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Supporting the Big Dreams of Young Athletes#NikeKids

“I never ran 1000 miles. I could never have done that. I ran one mile 1000 times.” – Stu Mittleman When you think of athletes, you usually think of the celebrities; Tiger Woods, LeBron James, Mia Hamm. But all of those great athletes have something in common – they were youth athletes once too. Nike recognizes this, and with an incredible amount of research behind them, are now the biggest innovators in athletic shoes for the kids who might someday make it big too.

behind the scenes at Nike

“Some men see things as they are and say ‘why’? Others dream things that never were and say ‘why not’?” – George Bernard Shaw

My nephew and I were invited to be part of the first ever Young Athletes Innovation Summit, at the Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton Oregon. They took us on a behind the scenes tour of what goes into creating their shoes and other athletic gear. I admit, I’m not an athlete. I’m not someone that would be described as sporty. So I didn’t know much at all about athletic shoes, and honestly assumed that they were all pretty much the same. I figured that with a more expensive shoe, you’re probably just paying for the marketing. I could not have been more wrong. After hearing a few presentations, and learning about the incredible amount of research, testing, and ground-breaking technology that goes into every new style of Nike shoe – I was amazed that they are able to sell them at such an affordable price. What they do in their research labs is simply amazing.

Nike Kids Innovation

“Your aspirations are your possibilities.” – Samuel Johnson

Innovation means NOT just shrinking adult shoes, and Nike realizes this. They realize that for kids under the age of 12 – the sky is the limit. They believe that they can do anything, be anything, achieve anything. And Nike wants to encourage kids to get into sports by giving them the best shoes and gear so that they can succeed, and keep that confidence. We sometimes forget that the foot is where it all starts – everything a child does, from even a young age, involves running – first they run around the house, then the playground, then on a sports field. And strong feet mean better balance, more range of motion, and less injuries. So, what is Nike doing to build strong youth athletes?

#NikeKids Nike Free shoes

“Forget about all the reasons why something may not work. You only need to find one good reason why it will.” – Dr. Robert Anthony

They’re building the world’s best kids shoes, that’s what! Let me introduce you to the Nike Free – a totally unique new shoe for kids and adults. What makes it different is that it’s incredibly light-weight, and it’s got a super flexible sole. During some of that intense amount of research that Nike does in their labs, they realized that when you train for sports barefoot, your foot gets much stronger. A foot is meant to be bare, right? But – that’s not exactly practical, since stepping on a rock or other sharp objects would pretty much stop anyone’s momentum. So Nike developed the next best thing – The Nike Free. I got a pair myself – in a super fun bright pink – and it is THE. MOST. COMFORTABLE. SHOE. EVER. No exaggeration. I also got them for the rest of the family – and everyone agrees, these shoes rock. No doubt about it.

“May your dreams defy the laws of gravity.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Nike put together an incredible trip for us – from the amazingly beautiful hotel we stayed in, {see more pics of our trip here} setting up a gorgeous bloggers lounge with ports to charge our phones and laptops, a kids lounge with a Wii, Playstation, AND an XBox, to the gifts to make our stay more comfortable – they thought of every detail. And that isn’t surprising, when you see the amazing attention to detail that goes into every single product that they create. I can know say, without a doubt, that our family are Nike fans for life.

mom bloggers and nike

“Sports serve society by providing vivid examples of excellence.” – George F. Will

This is our group – and it was such an amazing group! I got to meet a few of my very favorite online blogging buddies for the first time in real life, and they were so much fun. I met a few new friends too – and am excited to hopefully see them again, out in the conference world. {BlogHer ’12 perhaps??} And the kids had a total blast hanging out together all day! And I have to give a huge thank you to the crew at Glam Media, and everyone at Nike who put this event together – They made this a seriously unforgettable trip. I learned an incredible amount of information – {Don’t worry, I’ll be sharing more with you soon too!} – while having a blast. We all agree – if we ever decide to change our line of work, Nike will be getting our resumes, lol. The energy, passion for innovation, and positive attitude there was totally contagious. All of these young athletes that attended with us definitely will remember what they learned here for years to come – so watch for some of them in a few years. I bet we see a few pros grow out of this group of athletes!

young athletes need great shoes

“You can if you think you can.” – George Reeves

Let Nike help your young athlete be the best that they can be too – Try the Nike Free. They are seriously a cool looking shoe – we get stopped all the time because people comment on them. And they are the most comfortable shoe that you will ever wear, hands down. Combine that with the fact that you’re giving your child the best support in strengthening their feet, which will lead to better performance on the field, and you just can’t beat the Nike Free.

{Disclosure: 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.}



  1. I could watch that video a thousand times, it’s so fun! Great photos, great post.

  2. Love, love, LOVE it! Such a great post about such an amazing experience!

  3. It looks like so much fun. I love the rock wall.

  4. Wow it looks like you all had an amazing time. My kids love rock climbing!

  5. I love all your quotes, and the photo collages:-) Every time I see photos I remember the great time we had while we were there. It was such an amazing time!

  6. Sounds like a great time. Love the quotes!

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