Rare Nike Sneakers Sell for Jaw-Dropping Amount

The 1972 Nike Waffle Racing Flat Moon Shoes fetched nearly triple what they were expected to
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 24, 2019 1:03 PM CDT
Rare Nike Sneakers Sell for Jaw-Dropping Amount
A Nike "Moon Shoe" is on display at Sotheby's auction house in New York on July 12, 2019.   (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey)

A Canadian collector really, really wanted this pair of rare Nike sneakers: The 1972 Nike Waffle Racing Flat Moon Shoes sold at auction this week for a record-breaking $437,500, nearly three times the price they were predicted to fetch, the BBC reports. The shoes were the final pair from a Sotheby's auction of 100 rare pairs in New York, and all 100 pairs went to the same buyer: Miles Nadal. CNN reports that he managed to procure the first 99 pairs last week in a private sale—for just $412,500 more, total, than what he ended up spending on the single pair of Moon Shoes. He wanted to buy the Moon Shoes too, but Sotheby's says in a statement that it "opted to keep the Nike racing flats available in public auction," and bidding was open until Tuesday.

The shoes were designed by Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman, who used a waffle iron to imprint the tread on the shoes; just a dozen pairs were made by hand, and most were given to runners at the 1972 Olympic trials. In addition to the waffle sole, the shoe "got its name from the resemblance between the impression that the waffle pattern left in dirt and the famous tracks left on the moon by astronauts in 1969," per the listing description. The pair Nadal just bought is believed to be the only one never worn. Nadal, the founder of an investment firm, says he plans to display all 100 of his new pairs at his private Toronto automobile museum. "I think sneaker culture and collecting is on the verge of a breakout moment," he says. The previous record for sneakers sold at a public auction was $190,373 for a pair of signed Converse shoes Michael Jordan wore for the 1984 Olympic basketball final. (See what Nadal had to say about his acquisition of the first 99 pairs.)

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