10/10 BooksBiographies & True Stories

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight


Shoe Dog is all about the creation of Nike, the global sports footwear and clothing company.

Usually, when I read a book, I will make notes in My Book of 100 Books workbook which will help me to recall important information in order to produce a review later on.

But for this book, I made hardly any notes!

I was so engrossed in simply reading the book that note-taking took a back seat.

Who is Phil Knight? 

Phil Knight, the author of the book, was the creator and founder of Nike, and this book is his memoir.

The book pretty much covers the whole story of the company. From the inception of the idea, to how he got the ball rolling, selling his first pair of trainers to his mum, bringing on employees, growing the company, and finally taking the company public.

Knight also shares details of legal battles, problems with cash flow, and difficulties when dealing with banks.

It’s all here in this book.

Honest storytelling

This is a very well written book and a joy to read. Knight is a gifted storyteller who is also very honest.

What I like is that he’s not trying to “big himself up” throughout the whole book.

He obviously shows his strengths, but then he also recalls his weaknesses and areas where he felt he could have done a better job.

This story is a rollercoaster ride of emotions, and you do feel his frustration throughout the book as he’s trying to push his business forward whilst at the same time jumping and ducking his way through and over obstacles.

…and when it comes to the last chapter, if you do not cry or at least well-up a little bit, then you’re not even human!

The icing on the cake was missing

Sadly, Shoe Dog did not have any photographic inserts.

For me, that was like someone stealing the icing off my cake! I would have loved to look at photographs of Nike in the early days whilst I was reading the book.

The first chapter of the book is 1962. I wasn’t born until 1988, so I have no idea what the standard trainer or shoe looked like for athletes over 25 years prior. 

Other autobiographies that I have read, including Total Recall by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Faster Than Lightning by Usain Bolt, had photographic inserts that really helped you to imagine their life and situations.

I would have found it interesting to see the very first shoe designs of Nike, the way their footwear progressed and developed, and to see inside their first factories and offices.

My overall thoughts

The lack of photographic inserts was a big thing for me, and I was considering marking the book down because of it.

However, this book has still been one of my top reads of 2019 and I really wanted it to appear in my 10/10 hall-of-fame. So, I just had to give it top marks!

If you are an entrepreneur, or if you’re working in a start-up, or heck, even if you’re not in business at all, you’ll still enjoy this book!

It’s highly entertaining and once you’ve finished reading it, you’ll never look at Nike the same way again.

Have you read Shoe Dog?

As always, this book review is simply my own personal opinion and experience.

If you have different thoughts, then please share them in the comments section, and don’t forget to give the book your own review in the box below. 

Roseanna x

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Shoe Dog

10

Shoe Dog is one of my top reads of 2019 and I really wanted it to appear in my 10/10 hall-of-fame. So, I just had to give it top marks! If you are an entrepreneur, or if you're working in a start-up, or heck, even if you're not in business at all, you'll still enjoy this book! It's highly entertaining and once you've finished reading it, you'll never look at Nike the same way again.

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Roseanna
Currently winging my way through life and putting most of it on the internet. This is my personal website where I share my business book reviews, my adventure tips and stories, and my general musings on life as a solo entrepreneur.

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1 Comment

  1. I have read a little part of it, but I would like to finish the rest of it later. I agree that the book had a great story line from what I read so far. It was called Blue Ribbons Inc when it started, which is not the best name for a shoe company.

  2. Blue Ribbon Sports*

    1. It’s a great book!
      Yes, Blue Ribbon Sports was the name of the company. (Which seems weird to me since in the UK you get red ribbons for coming first and blue ribbons for coming second. So, it’s like making that statement that your company is all about second place and not first place!)
      I also found t interesting to see where the name ‘Nike’ came from. 😉
      Enjoy the rest of it!

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