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On a May morning in 2017, #kennymoore received a massive cardboard box. He and his wife, Connie, hauled it up their driveway and into their Hawaiian home where they cut it open to find 12 boxes of Nike’s new #heritage Cortez shoes celebrating the 45th anniversary of the iconic style. He pulled out a white pair with MOORE written on the lateral sides and his old track and field training schedules printed on the insoles, and a “joyous rush of memories” took him back 52 years to the genesis of those shoes, the day after he won two events at a 1965 conference championship.
That morning, the University of Oregon runner (and future Olympic marathoner) went on a long training run. But a debilitating pain in his right foot forced him to cut that run short. An X-ray showed a break across Moore’s third metatarsal. Moore’s track coach, Bill Bowerman, asked to see the shoe he had been training in. The first red flag: That shoe wasn’t a running shoe — it was a high-jump shoe.
Bowerman ripped the pair to pieces. He discovered minimal padding and even less arch support. To call it a shit shoe wouldn’t be accurate. It was a “double-shit shoe,” Bowerman told Moore.
In the six weeks Moore’s foot needed to heal, Bowerman made it his mission to build Moore a custom shoe that would solve his problems. That June, he sent his manufacturing partner in Japan instructions and samples for them to make him a running shoe with more cushion and arch support and a more durable sole.
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