Canadian businessman Miles Nadal completed his haul of 100 of the world’s rarest sneakers by purchasing the 1972 Nike Waffle Racing Flat “Moon Shoes” for $437,500 at a Stadium Goods and Sotheby’s sneaker sale.
The secondary sneaker market just reached its peak. In a world where StockX, the ecommerce company that also provides sneakerheads with market data, values the 2016 Nike MAG Back to the Future at $52,000, the Nike Kobi 1 81 Points PE at $81,000, and the Jordan 4 Retro Eminem Encore at $47,000,it’s no surprise that sneakers could go for six figures—and they just did. A pair of 1972 Nike Waffle Racing Flat “Moon Shoes” fetched $437,500 at Sotheby’s and Stadium Goods’s sale featuring 100 of the rarest sneakers ever produced. The $437,500 price tag—nearly three times the pre-sale estimate of $160,000—shattered the previous world record of $190,373 for a pair of autographed Converse worn by Michael Jordan in the 1984 Olympic basketball final in 2017.
Canadian collector Miles Nadal, the founder of private investment firm Peerage Capital and philanthropic initiative Dare to Dream, just achieved every Hypebeast’s wet dream, purchasing the final pair of sneakers in a public online-only sale after acquiring 99 of the 100 pairs for $850,000 in a private sale last Wednesday. Nadal plans to exhibit his sneaker collection at his very own museum, the Dare to Dream Automobile Museum in Toronto, which features a collection of classic cars.
“I am thrilled to acquire the iconic Nike ‘Moon Shoes,’ one of the rarest pairs of sneakers ever produced, and a true historical artifact in sports history and pop culture,” said Nadal in a statement. “When I initially acquired the 99 other pairs in this auction last week, I just knew the Nikes had to remain part of this remarkable collection, and I couldn’t be happier with the result. I think sneaker culture and collecting is on the verge of a breakout moment, and I hope Sotheby’s and Stadium Goods will continue to lead the way in this exciting new future.”
So what makes the Nike “Moon Shoe” worth a whopping $437,500? Nike co-founder and Oregon University track coach Bill Bowerman made the pair by hand, inspired by his wife’s waffle iron of all things. The legendary coach had the idea that the waffle pattern would enhance traction capabilities, so he poured rubber into the iron to create the first prototype of the Moon Shoe to form the then-innovative waffle traction pattern on the sole. Only 12 pairs were released, for runners at the 1972 Olympic Trials. The pair of sneakers that Nadal acquired is the only one that has never been worn.
Will the Moon Shoe be back on the secondary market anytime soon? Probably not.