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If track spikes could talk...1952-Day 3 of 5

I love the history and heritage of products and want to share as I continue to go through the archives of products and documents in my office. I love that my Dad collaborated with his former teammates to provide details of each of these that would otherwise would have been lost.

I want to share some of the footwear that has been inspiring to me and my teammates at Nike. The products are designed to master the fundamentals of the sport.

This spike saw competition in 1952-53 while my Dad was studying and working his way through Willamette University in Salem Oregon These are significantly lighter and I was doing some research on the company that was displayed on the inside of the tongue.

According the Brooks history they made bathing shoes in 1914, Baseball Cleats, Roller Skates, Football Cleats and Softball Cleats. Perhaps this is a discovery that I found in with a Track Spike from 1952 with the Brooks Athletic Shoe logo on the inside of the tongue.

Each evolution of the spikes I show this week evolve in functionality, materials and performance each year. I love going through each of them in chronological order to see the innovation in construction, accessories and design.

Track and Field and Baseball cleats from the mid 1940's through the 1970's
Shoes in my archive boxes for me to tell their stories
These spikes were made with supple and soft kangaroo leather according to my Dad. The upper still molds around the foot with  metal aglets to cinch the shoe around the foot. The lighter and stronger leather started to show that the form fitting design and the weight of the spikes made a difference to those performing at a high level. I believe my Dad broke 2 minutes in the 880 while in college. Nick Symmonds came by a few years later and ran a little bit faster. 
The all leather outsole with the removable spikes in the forefoot continued to be an innovation in lighter weight and customization of the product. The inner sole initially appeared to be leather but as I looked closer it was made of cork.

These shoes were not only used by my Dad but they were photographed, displayed and shared as Nike continued to innovate in the world of Track and Field.

I would get the request to check them out for designers and innovators to use in their presentations.

The cork innersole also had my Dad's name stenciled on them to create a way to identify that they were his or it was an early way to customize the product. 
Customized cork innersole board from spikes used in 1952-53
Innersole made from cork with LJ Bergmann stenciled on it
I believe at least 1/2 pair of these are on display at the National Track and Field Hall of Fame display at the Armory in New York City.
This appears to be the model number and the size of the shoe perforated on the outside.
Anterior ( front ) of the tongue with model number and size. He was a size 8!

I want to celebrate at spike a day this week to honor all of those athletes out there not being able to compete and gather to celebrate the sport of track and field.

To honor the lost track and field season of 2020 I want to tell a short story about each of these products this week which would normally be hosting the Oregon State Track and Field Championships at Hayward Field.

I will jump into the 1970's with tomorrow's post. I look forward to sharing that story of my first spikes that hooked me into the sport.

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