A pair of the ultra-exclusive Nike “Moon Shoe” has officially broken the world auction record for sneakers, selling at a whopping $437,000 USD at New York auction house Sotheby’s. With a starting price of $80,000 USD, the silhouette zoomed past its pre-sale estimate of $160,000 USD and was purchased by collector Miles Nadal. The investment firm founder has announced his plans to exhibit the gem at his private museum, the Dare to Dream Automobile Museum, in Toronto.
Nadal’s purchase is one of 12 pairs ever made and is currently the only known pair to exist in unworn condition. Calling the sneaker a “true historical artifact in sports history and pop culture,” it was designed by Nike co-founder and track coach Bill Bowerman for runners at the 1972 Olympics trials. According to Sotheby’s, Bowerman found inspiration for the waffle sole traction pattern by pouring rubber into his wife’s waffle iron mold, subsequently creating its first-ever prototype.
“I think sneaker culture and collecting is on the verge of a breakout moment,” Nadal said, with Sotheby’s eCommerce global head Noah Wunsch adding, “We are eager to see where this sale takes us, not only in future sneaker offerings, but also in other new luxury lifestyle areas.”
Aside from the “Moon Shoe,” Nadal also acquired 99 other pairs at a private sale the week prior. Outstanding pairs in his previous purchase includes the 2011 and 2016 iterations of the Nike Air Mag “Back to the Future,” limited-edition silhouettes from adidas and Air Jordan and Kanye West’s YEEZY collection.
The previous world auction record for sneakers was made in 2017 for a pair of signed Converse shoes reportedly worn by basketball legend Michael Jordan in the 1984 Olympic basketball final. The pair sold for $190,373 USD.
In other footwear news, Zion Williamson has signed with Jordan Brand.