Iconic pair of Nike shoes could fetch $ 150,000 at auction

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Bill Bowerman Handmade Waffle Spike Shoes

Source: Sotheby’s

A pair of white waffle cleats handcrafted in the early 1970s are expected to fetch as much as $ 150,000 at auction.

If that price seems high, it’s because these aren’t regular running sneakers. The sneakers are the very first shoes created by Bill Bowerman, Nike co-founder and legendary University of Oregon track trainer.

Sotheby’s said the shoes were the first and only hand-made pair by Bill Bowerman to ever be auctioned. The shoes were designed for John Mays, a runner on Bowerman’s track team, and have remained in his possession ever since. A second pair of Bowerman shoes can be found in the academic records of the Knight Library at the University of Oregon.

“A lot of times Bill would tell me about a new business he was involved in. I didn’t pay much attention to it back then. One day he asked me to help him test out a new shoe. sprint spikes that he was designing. Of course, I accepted and was thrilled to be chosen, “Mays told Sotheby’s.

University of Oregon track coach Bill Bowerman and runner John Mays.

Source: Sotheby’s

Bowerman partnered with Phil Knight in 1964 to launch Blue Ribbon Sports. They renamed the company Nike in 1971. The reason these shoes are so valuable is that they serve as the original model and the first major innovation for the company. Today, the multi-billion dollar brand still uses this waffle design.

Auctions for the Special Single Lot Online Auction begin Wednesday and end June 26. Sotheby’s said the shoes were among the most valuable pairs ever to be auctioned.

Last month, the auction house sold an autographed pair of Michael Jordan’s Air Jordan 1s from his rookie season for a record $ 560,000.

“We thought the only appropriate way to follow a sale of this magnitude was to offer something special that speaks to the history and legacy of Nike,” said Brahm Wachter, Director of Ecommerce Development. from Sotheby’s.

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