Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

Shoe Dog

In this candid and riveting memoir, for the first time ever, Nike founder and CEO 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.In 1962, fresh out of business school, Phil Knight borrowed $50 from his father and created a company with a simple mission: import high-quality, low-cost athletic shoes from Japan. Se...

Details Shoe Dog

TitleShoe Dog
Release DateApr 26th, 2016
Number of pages386 pages
GenreBusiness, Nonfiction, Biography, Autobiography, Memoir, Sports and Games, Sports

Reviews Shoe Dog

  • Wendy S.
    This book made me cry. Twice! I did not know a book about what I had previously viewed as the definition of a big corporation could have that sort of power. I was wrong. Phil Knight had been an unfamiliar name to me before I picked up this memoir. That, in itself, seems strange. I mean, I had no idea he's from Portland, Oregon, or that, by trade, he's an accountant, or that he identifies as an introvert. I didn't know he had met his wife while te...
  • Brad Feld
    I think Shoe Dog by Phil Knight is the best memoir I’ve ever read by a business person.I consumed it in a day last week. It’s about the origin story of Nike, which started out as Blue Ribbon Sports.Unlike so many memoirs, it’s not an equally balanced arc through Knight’s life. It’s not an ego gratifying display of his awesomeness, heavily weighted in the success of the company and all the amazing things that went on around that. Instead...
  • Ned Frederick
    Shoe Dog could have been titled, "Buck Naked", because of the way Phil "Buck" Knight bares his soul in this fine memoir. I'm grateful to Knight for putting it all down in black and white. My 12 years with Nike started toward the end of the timeframe of this memoir, and so a lot of what Knight chronicles in Shoe Dog was the core of the Nike creation myth, revealed piecemeal to most of us in the late 70's and early 80's... usually in the form of hu...
  • Kostas Kinas
    This is fascinating and fantastic - by far one of my favourite books ever. Best selling novelists would envy Phil Knight about his eloquent writing style. This book is an experience and a journey. It made me feel embarrassed because I read it in a public place and people could see me smile, laugh, and cry as well. I would expect the author to present his great ego, but he is a really modest personality. The most touching is the fact that he lost ...
  • Michael
    JUST DO IT. Those words are the life story of Phil Knight. To every athlete, entrepreneur, mother, father, and dreamer his greatest legacy will be a life well played. More valuable than his pledge of giving back to society $100,000,000 a year, Phil 'Found His Greatness' in life by inspiring us all to play harder, dig deeper and never quit. Thank you, Phil.This book is well worth every hard-won word, shared and earned over 50+ years of grueling co...
  • Fryeday
    I adored this book right from the beginning. The intro felt magical. I read Bowerman's biography written by Kenny Moore, who was a teammate of Phil Knight's on the Oregon track team. So I got a little of the history of Blue Ribbon Sports through that account, but not much about the change into Nike. Plus that account focused more on the making/designing of the shoes, which was where Bowerman was revolutionary. Phil Knight spills his entire guts i...
  • W. Whalin
    Co-founder of Nike, Phil Knight, has a remarkable life story of starting this world-wide shoe brand. I love reading memoirs and the story has places with keen interest--yet other areas are boring and could have been easily cut. The results is something OK but NOT amazing and page-turning for the reader. The 386 pages could have been cut to something like 200 or 225 and been much better. It's OK and worth reading.
  • Mallika Saharia
    Any successful business has had its share of ups and downs which later on, makes for a absolute cracker of a story. But when narrated by an athlete with the same energy as that of Prefontaine, it can only fan your flames for pursuing your passion, in one way or the other. Just do it.
  • Fred Forbes
    Very pleasantly surprised at the power of this book! No co-author, apparently, and he certainly does not need one. The writing is impassioned, concise and insightful. I know some of the Nike story, but never the depth of the details and personalities as outlined here. Brought me back to the early to mid 70's when I worked for a small consumer electronics firm in the Midwest, the same period in this tale. Many of the incidents were similar - young...
  • Kristjan
    By far the best business person memoir I’ve ever read. Phil is not afraid to admit his mistakes and stand up for all the good things Nike stands for. "Life is growth. You grow or you die."I'll look at my Nike shoes differently from now on.
  • Aldo Aguirre
    My favorite book of the year so far. Knight shares the personal, honest, vulnerable side of building an empire. The prose is beautiful, the lessons are great. My favorite thing of this book is that it portrays perfectly how building a business isn't about being a smart 'businessman', but about the people that surround you, hard work and good luck. I had never been a sports fan until very recently. In the last 3 years I found a new interest in ten...
  • Frank
    Picked this up hoping it would be a fascinating and inspirational book about leadership and passion. Well... it was an interesting book, at least. It follows Phil Knight's professional career starting from a small running shoe importer up until Nike becoming a publicly traded company. Other reviewers have said they were disappointed that it doesn't cover the birth of Air Jordan, and I would have to agree that it feels like part of the story is mi...
  • Emilie22
    Loved this book and it was a perfect plane book except for the two parts where I teared up and tried to inconspicuously wipe away the silent tears. Having just started business school and completed a class on leadership, it's fascinating to see yet another example of leader who unconsciously did some textbook things of a great leader and consciously did some thing of a "bad" leader. Early on, Knight ignores a team member and intentionally doesn't...
  • Jo
    One of the best memoirs I have ever readI saw Mr. Knight being interviewed by Robin Roberts on good morning America, the interview was interesting and he mentioned this book . I immediately downloaded this and start reading and was so surprised how good it was. I was afraid that this book would only be interesting to athletics, I was very wrong . This book should be a catechism for anyone who has a dream. Mr. Knight brilliantly shares his story o...
  • Fab Mackojc
    “Life is growth. You grow or you die."This is Phil Knight’s memoir of how he started selling Japanese running shoes out of his car and eventually turned that business into the massive public company that Nike is today. The quote above best encapsulates his philosophy on how to run a business: strive for growth. Massive growth. It’s ridiculous how often they struggled to pay their bills because they just poured all their cash into buying mor...
  • Asher
    Really can't imagine a more wonderful read. Laughed, cried, felt all the tension Knight conveyed. Gonna buy Nike stock.
  • Sean Liu
    Fantastic - probably the best book I've read this year (next to When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi). I'd say this book is probably way more enjoyable if you're not familiar with the history of Nike or its founder, Phil Knight. The book is beautifully written, and Phil's voice shines through as both smart and honest. Knight spends most of the book returning to the real-life business and relationship challenges of founding a company and mana...
  • Preston Kutney
    Great read by the founder of Nike. A few themes:Passion: Knight got his start selling Asics shoes. He had previously been in sales at an encyclopedia company, which he found insufferable. Being a former track athlete and devoted runner, he found something that he enjoyed selling, and that enthusiasm enlarged his success:"I'd been unable to sell encyclopedias, and I'd despised it to boot. I'd been slightly better at selling mutual funds, but I'd f...
  • Kresimir Mudrovcic
    The best book I've read this year, by far. Honest, fun, interesting, engaging, based on a true story... what else can you imagine to get from the book? I really enjoyed reading this book, i have a strong feeling that there will be a movie based on it soon.
  • Albert
    Shoe Dog was just fun! Phil Knight, apparently he goes by Buck a lot of the time, provides an easy remembrance of his life and the beginnings of Nike, up through 1980. It is amazing to hear some of the set-backs that the young company had to overcome and how some of the most important decisions came to be made. Phil covers quite a few of his failings and quirks; he doesn’t make himself out to be a great leader or perfect person. He admits to hi...
  • Todd Goldberg
    Shoe Dog is one of the most impactful memoirs from an entrepreneur that I've ever read. It's candid and beautifully written. Knight's personal account of the never-ending challenges and existential threats that Nike faced is a good look into just how difficult creating something from nothing can be. It's also a great example of how important it is to create something that people want. The main thing that kept Nike alive during all of their cashfl...
  • Abhishek
    I keep Shoe Dog down with a sigh. An amazing unforgettable journey has come to an end. I am saddened to leave Phil Knight behind. I am saddened to leave the Nike team behind. Because for the past week, as I have crisscrossed continents along with Phil Knight on his wild ambitious dream, I have felt as if I have walked in his boots. As if I have lived every moment of his life. That is the brilliance of the way this book has been written, the style...
  • Cindy
    This book moved me in ways I never thought possible. Just 25% in and I had to stop to tell everyone about it. I honestly cannot stop talking about how amazing this book is. This might just be the best memoir I have ever read, hands down. ...First let me say, while I do consider myself a runner, I am not a fan of NIKE, my go too brand for sneakers is ASICS because #RealRunnersWearAsics .I decided to give this book a go because I really like readin...
  • Tim Gallagher
    This is an enjoyable book; it's tempting to accuse the writer of overwriting or of having figured out some sort of computer algorithm to create near-perfect prose. It is balanced but not overwritten and the pacing of the story telling is perfect. Phil switches between personal details and the story of NIKE with such simplicity that one might miss that he is doing it. One sign that Phil did not overwrite the book; at times there is an admission th...
  • Patrick B.
    The first part was excellent: Phil's story is that of a wandering soul turned entrepreneur, and hearing how Nike got it's start is interesting and gripping.The second part drags on, and the ending is kinda bad. By 1975, Nike is established and doing well enough, so the stories are just braggadocio about getting drunk with business partners or dodging taxes – not exactly inspiring stuff.The final chapter drips with self-importance and contrived ...
  • Jaime
    Who could have thought that the story of Nike was so interesting, right? Well, to my surprise, the book is so enticing and the story so well written that by the time it finished I just wanted it to go on and was definitively rooting for the brand. Excellent read!
  • Mattia
    Interesting story (how could it be not!) but it lacks the introspective analysis of the great autobiographies (i.e. Andre Agassi's, Mike Tyson's). It is unfortunate as there are so many episodes within the book that are hinted upon, or summarised in a few paragraphs, that would have been worthy of deeper analysis: the relationship with his father, Munich 1972, his business partners (Woodell, Johnson, Strasser, etc.) and how they dealt with the st...
  • Austeja Pukaite
    Fascinating story about Nike and its founder! Read a book in a few days and could only recommend! The plot is truly captivating and it strikes you even more once you remind yourself that it is actually a REAL story. Written in a simple and easy to read manner, somehow it touches you deeply and gets you thinking about purpose.. "Lead me from the unreal to the real" P. Knight
  • Austin Hinz
    Overall: Meh. This book doesn't contain much. No real business or leadership insight. Not even an interesting story about the formation of Nike. Mostly the life of Phil Knight and Nike's early legal trouble. Truth be told, Phil Knight sounds to be an all around self-absorbed individual. Not someone I'd ever look up to. I'm still a fan of Nike products, just not this book.
  • Lisa
    Probably more a 4+ Well written but for me a little to self congratulatory. But then I guess you need that kind of arrogance/confidence in order to be this successful. I was grateful that he acknowledged it came at a price to family. And he fully acknowledged his dependence on others to build Nike into this huge empire. A worthwhile read especially considering we all own Nikes