Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

Shoe Dog

By Phil Knight

  • Release Date: 2016-04-26
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
Score: 5
From 1,039 Ratings
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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.


  • A life changing read

    By Macintoshx11
    I had meant to read Shoe Dog sooner, but always put if off for something else. What a mistake I had made. Shoe Dog is without a doubt the best personal account of lessons learned through business and entrepreneurship that I have ever read. It is a memoir to be remembered.
  • Simply Great!

    By Jdogg48
    Wonderful page turner. Great read!
  • Changed forever

    This isn't just a book about a mans is a journey through history of how a mans ambition changed the world(and himself). I enjoyed reading this book every second. "Never stop learning". Thank you for the inspiration Mr. Knight
  • Couldn't put the book down

    By Jon papers
    Amazing read for anyone especially with the entrepreneur Spirt.
  • Wonderful

    By erikavc33
    What a wonderful story, so proud and blessed to be part of this!
  • Incredible

    By oshdiddy
    I've been wearing Nike's for most of my life and never knew the incredible story. Absolute page turner. Top 5 biography I've ever read.
  • Shoe Dog

    By sweetie 10
    Read this book and then get your twenty something kids to read it. The number of virtual dog ears say it all. (PS- special thanks to Bill Walton for recommending book during UCLA basketball game last season.)
  • 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.