Your audiobook is waiting…

Shoe Dog

A Memoir by the Creator of Nike
Length: 13 hrs and 21 mins
5 out of 5 stars (29,669 ratings)

Regular price: $27.99

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

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 fifty dollars from his father and created a company with a simple mission: import high-quality, low-cost athletic shoes from Japan. Selling the shoes from the trunk of his lime-green Plymouth Valiant, Knight grossed $8,000 his first year. Today, Nike's annual sales top $30 billion. In an age of start-ups, Nike is the ne plus ultra of all start-ups, and the swoosh has become a revolutionary, globe-spanning icon, one of the most ubiquitous and recognizable symbols in the world today.

But Knight, the man behind the swoosh, has always remained a mystery. Now, for the first time, in a memoir that is candid, humble, gutsy, and wry, he tells his story, beginning with his crossroads moment. At 24, after backpacking around the world, he decided to take the unconventional path to start his own business - a business that would be dynamic, different.

Knight details the many risks and daunting setbacks that stood between him and his dream - along with his early triumphs. Above all, he recalls the formative relationships with his first partners and employees, a ragtag group of misfits and seekers who became a tight-knit band of brothers. Together, harnessing the transcendent power of a shared mission and a deep belief in the spirit of sport, they built a brand that changed everything.

©2016 Phil Knight (P)2016 Simon & Schuster

Critic Reviews

"Narrator Norbert Leo Butz...infuses his delivery with drama and suspense, keeping the listener engaged with each chapter. Knight claims to be a shy introvert, but Butz isn't fooled, portraying the chairman as a straight-shooting, no-nonsense leader who keeps winning because he's relentless in his pursuit of success...." (AudioFile)

More from the same

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    26,084
  • 4 Stars
    3,061
  • 3 Stars
    419
  • 2 Stars
    52
  • 1 Stars
    53

Performance

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    22,968
  • 4 Stars
    3,153
  • 3 Stars
    457
  • 2 Stars
    60
  • 1 Stars
    38

Story

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    23,520
  • 4 Stars
    2,620
  • 3 Stars
    421
  • 2 Stars
    62
  • 1 Stars
    41
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Brock
  • Poulsbo, WA
  • 06-02-16

A must listen to book- It's the perfect biz memoir

This book was full of everything I ever hope for in a book. It was super interesting, and hard to put down. Iit was funny, and I found Knight to be a person I was cheering for throughout the book as he faced one trial after another. It was a truly inspirational story. I wish everyone I know could read this book

It was also an awesome business book. It discussed significant business challenges Nike faced throughout its journey to becoming the world leader it is today. As a business owner I was very interested to read about the number of times it seemed as though Nike may need to close down due to challenges it faced, yet each time they found a way to overcome the problem. It is an amazing story of Knights resolve to never give up. I also loved hearing about Knight's leadership style of allowing the voices of his employees to be heard, even when they ran counter to his ideas. I think this is a must read for business owners, but everyone who's heard of Nike will enjoy it too.

The only negative about this book is that it's not nearly long enough. I would love to hear there will be a sequel to this book. There are so many aspects that could be delved into more deeply, and with the way Knight wrote this book I know they would be just as riveting as everything in this book.

35 of 35 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Just read it. (or listen, whatever)

I don't typically review books that I've read or listened to. Even the ones I love. But this one is different. I couldn't be more grateful for having come across this story. One of those perfect books at the perfect time. As I listened to the last hour I had to pull my car over and just absorb it all. And I had tears rolling down my cheek. I hate being a softy but this story hit me at a time when I needed to hear it. All entrepreneurs should take this one in. This is the inspiration I needed to keep the grit alive. Thank you Mr Knight!

39 of 40 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Daryl
  • Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • 03-19-17

Highly readable autobiography

I don't know much about Nike - aside from the fact that I owned a pair of Nike street shoes that lasted me longer than any pair of shoes I ever owned.
This book is a terrific look at the origins of Nike - the bluster, the bravado, the fear, the mistakes, everything that went in to the birth of a billion-dollar company.
Phil Knight is not always likable, but he has a way of introspection that is both charming and accessible. He acknowledges his mistakes - even big ones - with a combination of humour and regret. Sometimes the only way to proceed is forward, and that's what he's done. It's amazing that a billion-dollar brand came out of - in its beginning - the trunk of a car supplying someone else's shoes.
I also found that Phil Knight described the world events surrounding him and his little company in the early days. It provides more than a glimpse of Blue Ribbon (which became Nike), but how it had to adapt to the changing world around it.
I understand why all of the origins of the company were detailed - leaving something out wouldn't have worked - but I would have preferred more than an epilogue detailing the last 25 years of Nike. Even adding another 1-2 hours to this accessible, compulsively readable book would have been less jarring than having it jump forward from 1980 or so to 2007.
But this is a minor quibble with a riveting book with a terrific narrator.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Breathtaking

The best book I have ever read. Thank you Phil Knight for taking the time to inspire, comfort, or warn us all out here. Thank you.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic listen

Couldn't wait to hear the next chapter. Engrossing and inspiring. I recommend everyone that likes audio books and Entrepreneurship list be to it.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mark
  • Raglan, New Zealand
  • 07-17-16

Just do it

This book is the story of the man who built the Nike shoe Empire. It had never occurred to me that I was a Nike customer, but during the course of the listen I realised that I own 3 pairs of Nikes (a pair of golf shoes and 2 pairs of ‘trainers’), so they’re obviously sufficiently globally ubiquitous to have had an impact on my life. When I started at University, in 1980, I remember my new friend Jez Brown showing me his pair of Nikes as if they were something special. At the time they seemed a bit odd and I wasn’t sure if they would catch on or just be a flash-in-the-pan. That was my first exposure to the brand.

The story of Nike starts in 1962, the year I was born, when an ambitious young man, passionate about running, has the wild idea of going to Japan to import running shoes, pretending that he already owns an established shoe business in the US. He throws his heart and soul into building this business, recruiting a posse of similarly devoted eccentric characters along the way. He’s always up against adversity, always on the brink of bankruptcy – but somehow he survives and scrapes through to the next phase, even though selling the shoes is never a problem. The problems are always supply and cash flow.

The book ends in 1980, when Phil and his band of odd-bods finally yield to the pressure to allow Nike to go public. This is something they had resisted because they liked the home-spun ethos of the company. Once the company went public it signalled an end to the author’s financial worries (he instantly became a very rich man), an end to the company’s constant battles against adversity, and an end to the story (apart from an epilogue).

This is a great listen. Completely compelling and entertaining from the first to the last word. Recommended.

26 of 30 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Epic book - absolutely loved it!!

As an entrepreneur, I identified with this book like no other that I've read - the well written narrative makes reading this book like living the experience moment to moment - wow.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A Must Read For All Entrepreneurs!

Shoe Dog is highly transformational and inspiring. It will move you and keep you engaged the whole time. Usually I'd pace a book throughout a week or so, however I couldn't resist the urge to binge chapter to chapter. I can truly say this book has changed my life for he better!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Andy
  • Westport, CT, United States
  • 05-30-16

great story about building a business

This was a super close up view of how Phil Knight and his gang built Nike. What I found most interesting was Knight's play-by-play on some of the key moments...what he was thinking and why he chose the path he took.

15 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great writing

Well written and highly engaging. A modern classic business adventure - with heart. Nike's rise from class project to IPO.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • AJ the Tramp
  • 02-07-18

Wow. 10/10. A must for entrepreneurs...

What an amazing book. I had no idea about Nike until I read this. What a book. Buck Knight's grit and determination. What a guy. Complete new view of Nike and great read for entrepreneurs who are stuck in the daily drudge of making it work. Genuinely gutted this book is over. Well written. Laughed, smiled and genuinely cried... Fantastic. 10/10.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • phil chadwick
  • 07-08-17

Fantastic story - beautifully written

Phil Knight has a real gift for writing, wonderfully written for someone who is not a professional writer. The story of Nike is inspiring - the guts and bravery shown by all involved is astounding.

This book definitely made me laugh and nearly made me cry. Both Phil Knight and this story are truely authentic, a refreshing change from the modern era of entrepreneurs whose anecdotes and perspectives are tainted by vanity and insecurity.

Bravo

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-05-17

Fantastic! A great read

Never really knew about the history and origins of how the Nike brand started - what a story!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Trinity Kershaw
  • 04-17-19

Better than I expected, listened in 2 days!

At first I was skeptical about listening to another autobiography, but I loved this. Following Phil Knight’s journey has taught me so many things about resilience and following your own interests. The performance was also superb- 5 stars all round.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jonathan K
  • 04-15-19

Hooked from first to last sentence!

This book was recommended by Rob Green, another entrepreneur I admire. So decided to give it a try! Absolutely no regret. It is not only insightful, but the way the story is written and read makes you feel like you are part of Phils movie with all ups and downs! If yo

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Aaron Pooley
  • 04-10-19

Hard to put down

Everyone seems to know Nike but having listened to Phil Knights account of the humble beginnings to the worlds most recognised sports brands and everything in between, makes me understand Nike.

Fantastic book to listen too, a great companion on a long road trip or holiday and I would highly recommend it to any budding entrepreneur who has a dream.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Andy
  • 04-09-19

Excellent

Best business book I have read, really interesting history of Nike and Phil Knight is definitely one of the good guys.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-07-19

Just do it

This is an exquisitely written and riveting story. Perfectly performed it's inspirational and hugely entertaining.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 04-06-19

Encapsulating

Great book outlining the highs and lows of starting a business and all that comes with it.

For anybody starting a business or just has a general interest in anime, I highly recommend this.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 04-06-19

One of the best book I ever came across

It really touches my heart and mind while joining the author through his success and struggles and his humble display to a remarkable journey.

It reminded me to continuously think about me purpose and what i want to be remembered for.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 04-17-18

<br />

Very interesting book. I very much enjoyed learning the history of such an iconic brand. Fantastic narantion also!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 05-03-18

One of the most amazing stories ever!

One of the most amazing stories told by a truly inspired entrepreneur. Delving into the why a peraon does anything remotely crazy, Phil is able to uncover some of those common threads that made his crazy idea seem like an inevitable outcome. Written and told with poetic grace!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 04-19-19

slow to get into it but a great real life story

hard to keep interested in tbe beginning but then got exciting and wanted more and more

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 04-11-19

Awesome, fanatic and inspiring book

The best audiobook. Great story telling that is all very both inspiring and strangely reassuring.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 04-09-19

Couldn’t stop listening.

Great insight into a great story of persistence and determination. “Don’t settle for a job or career, Find your calling”.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • iMZI
  • 04-05-19

Amazing to hear it from the founder himself

It is great to hear the story of shaping up of a giant we know of today; NIKE. It is easier to see the company as it stands but having look in the beginning and the long road it has travelled is just amazing.

Phil talks about a number of success stories in the book but also keeps in the mention of failures, which should serve as good lessons for inspiring businessmen, it just goes to remind that with success come failures or vise versa.

Great job by the narrator. All in all a worthy listen.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Igor Vainshtein,Igor Vainshtein
  • 04-03-19

No wonder it’s even on Bill Gates’ best business book list

This book is more than insightful it’s truly raw. It shows the most realistic portrait of what it takes to build a unique amazing company like Nike. The level of detail and writing style is better than most fiction novels. A MUST read/hear.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • jonathan
  • 03-27-19

Jr

Wonderful story of a made made world wide wonder. I never heard the name of Phil knight before the book. What a humble man.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 03-23-19

Great book! and really funny

loved it! really good storytelling. funny, engaging, twists and turns. and all that without even getting into the content which was absolutely excellent

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mr. Dimitar Petreski
  • 03-22-19

Loved it!

A fantastic memoir! Loved it from the very start through to the humble and reflective end.