Shoe Dog - Phil Knight

Shoe Dog

By Phil Knight

  • Release Date: 2016-04-26
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
Score: 5
From 782 Ratings


In this candid and riveting memoir, for the first time ever, Nike founder and board chairman Phil Knight shares the inside story of the company’s early days as an intrepid start-up and its evolution into one of the world’s most iconic, game-changing, and profitable brands.

Young, searching, fresh out of business school, Phil Knight borrowed fifty dollars from his father and launched a company with one simple mission: import high-quality, low-cost running shoes from Japan. Selling the shoes from the trunk of his Plymouth Valiant, Knight grossed eight thousand dollars that first year, 1963. Today, Nike’s annual sales top $30 billion. In this age of start-ups, Knight’s Nike is the gold standard, and its swoosh is more than a logo. A symbol of grace and greatness, it’s one of the few icons instantly recognized in every corner of the world.

But Knight, the man behind the swoosh, has always been a mystery. Now, in a memoir that’s surprising, humble, unfiltered, funny, and beautifully crafted, he tells his story at last. It all begins with a classic crossroads moment. Twenty-four years old, backpacking through Asia and Europe and Africa, wrestling with life’s Great Questions, Knight decides the unconventional path is the only one for him. Rather than work for a big corporation, he will create something all his own, something new, dynamic, different. Knight details the many terrifying risks he encountered along the way, the crushing setbacks, the ruthless competitors, the countless doubters and haters and hostile bankers—as well as his many thrilling triumphs and narrow escapes. Above all, he recalls the foundational relationships that formed the heart and soul of Nike, with his former track coach, the irascible and charismatic Bill Bowerman, and with his first employees, a ragtag group of misfits and savants who quickly became a band of swoosh-crazed brothers.

Together, harnessing the electrifying power of a bold vision and a shared belief in the redemptive, transformative power of sports, they created a brand, and a culture, that changed everything.


  • Enchanting read

    By Mike L - BH
    As a founding entrepreneur, albeit somewhat less successful than the author, this story was all the more engaging. Different causes, different amounts to be sure but existential threats nonetheless, and those old memories were evoked as I read through the chronology. Were it not for knowing the incredible ultimate outcome of this story, the future of Nike would always have been in doubt. Oh, I didn't mention the humor found throughout. This was truly a book I hated to see end.
  • Shoe Dog

    By Sam Woolsey
    I'm a 5th generation Oregonian and really enjoyed the story of an Oregon icon. The book was a thoroughly entertaining read. The style of the author drew me in as if I was a part of the family. I am also a graduate of the University of Oregon and was in Eugene from 1967-1971. Bill Bowerman was a legend then and now and Steve Prefontaine was a wonder. I will never forget as he lapped the competition at Hayward Field. My son now lives and works in Tokyo so I can very much relate to the authors description of. Japan and the Japanese. My son speaks the language and sells software made in the U. S. The book has a very personal appeal to me. Kudos to a job well done. Thank you much. Sam Woolsey, The Dalles, Or.
  • Shoe Dog

    By Zamo j
    Wonderful read. The author is a wonderful storyteller and does so with honesty and humility sharing with all what it truly takes to make one's passion a reality. Highly recommend.
  • Just. Read. It.

    By Sooo16
    This book, more than anything I've ever read, is inspiring and encouraging (even though Mr. Knight rarely encouraged anyone in his lifetime, he is now successfully encouraging thousands, if not millions of readers around the world. Not bad for an introvert!). This book also acts as a confirmation, and a friend who shares my belief in growth and changes. As an entrepreneur with very few mentors, reading about a start-up, and not just any start-up, but one that was founded not so long ago, with brand that billions of people in the world recognize, makes me realize that I'm not alone in this. I'm not the only one thinking that the world still has room for more successful companies, and passions have no limit in the world of business.
  • Thoughtful and clever

    By Daniel Za
    This book was an excellent read. His thoughtful journey to create Nike is amazing. This memoir really resonated with me.
  • Shoe Dog, a must read

    By Nvnati
    Such a great book! I absolutely loved Phil Night's story. A lot of heart and soul in this book, but also a great book for any entrepreneur.
  • One of the best books I've ever read!

    By Michael Pietrangelo
    So much of life is timing. "Right place-right time". Reading this book and reliving the life and times of Mr Knight adds value to everyday life. Every step you take and at every turn lies opportunity. In each of us there is the potential for something great. A left or a right?? A yes or a no? Reading this book brings an excitement to those choices. Thank you Mr. Knight for this gift.
  • Awesome

    By Jack 9191
    Great story, well written, sincere and full of personal detail.
  • Brilliant

    By TomB5
    This book is amazing. Nike is an amazing story but the honesty, candor and insight Phil Knight provides is extraordinary. An amazing tale by an incredible leader, thank you Phil Knight.
  • Inspiring

    By Chayiizeey
    Recommended read for all Nike fans