Setting a new world record, a pair of Nike running shoes, called the "Moon Shoe," sold for $437,500 (Rs. 3.01cr) on Tuesday, according to New York auction house Sotheby's.
Manufactured in 1972, the Moon Shoe smashed the previous record held by a pair of signed Converse worn by Michael Jordan in the 1984 Olympic basketball final, which sold for $190,373 (Rs. 1.31cr) in 2017.
The starting bid for the Moon Shoe was $80,000 and the pre-sale estimate was $160,000, said the auction house.
Sotheby's, known for selling artworks worth tens of millions of dollars, had collaborated with streetwear marketplace Stadium Goods for the auction 'Stadium Goods: the Ultimate Sneaker Collection'.
The auction sold 100 pairs of the rarest sneakers ever produced, including the rare Moon Shoe.
Notably, the flat-racing Moon Shoe was designed by Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman for runners at the 1972 Olympic trials.
Bowerman had given the shoes a waffle-sole traction pattern, after experimenting with his wife's waffle iron.
Only 12 pairs were manufactured and the pair sold on Tuesday was "one of only a handful of pairs known to exist" and the only known unworn set.
Meanwhile, Noah Wunsch, global head of e-commerce at Sotheby's, told AFP, "We are excited the iconic Nike Moon Shoe achieved more than double the previous world auction record for a sneaker today."
Speaking to Reuters, Wunsch added, "We are eager to see where this sale takes us, not only in future sneaker offerings but also in other new luxury lifestyle areas."
The successful bidder who splashed out $437,500 is 61-year-old Canadian collector Miles Nadal.
"I think sneaker culture and collecting is on the verge of a breakout moment," he said.
Nadal also bought the other 99 pairs privately from auction organizers last week for $850,000, including the Nike sneakers based on those worn by Marty McFly in the hit movie Back to the Future II.
"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," Nadal said. He now plans to display them at his private automobile museum in Toronto.
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