Bruce Kilgore


Bruce Kilgore is the founder and designer of Air Force Ones, the most popular and best selling shoe of Nike. Born in 1955, he was trained as an engineer. During his training, he came up with the idea for an easy fit basketball shoe combining Nike Air technology with the common basketball shoe of the time. Nike heard of this and offered to sponsor the project in the late 1970's. After several tests, they concluded that the main problem with the shoe was that the heel would collapse even before you would begin running. Bruce tried many different things to get the shoe to work such as putting aluminum in the shoe. Unfortunately, he failed to find a way to solve the problem and Nike dropped his idea in the spring of 1982. For the next four years, Bruce played around with the idea of putting piano hinges inside the shoe but that too failed to solve the problem. Finally, in 1990, he found out that he could put tiny springs inside of the shoe in order to keep the heel intact and allow it to be used as both arunning shoe and a basketball shoe. He took the idea to Nike and after they accepted it he decided to name it the Air Force One after the plane that carries the President. The shoe was first introduced in 1991 and was immediately accepted by the NBA and regular people alike. After becoming the first NBA team to use the shoe, the Philidelphia 76ers drove through the season and won a title. The invention of the shoe helped Nike explode from a moderate national company to the largest shoe manufacturer in the entire world. The success of the shoe caused Nike to promote Bruce to the Director of Advanced Research and Development at the Nike office in Beaverton, Oregon. Kilgore's invention, the Nike Air Force One, is still the world's most popular shoe and has made more money than any other shoe in the history of the world. After starting as a basic shoe, the Air Force One has been made into dozens of forms, colors and styles in its thirty years of existence and twenty years as Nike's number one product and money maker. Bruce Kilgore currently lives in Beaverton, Oregon and maintains his position with Nike as Director of the Department of Advanced Research and Production.


external image bruce-kilgore-air-force-ones-3.jpgBruce Kilgores signature on an Air Force 1



Citations and Annotations


1. "Nike Air Force One -" - Business News, Financial News, Stock Market Analysis, Technology & Global Headline News. 13 Oct. 2010. Web. 14 Oct. 2010. . This article describes the Nike Air Force One shoe and its history however it did not provide much information about Bruce Kilgore himself. The purpose of the website is to provide business information and to generate money.

2. Lieber, Ron. "Boing." Fast Company. 31 Oct. 2000. Web. 24 Oct. 2010.>.
This article describes the history of the Nike Air Force One. It was by far the most helpful of the websites I visited and it provided most of the information for this article. The purpose of the website is to inform the reader about technology and design.

3. Kilgore, Bruce. "Bruce Kilgore." Spoke. Spoke. Web. 24 Oct. 2010.>. This site describes where Bruce Kilgore lives and where he works along with his title. I primarily used the information in the summary of this article for this report. The purpose of this website is to perform a public record search.

4. Halfhill, Matt. "November 23, 2006 / By Matt HalfhillBruce Kilgore Air Force Ones 25th Anniversary." Nice Kicks. Nice Kicks, 23 Nov. 2006. Web. 24 Oct. 2010. This Website describes how Bruce Kilgore created the Air Force One and talks about the shoe's success. This website did not provide much personal information about Bruce Kilgore but did add information about the shoe. The purpose of this website is to provide information about different types of athletic footwear.