By Lisa Hughes

WORCESTER (CBS) – A sign of relief for hospital workers on their feet for 12 or more hours every day as a local footwear company donates comfy sneakers to Worcester nurses.

Those frontline health care providers can use a break. This is one more way the Massachusetts community is saying “Thank You.”

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“Oh, these are comfy,” said one nurse as she tried on the shoes. And that’s the point, to give UMass Memorial Medical Center nurses, and their feet, a little support as they take care of Covid patients.

A nurse tries on Oofos recovery shoes in Worcester (WBZ-TV)

“Personally I work 7 to 7 so I’m 12 hours, but there are other nurses here that do 16 hour shifts, some do 8,” says Lyn Flagg, a UMass nurse in the emergency department. That kind of grueling schedule can take a toll.

So footwear company Oofos, headquartered in Braintree, decided to help. They make what they call “recovery” shoes, sneakers and sandals for people whose feet take a beating, like runners. So they’re perfect for these professionals engaged in a marathon battle to defeat Covid-19.

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Nurses receive free Oofos shoes in Worcester (WBZ-TV)

“We started out with agreeing to do a thousand pair and about 10 hospitals across the country, and now it’s up over 3000 pair and 23 hospitals total. And we’ll do more,” said Steve Gallo, the president of Oofos.

The company has donated shoes to six Massachusetts hospitals including Mass General, Tufts and South Shore. “Just to be able to give them a small token of appreciation with a product that we think can help make a difference and make them feel better is why we’re doing it,” Gallo said.

“I think all of us here are very, very happy that somebody thought of us. This is the first time I’ve ever seen anyone giving shoes, which we love because our feet are pretty sore from the hard work we’ve been doing the last seven weeks, killing Covid,” said Flagg.

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Even before this latest effort, Oofos was already donating 2% of its’ online sales to breast cancer research at Dana Farber in Boston.

Lisa Hughes