Nike Co-Founder Bill Bowerman's Handcrafted Waffle Spikes Expected to Fetch $130K+ USD at Auction

One of only a handful of pairs in existence.

Footwear
7,118 Hypes 6 Comments

Legendary University of Oregon track coach and Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman was known to hand-make custom spikes for his runners, and now, for the first time ever, one of those spikes is appearing at auction. Presented in a Sotheby’s single-lot offering, the spikes are one of only a handful of pairs in existence, and come from the collection of John Mays, a onetime member of the Oregon track team.

According to Sotheby’s, Bowerman made the white leather spikes for Mays in 1970 or early 1971, before Nike was officially formed in spring ‘71. As Mays was a sprinter during his time with the Ducks, the shoes are ultra low-profile and lightweight, with an unadorned heel and sharp metal forefoot spikes for propulsion. However, the right shoe was edited in 1974: Bowerman added a leather forefoot overlay and his now-famous waffle traction pattern for Mays to test out. A letter written to Mays by Bowerman accompanies the shoes as well, explaining the though process behind the modifications in detail. Therefore, the shoes are an interesting, two-pronged piece of history that perfectly encapsulates the genesis of Nike.

These Waffle Spikes are estimated to sell for between $130,000-$150,000 USD, amongst the most valuable pairs ever offered at auction. However, it’s very likely that they could exceed that estimation several times over. In May, a pair of Michael Jordan‘s game-worn and signed Air Jordan 1 “Chicago” sold for $560,000 USD, easily smashing its $100,000 USD price estimate to become the most expensive sneaker ever to hit the auction block. Going further back, a Nike Waffle Racing Flat — also known as the “Moon Shoe” — sold for a staggering $437,500 USD in July 2019.

Interested parties can head over to Sotheby’s to place a bid, with the auction open until June 26.

If you want to get your hands on some new kicks but don’t have six figures laying around, check out the latest installment of HYPEBEAST’S weekly Best Footwear Drops roundup.

Read Full Article

What to Read Next

Picasso’s ‘Femme à la Montre’ Painting Expected to Fetch $120 Million USD at Auction
Art

Picasso’s ‘Femme à la Montre’ Painting Expected to Fetch $120 Million USD at Auction

Depicting his longtime muse, Marie-Thérèse Walter.

Gunther Werks Remastered 1996 Porsche 911 To Fetch $1.3M USD at Auction
Automotive

Gunther Werks Remastered 1996 Porsche 911 To Fetch $1.3M USD at Auction

Notably the first of only 25 Sport Touring “Chelsea Grey” commission examples.

Rare 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder Weissach Expected to Fetch $3M USD at Auction
Automotive

Rare 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder Weissach Expected to Fetch $3M USD at Auction

One of only 28 examples specified for the Canadian market.


A&M Records Co-Founder Jerry Moss' High-Profile Art Collection to Be Sold at Auction
Art

A&M Records Co-Founder Jerry Moss' High-Profile Art Collection to Be Sold at Auction

Featuring works from artists including Frida Kahlo, Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol and more.

RIMOWA Enlists Queer Artists to Tell Stories of Love and Travel for Pride Month
Art

RIMOWA Enlists Queer Artists to Tell Stories of Love and Travel for Pride Month

Jack Taylor Lovatt, Strauss Louw, Lara & Marta and more appear.

An ‘Attack the Block’ Sequel May Be Coming
Entertainment

An ‘Attack the Block’ Sequel May Be Coming

With John Boyega reprising his breakout role.

David Wojnarowicz's 'Burning House' Artwork Inspires JW Anderson's Latest Capsule
Fashion

David Wojnarowicz's 'Burning House' Artwork Inspires JW Anderson's Latest Capsule

The capsule will raise funds for the Visual AIDS organization.

Casablanca Unveils Second New Balance 327 Collaboration
Footwear

Casablanca Unveils Second New Balance 327 Collaboration

Featuring a more stripped-back aesthetic.

Facebook and Instagram Will Allow Users to Turn Off Political Ads for the Next U.S. Election
Tech & Gadgets

Facebook and Instagram Will Allow Users to Turn Off Political Ads for the Next U.S. Election

The news was announced by Mark Zuckerberg in an op-ed.


Black Sabbath Drops 'Master of Reality'-Inspired Black Lives Matter T-Shirt
Fashion 

Black Sabbath Drops 'Master of Reality'-Inspired Black Lives Matter T-Shirt

All profits will be donated to the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation.

nanamica Focuses on "Heartwarming Life-Tech Wear” for FW20
Fashion

nanamica Focuses on "Heartwarming Life-Tech Wear” for FW20

Mixing high-quality materials with natural fibers.

Ageless Galaxy Teams up With Dalek for a Pop Art-Inspired Capsule Drop
Fashion

Ageless Galaxy Teams up With Dalek for a Pop Art-Inspired Capsule Drop

Featuring the American artist’s signature Spacemonkey.

Casio G-SHOCK and Dragon Ball Z Prep Collaborative GA-110 Watch
Watches

Casio G-SHOCK and Dragon Ball Z Prep Collaborative GA-110 Watch

A classic model inspired by Goku.

Leon Bridges and Terrace Martin Celebrate Community in "Sweeter" Visual
Music 

Leon Bridges and Terrace Martin Celebrate Community in "Sweeter" Visual

Featuring Bridges’ father and childhood friends.

More ▾
 
We got you covered. Don’t miss out on the latest news by signing up for our newsletters.

By subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.