Nike track shoes used in 1972 Olympic trials sell for $50K

A California man has sold a pair of handmade Nike track shoes he received at the 1972 Olympic trials for $50,000

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- 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.