It only made it into stores because of a protocol-ignoring product manager.
“But one of our product managers actually thought it was awesome, and without proper authorization, he signed an order to build five thousand pairs even though there were no orders. He stuck his neck way out there. He saw what I saw. And he took those five thousand pairs to the New York Marathon, not a place you typically went to sell shoes, and he sold them all in like three days at the exhibition hall right there near Times Square. Word got out. They went like hotcakes. In a month, we went from zero orders to orders for half a million pairs.”
Now the shoe is Nike’s bestselling shoe, with Hatfield noting that “this past fiscal year, we will have sold over four million pairs, we’re planning to sell a similar number this coming year. It’s our number one shoe and at one point it had zero orders.”