Rare Nike Track Shoes Used in 1972 Olympic Trials Sell for $50K - NBC10 Boston
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Rare Nike Track Shoes Used in 1972 Olympic Trials Sell for $50K

The Oregon-based shoe company made only 12 pairs.

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    Rare Nike Track Shoes Used in 1972 Olympic Trials Sell for $50K
    Christian Horan/Graduate Hotels via AP
    This undated photo provided by Graduate Hotels shows a pair of handmade Nike track shoes from the 1972 Olympic trials. The pair of Nike track shoes has sold for $50,000.

    A pair of handmade Nike track shoes from the 1972 Olympic trials has sold for $50,000.

    Dave Russell, of Sacramento, sold the rare kicks last month to the Graduate Eugene hotel, a Nike-themed property in Eugene, Oregon.

    "They wanted something that would say, 'This is Nike town,' " Russell said. "And here are these shoes that were a prototype before Nike was even a public shoe."

    Russell was 25 when he qualified for the trials in the marathon in Eugene, where the shoe and the Nike brand debuted that year, he told KTXL-TV.

    Known as "moon shoes" for their waffle-like bottom, the shoes were the first prototype designed by Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman.

    "They were very unorthodox shoes. They were very exotic because the sole was completely different. It was made on a waffle iron. It was glued to the bottom of the shoe. The shoe was completely handmade," Russell said.

    "Oh, I loved them, they fit like a glove."

    The Oregon-based shoe company made only 12 pairs.

    In 2016, a Malaysia collector paid $11,200 to a Minnesota man for a pair of the "moon shoes" that were stained and missing their laces.

    Last month, an unworn pair fetched $437,500 in a Sotheby's online sale. Canadian investor Miles Nadal won the public auction for the pristine shoes, the only pair known to exist in unworn condition, according to Sotheby's.

    Jeff Kowalsky/AFP/Getty Images

    Letsrun.com says Russell finished 55th in the trials, which were won by Frank Shorter, who went on to win the gold medal at the Olympics in Munich.