Category Archive 'Nike'

25 Apr 2014

You Go, Charlotte!

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NikeMarat

Via Vanderleun.

17 Jan 2014

$1500 Sneaker

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People collect all sorts of things. Outside reports on one very expensive item which came right out of a trash heap.

A tattered, soiled shoe unearthed in the backyard of a Eugene, Oregon, home sold for $1,500. That’s actually a fair price considering the backyard belonged to Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman, and the shoe was one of the first shoes to sport the Nike swoosh—ever.

Jordan Geller, an avid shoe collector and owner of ShoeZeum in California, purchased the artifact from Jeff Wasson, a utilities worker from Oregon. In 2010, Wasson and Bill Bowerman’s son, Tom, unearthed a buried trash pile containing dozens of shoes and an original waffle iron that was used to mold soles. Although the majority of the archeological dig is now preserved in Nike’s historical archives, Wasson asked for one piece of corporate history, and the younger Bowerman obliged.

“This is the first real prototype that I’ve ever seen come to market. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime find,” Geller told ESPN. “This shoe is really special … because Bill Bowerman made this from his hands.”

03 Jul 2011

Nike of Varna

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Gold earrings depicting the goddess Nike [Victory]. Hellenistic (Late 4th Century B.C), Varna Archaeological Museum, Varna, Bulgaria

Yesterday, a Facebook friend Ekaterina Ilieva Ilieva posted a photograph of these extraordinary Hellenistic portraits of the Greek goddess Nike in the form of earrings.

(The earrings can be seen worn today in a 0:26 video here.)

I wanted to quote a favorite passage of mine from Xenophon illustrating the importance of Nike to Greek soldiers in the same period, but Facebook’s programmed formatting truncated the quotation, so I’m making my intended comment into a blog post.

Xenophon’s Anabasis is an account of the Middle Eastern campaign of ten thousand Greek mercenaries employed by Cyrus the Younger in an attempt to wrest the throne of Persia from his brother Artaxerxes II in 401 B.C.

Xenophon’s account of the Battle of Cunaxa, which took place 70 km. north of Baghdad on the left bank of the Euphrates, contains reference to the Greeks invoking Nike in the watchwords selected before the battle.

Anabasis, A, 8.6-8.17.:

Κῦρος δὲ καὶ ἱππεῖς τούτου ὅσον ἑξακόσιοι, ὡπλισμένοι θώραξι μὲν αὐτοὶ καὶ παραμηριδίοις καὶ κράνεσι πάντες πλὴν Κύρου: Κῦρος δὲ ψιλὴν ἔχων τὴν κεφαλὴν εἰς τὴν μάχην καθίστατο. …

καὶ ἐν τούτῳ τῷ καιρῷ τὸ μὲν βαρβαρικὸν στράτευμα ὁμαλῶς προῄει, τὸ δὲ Ἑλληνικὸν ἔτι ἐν τῷ αὐτῷ μένον συνετάττετο ἐκ τῶν ἔτι προσιόντων. καὶ ὁ Κῦρος παρελαύνων οὐ πάνυ πρὸς αὐτῷ στρατεύματι κατεθεᾶτο ἑκατέρωσε ἀποβλέπων εἴς τε τοὺς πολεμίους καὶ τοὺς φίλους.

ἰδὼν δὲ αὐτὸν ἀπὸ τοῦ Ἑλληνικοῦ Ξενοφῶν Ἀθηναῖος, πελάσας ὡς συναντῆσαι ἤρετο εἴ τι παραγγέλλοι: ὁ δ᾽ ἐπιστήσας εἶπε καὶ λέγειν ἐκέλευε πᾶσιν ὅτι καὶ τὰ ἱερὰ καλὰ καὶ τὰ σφάγια καλά.

ταῦτα δὲ λέγων θορύβου ἤκουσε διὰ τῶν τάξεων ἰόντος, καὶ ἤρετο τίς ὁ θόρυβος εἴη. ὁ δὲ [Κλέαρχος] εἶπεν ὅτι σύνθημα παρέρχεται δεύτερον ἤδη. καὶ ὃς ἐθαύμασε τίς παραγγέλλει καὶ ἤρετο ὅ τι εἴη τὸ σύνθημα. ὁ δ᾽ ἀπεκρίνατο: Ζεὺς σωτὴρ καὶ νίκη.

ὁ δὲ Κῦρος ἀκούσας, –ἀλλὰ δέχομαί τε, ἔφη, καὶ τοῦτο ἔστω. ταῦτα δ᾽ εἰπὼν εἰς τὴν αὑτοῦ χώραν ἀπήλαυνε. καὶ οὐκέτι τρία ἢ τέτταρα στάδια διειχέτην τὼ φάλαγγε ἀπ᾽ ἀλλήλων ἡνίκα ἐπαιάνιζόν τε οἱ Ἕλληνες καὶ ἤρχοντο ἀντίοι ἰέναι τοῖς πολεμίοις.


Cyrus was with his bodyguard of cavalry about six hundred strong, all armed with corselets like Cyrus, and cuirasses and helmets; but not so Cyrus: he went into battle with head unhelmeted. …

At this time the barbarian army was evenly advancing, and the Hellenic division was still riveted to the spot, completing its formation as the various contingents came up. Cyrus, riding past at some distance from the lines, glanced his eye first in one direction and then in the other, so as to take a complete survey of friends and foes;

when Xenophon the Athenian, seeing him, rode up from the Hellenic quarter to meet him, asking him whether he had any orders to give. Cyrus, pulling up his horse, begged him to make the announcement generally known that the omens from the victims, internal and external alike, were good.

While he was still speaking, he heard a confused murmur passing through the ranks, and asked what it meant. The other replied that it was the watchword being passed down for the second time. Cyrus wondered who had given the order, and asked what the watchword was. On being told it was “Zeus the Saviour and Victory,” he replied,

“I accept it; so let it be,” and with that remark rode away to his own position. And now the two battle lines were no more than three or four furlongs apart, when the Hellenes began chanting the paean, and at the same time advanced against the enemy.

16 May 2008

Nike Introduces Riding Boot

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For the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Nike, Portland, Oregon manufacturer better known for more demotic athletic footwear, has introduced the Nike Ippeas, an up-dated take on the traditional riding boot.



Press release quoted by Sneaker Freaker:

Nike Ippeas (Greek for “Rider”) should be: “Hippeas” -DZ
Sport: Equestrian

Equestrian footwear has not changed much in the last century. The sport is steeped in traditional English heritage where leather boots, wood soles, and hard-pressed leather outsoles have been standard issue for horseback riding since the 1800s. Nike designers wanted to bring new innovation to that paradigm while still respecting the institution of the sport. For Beijing, Nike’s Equestrian footwear reflects the best elements of the sport’s deep traditions, but is elevated by innovative design and unique performance features. Again, designers started with the athlete. After listening to insights and ideas from top equestrian athletes, several rounds of prototypes were produced and improved with each effort. The final creation was the Nike Ippeas, a beautiful leather and synthetic boot that provides protection, support, traction, traditional aesthetic, and horse control in a total package that also reduces weight by eliminating the need for strap-on spurs.

Nike developed many innovations for the Nike Ippeas, including rubber pads for the outsoles of the boots to improve stirrup traction, an adjustable titanium screw-in spur system (inspired by track spikes) that eliminates the need for additional hardware on the ankles, and a full-length engineered zipper for easy on-and-off. Perhaps the most revolutionary development is the most subtle: a thin, high-abrasion synthetic rubber material on the medial side of the boot that delivers improved grip on the horse and saddle, which gives the rider better communication with the animal and increased stability during demanding jumps.

Key Features:

Crafted footwear that marries innovation with the classic silhouette a riding boot
Rubber outsole pads to improve traction on stirrups
Asymmetrical zipper for comfortable on-and-off
Track and field-inspired screw mount spurs (three possible positions)
Full length Zoom Air cushioning for underfoot comfort
High-abrasion synthetic rubber on medial boot for control and communication


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