How Robert Kraft’s shoe deal with Nike all started

Elsa | Getty Images

Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, has been known to rock some trendy Nikes in a lot of his business ventures. The now 77-year-old owner first began his collaboration with the sneaker company back in 2014, and it has become a hit ever since.

But how did Kraft end up with his own line of shoes? It turns out, he just wanted to be comfortable.

Kraft has looked toward Nikes as a more pleasant alternative to dress shoes. The Patriots’ owner is a busy man who spends a lot of time on his feet. And being a former athlete with foot pain from bone spurs in “an old football injury,” his Nikes provided that comfort that he needed.

Kraft specifically took a liking to the Nike Air Force 1 and began wearing them with his suits. He even reached out to Nike to seek a custom pair with more support; and they delivered.

It wasn’t until Mark Parker, Nike’s CEO, came to speak at one of Kraft’s events in Boston, that the collaboration officially began.

“I had a suit on, and I was wearing Air Force 1s,” said Kraft. “He said, ‘Why don’t we make your own line?’ I said, ‘OK.’”

Nike released its first version of the Patriots-inspired Lunar Force 1 back in 2014 and the shoes sold out in less than ten minutes. When available, the shoe sells for around $140, and all proceeds from the sneakers fund fitness programs at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston.

“It’s just a fun thing that’s blossomed and evolved into something I didn’t expect,” Kraft told the Boston Globe. “It certainly wasn’t planned.”

Follow Megan on Twitter: @carnahanmegan