Footwear of the Olympians, by Cregg Weinmann, Notes by Larry Eder


The sneaker wars were quite apparent in Eugene, Oregon during the Olympic Trials. As Cregg Weinmann, the RN footwear editor, sat behind me during the Trials each day, I asked him to keep track of the medals and places won by various footwear brands. To no one's surprise, Nike won the sneaker wars at the Trials. What was comforting was how many brands participated and also the opportunities for many brands to participate.

Each company has different needs that they are trying to accomplish. Congrats to all. It made for my favorite Olympic Trials of the eight that I have had the luck to attend!

Footwear of the Olympians

Eleven days of soaking up Olympic team culture in Eugene, Oregon was a lesson in intensity. Before beginning the Track and Field Trials, the US Olympic team already had selected athletes in the men's and women's Marathon and the men's 50k racewalk. The sponsorship by the various footwear brands may well be at its highest levels ever with participating athletes sponsored by: adidas, ASICS, Brooks, Mizuno, New Balance, Nike, Puma, Reebok, and Saucony. The number of collegiate, unsponsored club, and unattached athletes are a fraction of those qualifying to compete in Beijing (about 16%). Signing the best athletes is nearly as competitive as the competition itself (some would argue more so!)

The competition finals fired from the outset with the women's 10,000 meters, and thrilled the crowd each day with one outstanding performance after another. Not all of the top three finishes resulted in a qualification for Beijing, as several athletes after coming through at the Trials, did not have the qualifying mark.

Footwear Affiliations of Olympic Qualifiers

Men's Marathon: ASICS, Nike, Brooks

Men's 50 kilometer Racewalk: New Balance

Women's Marathon: ASICS, Saucony, Reebok

Day 1
Women's 10,000: Nike, Nike, Nike

Day 2
Women's 100: Nike, Nike, Nike
Men's Shot Put: Nike, Nike, Nike
Heptathlon: Nike, Nike, ASICS

Day 3
Women's 400 Hurdles: Reebok, collegian, Nike
Men's 400 Hurdles: Nike, Nike, Nike
Women's Discus Throw: Nike, ASICS, Nike
Men's Pole Vault: Nike, unattached, Nike
Men's Long Jump: Nike, Nike, Nike
Women's Triple Jump: Nike, unattached
Men's 100 meters: adidas, collegian, adidas

Day 4
Men's 800 meters: Nike, collegian, Nike
Decathlon: Nike, Nike, Nike
Women's Javelin: collegian, Nike
M5000 Nike, Nike, adidas

Day 7
Women's 400 meters Nike, Nike, adidas
Men's 400 meters: Nike, adidas, Nike
Women's Long Jump: Nike, Nike, Nike
Women's Steeplechase Nike, Nike, collegian

Day 8
Men's Hammer Throw: Nike
Women's High Jump: Nike, ASICS, ASICS
Women's 5000 meter run: Nike, adidas, Nike
Men's 10,000 meter run: Nike, collegian, Reebok

Day 9
Men's 20 kilometer Racewalk: US Air Force
Women's Shot Put: unattached, Nike, NYAC
Men's Steeplechase: adidas, Nike, New Balance
Men's High Jump: Nike, Nike, Nike
Women's Hammer Throw: Nike, Mjolnir Throws, NYAC

Day 10
Women's 20 kilometer Racewalk: adidias
Men's Discus Throw: Nike, Nike, Nike
Women's 1500 meter run: Nike, Nike, Nike
Men's 200 meters: collegian, Nike, Nike
Women's 200 meters: adidas, Nike, adidas
Women's Pole Vault: adidas, adidas, unattached
Men's Triple Jump: Nike, Mizuno, Shore AC
Men's Javelin Throw: Monmouth TC, Nike, adidas
Men's 110 meter Hurdles: Nike, Mizuno, Nike
Women's 100 meter Hurdles ASICS, Nike, unattached
Men's 1500 meters: Nike, Nike, Nike

Olympic Footwear Wars
1st 2nd 3rd Total
Nike 27 23 19 69
adidas 5 4 5 14
ASICS 3 2 2 7
Reebok 1 0 2 3
NewBalance 1 0 1 2
Mizuno 0 2 0 2
Saucony 0 1 0 1
Brooks 0 0 1 1

unattached 3 3 5 11
Collegiate 2 4 1 7

Nike athletes dominate the team with 69, a testament to John Capriotti's and Josh Rowe's hard work, but 48 of the qualifiers made the team without Nike's direct help.

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