Considered to be one of the most sought-after shoes in world, the 1972 Nike "Moon Shoe" has just been sold at a Sotheby’s for a price $437,500 (£350,395) to Canadian collector and businessman Miles Nadal - breaking the record for the most expensive trainers (sneakers) sold at auction.
The pair of Waffle Racing Flats (also known as "Moon Shoes") was part of a larger collection provided by premier sneaker and streetwear marketplace Stadium Goods, who partnered with Sotheby’s for the first time to offer what they refer to as "The Ultimate Sneaker Collection".
However, the record-breaking shoes themselves originally came from record holder Jordy Geller, who currently holds the Guinness World Records title for the largest collection of trainers/sneakers.
One of only a handful of pairs known to exist, the present 1972 Nike "Moon Shoe" pair is a handmade running shoe designed by Nike co-founder and legendary Oregon University track coach Bill Bowerman.
Bowerman was first inspired to create the innovative quilted-sole traction pattern found on the brand’s early running shoes by tinkering with his wife’s waffle iron and pouring rubber into the mold to create the first prototype of the sole.
"It's actually incredible timing with the recent 50th anniversary of the moon landing," mentioned Jordy, "When athletes wore these particular pair of Nike shoes, they left unique sole marks on the ground, resembling an astronaut's moon print. That's how the 'Moon Shoes' got their name."
Made for runners at the 1972 Olympic Trials, only about 12 pairs of the Moon Shoes were created, with even fewer still remaining today. The sneaker is the only pair known to exist in unworn condition.
For the footwear-centered auction, Stadium Goods curated a selection of the most prized footwear from their famed Trophy Case - the most exclusive and coveted sneakers ever produced by Nike, Air Jordan, Adidas, Yeezy and more, spanning over 15 years of the most sought-after, limited-edition drops in sneaker history.
A total of 100 pairs were part of this assortment and were initially going to be sold as a complete collection, but both companies felt it best to offer the rare 1972 Nike Waffle Racing Flat ‘Moon Shoe’ as part of a public auction.
Miles Nadal first acquired the 99 pairs in a private auction last week for $850,000, and after bidding against several other passionate sneaker fans for the “Moon Shoe”, has now completed the collection with a final bid of $437,500 - doubling the former record of $200,000 for a pair of Nike Mag self-lacing trainers inspired by the 1989 film Back to the Future Part II sold in 2016.
Record holder Jordy Geller said he was honoured to be passing off such an iconic pair of shoes to another passionate collector, and be a part of the sale.
"I view sneakers as much more than shoes, I think of them as art. They're a perfect showcase of history - and what Miles Nadal has purchased is indeed a historic artifact. It represents the root of the Nike company, and its longstanding culture."
Upon acquiring the record-breaking footwear Miles said: "I am thrilled to acquire the iconic Nike "Moon Shoes", one of the rarest pairs of sneakers ever produced, and a true historical artifact in sports history and pop culture. When I initially acquired the 99 other pairs in this auction last week, I just knew the Nike’s had to remain part of this remarkable collection, and I couldn’t be happier with the result."
With his new set of trainers, Miles plans on displaying the sneaker collection at his Dare to Dream Automobile Museum in Toronto, Canada – a private museum featuring an extensive collection of classic cars.
He plans to share the collection with friends, family and charitable organizations, upon request.
Want to learn more about this incredibly historic pair of sneakers? Jordy Geller does a walkthrough in the video below!