In 2004, Owensboro native Pat Ward began searching for a solution to a common problem many runners face — chafed and sore nipples.
Ward, who has been running for good health since 1993, dealt with this issue personally, but also knew many other active-lifers complain about “nip problems.”
“Surprisingly, there were no products specifically made for the purpose of preventing such a common problem,” he said. “So, I began experimenting with all sorts of medical grade adhesives and materials. A couple of years later, after watching a few episodes of ‘The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch’ (a show similar to Shark Tank about inventors), I was inspired to create a prototype, apply for patent protection, and begin selling ‘NipEaze’ on Ebay.”
His first official sale was in February of 2012. Not long after that, NipEaze got the attention of a running coach from Women’s Running Magazine, along with nods from other running publications.
“I would receive emails from marathon runners saying they have needed a product like this for years,” Ward said. “One of our greatest compliments was to find that our product worked for ultra-marathon runners (100-mile marathons), and since then, we are featured monthly in UltraRunning Magazine.”
Ward said his biggest business step was to begin selling products on Amazon. Soon after that, NipEaze began selling worldwide. Now Ward has distributors in China, UK, Australia, and other countries.
“We are now the leading sports nip cover with nearly 2 million pairs distributed last year alone,” he said.
At this year’s Boston Marthon Expo, Ward gave away 16,000 pairs of NipEaze.
Other notable expos they’ve been at are the 2018 NYC Marathon Expo and the 2019 Marine Corps Marathon Expo in Washington, D.C. Ward said the NipEaze crew plans to be at the Chicago Marathon Expo this October.
You can find NipEaze on BuyNipEaze.com, in select stores, or on Amazon.