August 16 (UPI) — A California man was awarded $50,000 for his “funky old shoes” which happened to be a pair of extremely rare prototype Nike running shoes from 1972.
Sacramento’s Dave Russell said the shoes, now known as the Nike Waffle Racing Moon Shoes, were given to him when he was 25 when he competed at the 1972 Olympic trials in Eugene, Ore.
Only 12 of the prototype shoes designed by Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman were made, and 10 were given to athletes trying to make the Olympic team.
“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,” said Russell at KTXL-TV.
Russell said the shoes had spent years in a box in his garage, next to Christmas lights. He said he only decided to sell them a few months ago and received an offer from the Graduate Eugene Hotel, which is building a Nike museum in Eugene.
“They wanted something that said, ‘This is Nike town,'” Russell said. “And here are these shoes that were a prototype before Nike was even a public shoe.”
He said he knew the shoes were worth the money, but he was shocked to receive such a sum for his “awesome old shoes”.