Recent record price for a pair of sneakers provides a cautionary tale
As the collector car world prepares to focus on Monterey Car Week, well, at least the segment of that world that isn’t going to the Woodward Dream Cruise, we offer this note of caution:
Just because someone paid $437,500 for a pair of size 12 1/2 1972 Nike waffle racing flat “moon” shoes, it doesn’t mean that every other pair of used gym shoes is suddenly worth six figures. Or even half that many figures.
The cautionary point here is that while records may be set in the rarified bidding in Monterey, some of those prices are more outliers than market indicators.
Interestingly enough, however, the person who recently paid the record price for that pair of “sneakers” also is a car collector. He’s Miles Nadal, founder of Peerage Capital, an investment company, and he reportedly will display the shoes alongside his more than 140 cars and 40 motorcycles in his private museum, Dare to Dream Automobile Museum, in Toronto.
As with collector cars, the ’72 Nike waffles were rare and historic, one of only 12 pairs produced for the 1972 U.S. Olympic Trials by Bill Bowerman, the track coach at the University of Oregon and co-founder of the Nike brand.
Nadal bought the shoes in an online Sotheby’s auction staged with Stadium Goods Ultimate Sneaker Collection. Actually, there were two auctions. At the first, 99 lots were for offered and Nadal bought them all for $850,000.
According to Sotheby’s, Nadal said he was thrilled with his purchases, calling the moon shoes “a true historical artifact in sports history and pop culture. When I initially acquired the 99 other pairs… I just knew the Nike’s had to remain part of this remarkable collection.”
By the way, Nadal thinks there’s a trend developing: “I think sneaker culture and collecting is on the verge of a breakout moment.”
I think his purchase is evidence of another sort of trend that’s developing in the collector car marketplace — significant sales taking place at online rather than at in-person auctions.