These $1 Million Track Spikes Are From Before Nike Was Nike

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Later this month, Sotheby’s will be hosting an auction dedicated to the rarest pieces of Olympic history, coinciding with the Tokyo Olympics. Headlining the 50-plus lot assortment is a pair of track spikes handmade by Nike co-founder, Bill Bowerman. One of a handful of pairs known to exist, the shoes are expected to fetch anywhere between $800,000 and $1,200,000.

The “Prototype Logo” track spikes, as they’re being called, were made by Bowerman in the 1960s and modified in the early 1970s, for Canadian Track and Field sprinter and Olympian, Harry Jerome. The extremely rare pair boasts four prototype logos, as Bowerman was experimenting with the concept of a brand before Nike became the juggernaut we know today. As you can see, the prominent logo somewhat resembles the Nike Swoosh. The track spikes also feature waffle soles, a design that would go on to become the first innovation by Nike.

Another standout item from Sotheby’s Olympic collection is a pair of Converse Fastbreak sneakers worn by Michael Jordan during the 1984 Olympic Trials. These are expected to auction for $80,000 to $100,000, as they are among the rarest Jordan worn and signed sneakers. Jordan wore Converse prior to his rookie season in the NBA when he signed with Nike, preferring them as they were lower to the ground.

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“The contents of this sale are among some of the most remarkable Sotheby’s has ever brought to market,” said Brahm Wachter, Sotheby’s Head of Streetwear and Modern Collectables. “From ‘Prototype Logo’ track spikes handmade by Bill Bowerman, to the incredible pair of Michael Johnson ‘Golden Shoes’, as well as flags, cards, and game-worn jerseys and sneakers, this sale is a remarkable offering celebrating the Olympics, and the athletes that have participated in the Games over time. We look forward to revealing more as the Olympic Games draw closer.”

The Olympic collection will be open for bidding on July 23 in conjunction with the opening ceremony for the 2020 Summer Olympics. Visit Sotheby’s to preview the sale today.

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