Rare Nike trainers sell for more than £350,000

Image source, Getty Images

A pair of rare Nike trainers designed by the sportswear giant's co-founder has sold for a record-breaking $437,500 (£351,772).

They were the last shoes to sell in an auction of 100 pairs of trainers - from Adidas to Air Jordans - in New York.

The 1972 Nike Waffle Racing Flat Moon Shoe was expected to fetch $160,000.

But Canadian collector, Miles Nadal paid almost three-times that, having already forked out $850,000 for the other 99 pairs in the auction.

The Nike Waffle Moon Shoes were designed by Bill Bowerman, a track coach who co-founded Nike.

Just 12 pairs were hand-made, with a number being handed out to runners at the 1972 Olympic trials, and the pair being auctioned is thought to be the only one not to be worn.

Noah Wunsch, Sotheby's global head of e-commerce, said Mr Bowerman used a waffle iron to imprint the tread on the shoes.

Media caption,
Father-and-son Troy and Chase Reed have opened a New York pawn shop specialising in second-hand sneakers

The new owner of the shoes, Mr Nadal - who founded an investment firm, Peerage Capital - 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.

Back to the Future

Mr Nadal's haul included two pairs of Nike Mags, shoes made famous in the 1989 Back to the Future Part II because they had automatic lacing - a technology the company didn't bring to the market until almost three decades later.

The limited edition Back to the Future 2016 sneakers were thought to have fetched between $50,000 and $70,000.

Another star of the auction was the Jeter edition Air Jordan 11, created to commemorate New York Yankee baseball star Derek Jeter's retirement in 2017. Only five pairs were made. They were estimated to have sold for close to $60,000.

The highest price fetched at a public auction for trainers is thought to be $190,373 for a pair of signed Converse shoes worn by Michael Jordan in the 1984 Olympic basketball final.

The shoes were auctioned in California in 2017.