I couldn't resist showing off my new shoes. Cute, yes (at least I think so), but they're actually something pretty special. It turns out that they're part of a benefit that Nike has been doing for the last few years for the Oregon Health and Science University's Doernbecher Children's Hospital. Each year they pick out half a dozen kids who have been treated at the hospital for serious illnesses, and let them design their own shoes! Each one gets teamed up with a Nike designer to help translate their ideas into reality. Then all proceeds from the sale of the shoes go to the hospital.
You can see pictures of the kids and the shoes they designed on the Oregon Health and Science University site, here. My pick was designed by a young lady named Alice Heinz. Not only did Alice pick out the colors, but laser-etched into the leather are a few of Alice's favorite things, like guinea pigs and cheese. :) In the picture, if you look closely, you can just see a sunburst on the dark blue. There's a nice article about sweet little Alice and her shoe design in the Corvallis Gazette-Times, here.
We just stumbled upon them in the Niketown store in Eugene, Oregon, but I understand that just a couple of weeks ago they were released for sale nationwide and on-line. The Eugene Niketown is also kind of fun in itself; it's basically a shrine to the famous University of Oregon track stars and the coach who, not incidentally, in trying to help his runners, came up with the revolutionary waffled rubber shoe soles that led to the creation of Nike.
So, while I realize they're not knitting-related, they make me smile, because of the happy colors, because of the fun the kids must have had creating them, and because of the good they're doing for the hospital and other kids.
Besides, wouldn't they look great with a nice bright pair of handknitted socks?