The 1972 Nike “Moon Shoes” sold for a record-breaking $437,500 in Sotheby’s New York public auction Tuesday.
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The highly-coveted Waffle Racing Flats, or “Moon Shoes” was one of the original running shoes designed for track stars in the 1972 Olympic Trials in Munich. There are only 12 pairs of the handmade shoes and the pair sold Tuesday is the only one known to exist in mint condition. The shoes are the brainchild of Nike co-founder and Oregon University track coach Bill Bowerman, who created the first prototype by tinkering with his wife’s waffle iron and pouring rubber into the mold for the sole.
Canadian investor and car collector Miles Nadal purchased the pair along with 99 other rare- or limited-edition shoes for a total of $850,000 at the auction.
Prior to the "Moon Shoes," the highest price paid for sneakers at a public auction was $190,373 in 2017 for a pair of signed Converse shoes reportedly worn by basketball star Michael Jordan in the 1984 Olympic Finals, Sotheby’s said in a statement.
At the auction, Nadal said the “Moon Shoe” is a “true historical artifact in sports history and pop culture.” He plans to display them, along with the other 99 freshly-purchased shoes at his Dare to Dream Automobile Museum in Toronto.
Sotheby’s multinational art dealers has recently partnered with streetwear marketplace, Stadium Goods, to auction 100 pairs of the rarest sneakers ever produced.