A rare pair of Nike's 'Moon Shoe' designed by the sportswear giant's co-founder has sold for a record-breaking $437,500, breaking the world auction record for a pair of sneakers, according to New York auction house Sotheby's. They were the last shoes to sell in an auction of 100 pairs of trainers from Adidas to Air Jordans in New York. The waffle-soled running shoes were designed by Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman for the 1972 Olympic Trials. They're one of 12 pairs ever made and the only known unworn set.
The 1972 Nike Waffle Racing Flat Moon Shoe was expected to fetch $160,000. But Canadian collector Miles Nadal purchased them on Tuesday for $437,500, Sotheby's said.
Nadal plans to display the sneakers at his private museum in Toronto the Dare to Dream Automobile Museum.
He said, “he was thrilled at his purchase, calling the Moon Shoe a "true historical artefact in sports history and pop culture. I think sneaker culture and collecting is on the verge of a breakout moment," he added, saying he plans to display them, along with the other 99 pairs he bought last week, at his private automobile museum in Toronto”.
The previous world auction record was set in 2017 at $190,373, for a pair of signed Converse that Michael Jordan wore in the 1984 Olympic basketball final, the auction house said in a statement.
Bowerman was inspired to create the waffle sole traction pattern for Nike's early running shoes by experimenting with his wife's waffle iron, pouring rubber into the mould to create the first prototype of the sole, Sotheby's said.
The starting price for the Moon Shoe was $80,000, and the final sale price shattered the pre-sale estimate of $160,000. The shoes were part of Sotheby's "Stadium Goods: the Ultimate Sneaker Collection" online auction.
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