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36 Years Ago; The Nike Oregon Waffle Racer is Introduced

September 30th, 2009

Jason Lewis and Wes Galloway from Mizuno were in this morning to say hi and check on things.  Nice guys who are certifiable shoe geeks.  Jason took a few of the photos from one of our previous blog posts for his own Sneaker Consipiracy blog (http://sneakerconspiracy.blogspot.com/).  While in my office Jason asked to see the May ’77 Runner’s World magazine I got them from.  While thumbing through, he found an ad for the EB Lydiard Shoes, so he took a photo of it from his cell phone for future blogging use.  While he was looking at that issue, I pulled a few Runner’s World issues from ’73.  Wes was happy to see ads his dad had placed in the magazine for the infamous Phidippides Running Singlet.

After they left, I took a quick peek from the 1973 issues and found an article in the January issue about the new upcoming racing shoe being developed by Bill Bowerman and Geoff Hollister that featured a spikeless outsole.  Their test results showed most of the top runners who wore them ran very well in them, better than expected, plus the shoes were more comfortable than their spiked counterparts.  What they developed was a shoe that had the best of both worlds, a good amount of traction, plus an outsole that could be used on the road, grass, dirt or track.  36 years ago, the Nike Waffle Racer was introduced.  The shoe coach Bowerman destroyed his wife’s waffle iron developing.  A pretty significant shoe in the history of competitive shoe development.

Here’s the article on the development of the Waffle outsole for Blue Ribbon Sports from the January 1973 issue of Runner’s World and also an ad for the final production of the Nike Oregon Waffle Racer from the December 1973 issue of Runner’s World.

Runners World Jan 73 Blue Ribbon Sports Waffle Development Article

Runner's World Jan '73 Blue Ribbon Sports Waffle Development Article

December 73 Runners World ad for the new Nike Waffe Racer

December '73 Runner's World ad for the new Nike Waffe Racer

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