Rare pair of vintage Nike track shoes sell for $50,000

Old Nikes sold to new hotel

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California man just made a killing on a pair of old Nikes. The rare sneakers sold for a whopping $50,000.

"I kind of had an idea what they were worth. But it far exceeds that," Dave Russell told KTXL.

So, what exactly made these shoes so special?

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Well for starters, they were given to Russell at the 1972 Olympic trials in Eugene, Oregon.

Russell was 25 at the time and vying for a spot as a marathoner for Team USA.


The rare track shoes, known as "moon-shoes" for their waffle-like bottom, were actually among the first prototype shoes designed by Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman.

Only 12 of the moon-shoes were ever made.

"They were very unorthodox shoes. They were very exotic, because the sole was completely different and made on a waffle iron. It was glued to the bottom of the shoe. The shoe was completely handmade. Oh, I loved them. They fit like a glove," said Russell.

It wasn't until a few months ago that Russell looked into selling the shoes. The buyer is a hotel chain that just so happened to be building a Nike-themed property in Eugene and wanted to put them on display.

"And they wanted something that would say this is 'Nike Town,' and here are these shoes that were the prototype before Nike was even really a public shoe," said Russell.

Pretty good timing, but even Russell still wonders, "Who'd pay this kind of money for some funky, old shoes?"