Bill Bowerman Handmade Waffle Spike Shoes


Bill Bowerman is the heart of Nike. Bowerman, one of Nike’s founders, was one of the greatest innovators of his generation in regards to shoe ingenuity and design. Obsessed with weight and performance, Bowerman would build shoes for his University of Oregon runners from scratch, often using an assemblage of raw materials. This pair, made by Nike’s co-founder exclusively for his runner John Mays, represents an important chapter in the origin of one of America’s greatest companies, Nike. The shoes themselves, produced in the early 1970s with its most recent modification in 1974 are glued together, as opposed to stitched. The brown glue can be seen throughout the uppers, especially where layers of material are held together. Unfortunately, as a result of this intensive and careful process – often undertaken in places without the proper ventilation – Bill would later suffer from nerve damage that would require him to walk with a cane. These shoes sold at auction for $162,500.