Vintage Nike 'moon shoes' expected to fetch up to $160,000 at Sotheby's auction

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Sotheby’s is in the sneaker game.

The auction house associated with fine art and lavish jewelry has realized the opportunity of the lucrative sneaker market and recently sold a collection of coveted shoes for a tally of $850,000, the Associated Press reports.

The auction was strictly online and started on July 11.

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‘Moon shoes’ can be had for 6 figures

And it’s not over. The crown jewel of the auction is a rare pair of Nike “moon shoes” that are still available. The bidding starts at $80,000 with Sotheby’s expecting the pair to fetch between $110,000 to $160,000.

A lucrative sneaker market has inspired Sotheby's to expand its auction holdings. (AP)
A lucrative sneaker market has inspired Sotheby's to expand its auction holdings. (AP)

Why ‘moon shoe’?

The model is known as the “moon shoe” thanks to the the tread it leaves behind, according to a Sacramento Bee report profiling Dave Russell, an owner of one of the 12 pairs created.

They were made by hand in 1972 and designed by Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman. Bowerman created the distinctive tread on the shoe by using his wife’s waffle iron as a mold.

According to the Bee, the shoe debuted at the 1972 Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon. Russell was a 25-year-old marathon runner who was one of a handful of athletes who selected the distinctive shoe when given the opportunity to choose free merchandise from an athletic store ahead of the trials.

The shoe was revolutionary at the time because of its soft sole. Prior to 1972, marathon runners were accustomed to running in hard spikes, according to the Bee.

Other rare finds at auction

Other shoes at the auction included multiple rare pairs of Air Jordans, Yeezys and two pairs of Nike high-tops inspired by the sneakers featured in “Back to the Future II” that had laces that automatically tied themselves.

According to the Associated Press, one of the “Back to the Future II” pairs actually is self-lacing.

The bidding for the “moon shoe” is scheduled to go on until next Tuesday.

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