5 Things to Know about the Nike Waffle

5 Things to Know about the Nike Waffle

The Nike Waffle racer is a popular shoe with an interesting history. Feel free to read about some facts associated with the Nike Waffle here.

Keyword(s): Nike Waffle


Raking in $34.4 billion in annual revenue, Nike is renowned for producing some of the best sneakers in the world. Not only has the Nike brand shod the feet of famous athletes, but it has also gained an almost cult-like fashion following. 

How did it all start? Partly with the Nike Waffle Trainer. 

The Nike waffle sole was the first of its kind and has a very interesting backstory. It is such an integral part of sneaker culture that it has earned itself a place in the Museum of American History. 

Do you consider yourself an informed sneaker connoisseur? Or maybe you love pop culture and history? Either way, you need to know the story of the Nike waffle sole. 

Get clued up and keep reading to find out 5 things to know about the Nike Waffle sole. 

1. The First Nike Waffle Shoe Was Made With a Waffle Iron

One of the most interesting, iconic, and quite humorous parts of the story of the Nike Waffle Trainer is how it was invented. 

Before the Nike Waffle Trainer, athletic shoes had either relatively flat, dense soles or spiked soles. 

In the early 1970s, running tracks started transitioning to artificial surfaces instead of the traditional crushed cinder. Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman was looking for a way to create soles for running shoes without spikes that could grip on all surfaces.

One morning in 1971, Bill Bowerman was having waffles for breakfast with his wife. Legend has it that as one of the waffles came out he struck on the idea that if the mold was inverted, it could create the perfect pattern for the kind of sole he was looking for. 

According to his wife, Bill Bowerman then raced into his laboratory, grabbed "two cans of whatever it is you pour together to make the urethane" and poured them straight into the waffle iron. 

With that, history was made. Mrs. Bowerman's waffle iron would never be quite the same, but a new era of sneakers was born. 

2. The Nike Waffle Sole Is Protected by Patent

After the successful release of the original Nike Waffle Trainer, the waffle sole design went on to revolutionize the sneaker industry. 

Over time, Nike tweaked the original design and released new and improved lines of waffle soled sneakers, such as the Nike Waffle Racer. 

More recently, Nike has released two retro throwbacks to the original Nike Waffle Trainer. These are the Nike Waffle One and the Nike Waffle Trainer 2. 

Both of these sport the waffle sole design and come complete with retro touches, while incorporating all the new sneaker technology that Nike has developed over the decades since the original Nike Waffle Trainer. 

Individual colorways of some of the Nike Waffle Trainer descendants have sparked their own niche following, such as the Nike Waffle One Summit White.

Given that the waffle sole is such an important part of both Nike's history and its current sneaker lines, it's no surprise that the waffle design is protected under the United States patent #3,793,750.

3. Nike Waffle Sneaks Had Their Own Clever Slogan

Feel like a chuckle?

One of the slogans that Nike used in their marketing campaign for the original Nike Waffle Trainer was "Made Famous by Word of Foot Advertising".

Clever, but a bit of a mouthful.

We aren't marketing gurus, but we can see why "Just Do It" was the slogan that stood the test of time. 

4. A Pair of Vintage Nike Waffle Sneakers Claimed the Title for Most Expensive Shoe Ever Sold

Another way that the Nike Waffle Trainer made history was on the auction block. 

If you're a sneakerhead, then you probably know all about the high prices sought after, limited, or vintage sneakers can command. 

However, the price tag of this particular Nike Waffle Trainer is in another league altogether. 

According to reports, a pair of vintage 1972 Nike Waffle Trainers claimed the record of being the most expensive pair of sneakers on the planet after they sold on auction at Sotheby's for a whopping $475,500.

After purchase, the 1972 Nike waffle kicks joined an entrepreneur's private museum collection in Toronto.

While this might sound a little nutty, even to the most avid shoe head—this pair of sneaks are definitely worthy of rep. 

The 1972 Nike Waffle Trainer sneakers are inarguably a piece of history, as they were one of twelve pairs Nike made for runners in the Olympics in 1972. This particular pair was also the only one that has never been worn, making it a holy grail collector's item. 

5. The Waffle Iron Still Exists

If you thought the history of the Nike Waffle Trainer wasn't bizarre enough, here's the most amazing fact. The waffle iron still exists. 

After its initial part the iconic waffle iron played in Nike's history, it was forgotten about until Bill's daughter-in-law literally unearthed it at the Bowerman's old property, along with some of the co-founder's handmade prototype shoe treads.

Now the legendary waffle maker sites in a place of honor on display in Nike's HQ in Beaverton.

Are You Looking for Your Own Pair of Nike Waffle Sneakers?

Nike Waffle sneakers made history when they first came out, and they're still going strong today. 

Although original, vintage Nike Waffle Trainers will cost you a vast stash of cash, this doesn't mean you can't rock the iconic waffle sole. 

Whether you're interested in an investment pair of deadstock kicks, or simply want some more waffle-soled legends to up your style ante, Kickscrew has you covered.

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