Hand-punched lace holes, original laces, and Bowerman’s handwriting all make for a fitting tribute to this iconic brand. Bill Bowerman is one of Nike’s co-founders, and his influence on the beloved brand’s shoes has been evident from the very beginning. These waffle-spike shoes are held together with glue rather than stitches, made from scratch with a little help from Bowerman’s careful eye.
This pair of sneakers was constructed exclusively for John Mays, a legendary runner at the University of Oregon in the 1970s, featuring his surname on the heel. The Bill Bowerman Handmade Nike Waffle Spike Shoes and Handwritten Note for John Mays have mismatching soles, with waffle spikes on the right shoe (inspired by the design of Bowerman’s waffle iron). There is some degree of wear and tear but the shoes held up remarkably well over the past half-century. At the time they were constructed, Bowerman and Mays had no idea what this pair of sneakers would go on to become. Sotheby’s brings this piece of history to the auction block, taking online bid until June 26th.