Sotheby’s Nike Moon Shoes

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What Are Nike Moon Shoes?

  • Nike's first major innovation was the Waffle Sole.
  • Waffle Soles were created by Bill Bowerman using his wife's Waffle Iron.
  • Bill Bowerman was the co-founder of Nike.
  • The first Nikes to feature Waffle Soles were Nike Moon Shoes.
  • Nike Moon Shoes got their nickname because the impressions that the Waffle Soles left on the track resembled the footprints that astronauts left on the Moon.
  • Astronauts walked on the Moon in 1969.
  • Nike Moon Shoes are from 1972 which was the first year of Nike.
  • Moon Shoes made their debut at the 1972 Olympic Trials Marathon.
  • According to Nike, about one dozen pairs of Moon Shoes were made.
  • Nike made several different iterations of Moon Shoes.
  • Nike Moon Shoes were hand-cobbled.
  • They were made by Geoff Hollister under the direction of Bill Bowerman.
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Enshrined In Prefontaine Hall

This Moon Shoe lives in Steve Prefontaine Hall at Nike World Headquarters. Nike describes the Moon Shoe as the prototype of the waffle trainer. Here is how they describe the shoes:
"Buoyed by the successful reaction to Nike shoes at the NSGA trade show, BRS seized the upcoming US Track & Field Olympic Trials in Eugene as a platform to spread the word about Nike. Nylon footwear uppers were air-freighted from Japan. Bowerman's waffle outsoles were hand-cut from rolls of rubber sheets made in Eugene. Geoff Hollister glued them together and then gave them to a dozen or so competitors to wear for training or on the infield at Hayward Field.

The hand-cobbled footwear quickly picked up the nickname "Moon Shoe" because the waffle-marked footprints they left in the dirt were reminiscent of those being left on the moon around the same time by the Apollo astronauts. Those early prototypes were crude, but runners liked the feel and traction of the waffle sole, which would lead to the development of the iconic Nike Waffle Trainer in 1974."
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“Irreverence Justified”

"Irreverence Justified" is the Nike Bible. The Moon Shoe is featured on Page 1. Moon Shoes are the roots of Nike.
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“Genealogy of Speed”

The Moon Shoe is “Innovation Zero” on the Nike Timeline.
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“Genealogy of Innovation”

This book features the most progressive Moon Shoe alongside Steve Prefontaine.
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Nike Moon Shoes were hand-cobbled by Geoff Hollister under the direction of Bill Bowerman.