Freestyle program has put ‘Doernbecher’ into the vocabulary of sneaker aficionados worldwide. It’s something to look forward to every October, as important to any sneakerhead as the start of the basketball season. Most of them won’t get any closer to the hospital than through a pair of shoes in their collection, but they can hold one patient-designers story in their hands, and read it whenever they wish,” reads the Nike post.
This year, the six patient-designers included Tylan Hibbard (Janoski), Andrew Merydith (VaporMax), Brody Miller (Uptempo), Carissa Navarro (Jordan 12), Amyiah Robinson (Thea) and Brayden Sparkman (Huarache).
Hibbard’s Janoski silhouette is inspired by fishing and features a blue and yellow color palette, clear sole to imitate an underwater feel, rope laces, a cork insole, and his “Be Kind” mantra on the heel.
Merydith’s VaporMax sneaker was inspired by his favorite green and purple BMX jersey, the green found on the his favorite sports teams, and his initials “AM” can be found on the tongue tab.
For Miller, his Uptempo is what his alter ego hero, Generator Man, would rock. The aspiring comic book artist created the hero to shoot healing energy out of his hands and the traditional “AIR” found on the sides of the sneaker are replaced with Miller’s initials, “BPM,” which also stands for “beats per minute” as he fights a rare brain disease daily. Finishing touches include a thunderbolt on the toe and a glow-in-the-dark outsole that reads “Be Strong.”
Carissa Navarro’s Jordan 12s are a gift from her to the sneaker’s owner, “I always have a warm, fuzzy feeling in my soul, and I want everyone to feel the same way,” she says. The outsole features her favorite sports and stuffed dog, Max, while a pizza lacelock highlights her love for the food. She pays homage to her twin sister Savannah on the left heel tab because she kept her alive in the womb — Navarro was born without kidneys and had to rely on her sister until she was old enough to begin dialysis.
Robinson pays respect to her roots on her Theas where the outsole reads “Stay True to Yourself” while the heel features a heart with angel wings to represent her mom, who’s her guardian angel. A map of her hometown in Oklahoma sits inside one insole while a map of Oregon is featured on the other.
Finally, Sparkman’s Huarache is his baseball aspirations in sneaker form. Hoping to make the majors one day, the sneaker has red baseball laces, his logo, the words “Brayden Strong,” and orange as a nod to his favorite baseball and football teams.
Nike’s 2017 Doernbecher Freestyle collection will be available on November 18 via SNKRS app and the apparel collection will launch on nike.com and at select Nike stores. 100% of the proceeds from the sales will go towards OHSU Doernbecher.
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