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How Nike Became The Name We Know And Love

Laced. Lifestyle

Posted on March 03 2019

Nike is perhaps one of the most iconic brands in America. Loved for their shoes and apparel, Nike has made a name for themselves in the world of fashion and athletics. With exclusive shoes that sell-out instantaneously and new sneaker releases that have us all sitting on the edge of our seats in anticipation, Nike is a trusted brand, a source of fashion, and an extremely profitable business.

So how did Nike become a brand that has such a wide reach? The answer is through many years of quality products and intelligent branding. Today we dive into the history of the brand we know and love at Laced and one our customers come looking for every day. Find out how your Nike apparel came to be the coveted cornerstone of fashion and style.

Humble Beginnings

Nike didn’t start out as the giant it is today. In fact, it wasn’t even called Nike at its founding. In 1964, Blue Ribbon Sports was opened as a distributor of then Japanese shoemaker Onitsuka Tiger. It wasn’t until 1971 that Nike would be given its now recognizable name.

Fast Fact: Did you know? Nike was the brainchild of the first employee of the company, Jeff Johnson. He utilized the Greek goddess of victory as inspiration for the name Nike.

Founded by Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight, with only $1,200 in the bank, the brand alone is now worth over $20 billion. These humble beginnings required hard work and a constant desire to improve from its athletically focused founders.

Unique Innovation Strikes

In 1971, Bowerman made his first unique innovation in the world of shoes. While he and his wife enjoyed a waffle breakfast, he had the idea of adding a waffle grooved pattern to the bottom of his shoes. His theory was that this new style would allow for better traction for runners. This led to the “Nike Waffle Trainer”, which cost his wife her waffle iron and was officially patented in 1974.


This was just the start for Nike. One of the many reasons that Nike has been so prominently loved for a number of years is due to its ability to remain on the cutting edge of sports and fashion.

A Founding In Sports

Nike was originally focused solely on athletics. As the Nike Waffle Trainer demonstrated, the company wanted to improve the performance of shoes for athletes. Over time, this foundation in the world of sports was what led it to be such a globally recognized brand. As the shoes improved athletes performance, the Nike name became further esteemed.

A Shift Into The World Of Fashion

While Nike is still a big part of the world of athletics — designing footwear, apparel, and athletic equipment — they made a branch from just being a shoe worn for sports to a brand that is considered fashionable. By the 1980s, Nike’s apparel started becoming a huge part of American youth fashion. From baseball caps to tracksuits to Air Max running shoes, Nike started to become a highly coveted brand among the nation’s teenage population.

By the time the 1990s rolled around, both American and European teens now considered Nike to be a preppy and popular brand. During this era of fashion, Nike clothing started to be paired with everyday fashion and was on the rise in terms of prestige.

By the late 2000s, Nike made its way into the world of hip-hop, celebrities, and the fashion forward. This constant move into an increasingly coveted role is what has turned a small shoe store into a massively recognized brand.

Nike Today

Today, Nike is headquartered in the Portland metropolitan area in a town called Beaverton, Oregon. It is now the world’s largest supplier of athletic shoes and apparel, with a globally recognized name. Needless to say, Nike keeps pushing the envelope of what they can do both in the world of athletics and in the world of fashion. Nike is constantly creating and designing new shoes, apparel, and gear that are aimed at giving its consumers quality and forward-thinking products.

From their catchy slogan of “Just Do It” to their iconic swoosh logo, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t been influenced by this massive brand. As the future unfolds, it is certain that Nike will continue to be at the forefront of fashion, design, and the world of athletics.

Purchase Top Nike Products At Laced

Here at Laced, we offer a vast selection of the top Nike shoes and apparel. From Nike Air Max to Nike Air Force, we offer the cutting edge of fashion offered by this iconic brand. We are strong believers in the quality and style of Nike and constantly stock our LA shoe store with their latest shoe styles. If you are looking for a specific pair of Nikes, we invite you to come visit us and chat with our team.

Not only can you find the very best in Nike shoes, but you can also browse a selection of Nike apparel. Pick up a cozy but stylish hoodie or compliment your new Nikes with a pair of foil gold tights. If you need some help, our stylists can assist you in choosing the perfect Nike products to make your look complete. While the days of waffle iron shoes might now be behind this fashion giant, we know the future will continue to be bright for the esteemed name of Nike.

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