Steve Prefontaine’s Shoe Auction – How Much Did They Cost?


A piece of athletics history sold on September 15 for quite a bit of money.

International luxury goods auctioneers Sotheby’s issued a tender for Invictus Part II, the second half of a collection of sporting artifacts, on September 6. Hockey League MVP Wayne Gretzky used in his last career game and boxing legend Muhammed Ali’s kufi.

But the item with the highest earning potential according to Sotheby’s estimates was not from soccer, basketball or baseball, the most popular sports in the United States. originally estimated to sell for up to $250,000. Even though they didn’t reach that top figure, they officially sold for a whopping $163,000.

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While the fact that running legend Prefontaine actually wore the shoes was part of their value, Sotheby’s believes the shoes represent something bigger. According to the product description on the auction page, “These Oregon Waffles are the first pair of Pre’s shoes to already to be sold publicly, which is especially remarkable considering the lasting impact it has had on one of the world’s most iconic sneaker companies: Nike.

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Originally founded in 1964 as Blue Ribbon Sports by University of Oregon track and cross-country coach Bill Bowerman and businessman Phil Knight, Nike is now a Fortune 500 company and the largest footwear company in the world. Several other items from the Invictus Part II auction were Nike shoes, including one worn by basketball star LeBron James, another worn by dominating tennis player Rafael Nadal and a designer pair signed by Serena Williams.

But those sold for only a fraction of the price of Pre’s green and yellow pair, which were made around 1975. Pre became the face of the brand, and because he used free Nike apparel and shoes, was punished by the Amateur Athletic Union, which required athletes to retain amateur status and deny endorsements to compete in high-level competitions like the Olympics. His battle for athletes’ right to earn money from their accomplishments to support their endeavors helped pave the way for young athletes like LeBron James, who signed a billion-dollar lifetime contract with Nike. only 18 years old.

Pre’s shoes feature the waffle outsole, one of Nike’s first major innovations, invented by Bowerman using his wife’s waffle iron. The rubber waffle pattern provided more traction for the wearer, allowing them to run on different surfaces safely. Additionally, the shoes feature a nylon upper and the original laces and soles. The tongue features the original Nike logo.

The auction ended September 15 at 2:36 p.m. EST, so better luck next time if you have the dough and are looking to buy.

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