One of the biggest breakthroughs in Nike running shoe technology started with a waffle iron.
University of Oregon track coach Bill Bowerman spent years tinkering with track spikes to make them lighter and more cushioned. His work led to the original Cortez: a road running shoe with a full-length foam midsole that cushioned landings and an elevated heel that alleviated Achilles' tendon problems.
But the Cortez needed better traction. That's when Bowerman turned to the waffle iron.
He poured melted urethane into a waffle iron to create an outsole with rubber studs. Those studs delivered improved grip on all surfaces, and led to the rise of modern Nike running shoes.
Today, Nike shoes still inspire athletes to run their best. From legendary footwear like the Nike Pegasus and Zoom Structure to the record-hawking Nike Vaporfly NEXT%, the Swoosh has a running shoe for all your workouts and races.