WTF Fun Fact 13199 – The Nike Waffle Iron Story

Do you know the Nike waffle iron story? They’re two things that seem to have nothing in common. However, the first pair of Nike sneakers were made in a waffle iron. The company patented the design as the “Nike Waffle” in 1974.

The weird Nike waffle iron story

The design for the sole of the first Nike shoe was created by a co-founder of Nike, Bill Bowerman, who was a track coach at the University of Oregon. Bowerman was always looking for ways to improve the performance of his athletes.

One day, while making waffles for breakfast, he noticed the unique pattern on the waffle iron and had an idea to create a shoe sole with a similar pattern. He experimented with pouring liquid urethane into his wife’s waffle iron and the Waffle sole was born.

Nike named the shoe the “Nike Waffle Trainer” and introduced it in 1974.

It was a revolutionary design that provided excellent traction and durability. It quickly became a favorite among athletes.

Nike makes its mark

The Nike Waffle Trainer was a success for Nike in the 1970s. It helped establish the company as a major player in the athletic shoe market.

Top runners wore the shoe and helped Nike become known as a company that produced high-performance athletic footwear.

Nike not only patented the design but used the waffle sole in many of their other shoe models in the following years. The Waffle Trainer was one of the first shoes that Nike marketed as a performance shoe.

Nike still produces shoes with waffle soles. But they’re not as common as they were in the 1970s.

The company still uses the Waffle sole design in some of the company’s retro releases of the Waffle Trainer and other models like the Nike Waffle Racer. The waffle sole is also used in some of Nike’s newer running shoes since it provides excellent traction and durability.

While the Waffle Trainer is not as prevalent as it was in the past, it remains an iconic and important shoe in the company’s history and is still popular among some sneaker enthusiasts.

The cost of a Nike Waffle shoe can vary depending on the specific model. For example, the retail price of the Waffle Racer, which is one of the most popular models of the Waffle series, is around $85. However, prices can be higher or lower depending on the colorway, edition, and other factors. Retro releases of the Waffle Trainer can be more expensive, as they are considered collectible items and can be sold at a premium price. Prices for these retro releases can be anywhere from $100 to $200 or even more, depending on the condition of the shoe and its rarity.

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Source: “How a Dirty Old Waffle Iron Became Nike’s Holy Grail” — Popular Mechanics