Nike rolled out the red carpet today for a group of Mom bloggers and their kids who were lucky enough to be invited to the first of it’s kind Nike Young Athletes Innovation Summit. My niece Maddie and I had the time of our lives on our visit to the beautiful 190 acre Nike World Headquarters near Beaverton, Oregon. From the minute we got off the plane we were made to feel welcome by the friendly Nike staff and many cameras who were waiting to meet us.
Nike pays tribute to the world’s greatest athletes.
Nike – Dream Big
Nike was founded in 1964 by a coach and his runner, Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight. It’s hard to imagine Nike’s humble beginnings when shoes were being sold out of the trunks of cars. The Nike company that I visited today employs tens of thousands of employees worldwide, uses state of the art technology and science to create it’s product line, and plays host to the worlds most accomplished athletes.
Nike made us feel so welcome!
For the better part of our visit the kids were with camp counselors who made sure their day was jam packed with fun activities such as rock climbing (Maddie conquered her fears and climbed to the top of the wall twice!), an innovation session with the Nike Design team, swimming, and a visit from Olympic Athlete Amy Yoder Begley. They even got to design their own shoes that will be made for them!
Maddie trying on her new Nike Free Run sneakers
Respect the Foot
Myself and the other mom bloggers were treated so wonderfully by the Nike team. We had a fun and informative day meeting with representatives from the Nike research and design departments. One of the coolest things we experienced was a Skype session with world class soccer player and mom Mia Hamm, whose own children wear Nike Free/Flexible shoes. Our day concluded with a trip to the super impressive Vivian Stringer Child Care Center and a shopping spree at the Nike employee store!
Me standing under a Cherry Tree in Nike’s beautiful Japanese Garden
Before attending the Nike Young Athletes Innovation Summit, I was clueless about how much technology and science goes into creating Nike products. Our group was privileged to get a rare glimpse inside the top-secret Nike Sports Research Lab where they create breakthrough technologies. The work they do inside the NSRL is 2 – 3 years ahead of what’s in the store.
“Free your Flex, Flex your Free”
The star of the show was hands down the Nike Free, flexible footwear. The most researched technology at Nike has gone into free and barefoot training. Some of the benefits of Nike Free footwear includes 10-20% increase in the strength of intrinsic muscles, 5-10% increased flexibility, increased coordination and 20-20% increased balance. Maddie and I haven’t been wearing our new Nike Free Run shoes for long, but can tell you that they are extremely comfortable and I knew immediately that they are different from other shoes…something very special. I am looking forward to the many benefits we will get from wearing these shoes. The technology that goes into them is so impressive and if they are good enough for the greatest athletes in the world, they are good enough for me and my family.
Nike Free Presentation
As a mom and aunt, I am pleased to know that a company such as Nike is so invested in young athletes. Nike recognizes that the footwear needs of a toddler is different from that of a kindergarten or grade school child. They design Nike shoes specifically for each stage of a child’s life.
I’ll be sharing much more about our experience at the Nike Young Athletes Innovation Summit very soon. We had such a fantastic day and learned so much about Nike Free technology and footwear that I simply can’t put it all in one blog post…so stay tuned. To find more great info about the Nike Young Athletes Summit follow the #NikeKids hashtag.
Kids Nike FREE Run: If your feet flex, shouldn’t your shoes flex too? Must-have flexibility for young feet.
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Nike via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Nike.