View Full Version : How Nike was invented

Hammock Parties
12-28-2006, 05:57 PM
I just finished watching "Without Limits" and it's a really interesting story. Here's the wiki article:

In 1964, Bowerman entered into a handshake agreement with Phil Knight, who had been a miler under him in the 1950s, to start an athletic footwear distribution company called Blue Ribbon Sports, later known as Nike, Inc.. Knight managed the business end of the partnership, while Bowerman experimented with improvements in athletic footwear design.

Bowerman's design ideas led to the creation of the "Cortez" training shoe in 1967 (the comparable Adidas model was dubbed the "Aztec" - in honor of the upcoming Olympic games - which civilization was conquered at the hands of Hernán Cortés), which quickly became a top-seller and remains one of Nike's most iconic footwear designs. Bowerman designed several Nike shoes, but is best known for ruining his wife's waffle iron in 1971, experimenting with the idea of using waffle-ironed rubber to create a new sole for footwear that would grip but be lightweight.

Bowerman's design inspiration led to the introduction of the so-called "Moon Shoe" in 1972, so named because the waffle tread was said to resemble the footprints left by astronauts on the moon. Further refinement resulted in the "Waffle Trainer" in 1974, which helped fuel the explosive growth of Blue Ribbon Sports/Nike.

Bowerman's obsession with shaving weight off his athletes' running shoes was legendary. He believed that custom-made shoes would weigh less on the feet of his runners and cut down on blisters, as well as reduce the overall drag on their energy for every ounce he could remove from the shoe.

Today, the headquarters for Nike is located on Bowerman Drive in homage of the company's co-founder.