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Steve Prefontaine’s Nike Oregon Waffle shoes sell for USD$163,800

These are the first pair of Prefontaines shoes to be publicly sold

Photo by: Sothebys

A pair of Nike Oregon Waffle shoes worn by distance runner Steve Prefontaine has been sold for USD $163,800 on the auction site, Sothebys.com.

Steve Prefontaine (left) and Garry Bjorkland (right) at an NCAA XC meet in 1972

This pair of Oregon Waffle sneakers in a men’s size 9.5, including the original laces and blue insoles, was worn and owned by Prefontaine. The sneaker is finished in a nylon upper in the University of Oregon’s signature yellow and green colourway. Prefontaine is widely considered the greatest U.S. runner of all time.

The waffle pattern was developed by Oregon track and field coach and Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman.

These are the first pair of Pre’s shoes to be publicly sold, which is notable considering the lasting impact he had on Nike, the most iconic sneaker company in the world: Nike.

Prefontaine was the first runner signed by Nike and jump-started the brand as a running shoe company.

Traces of Steve Prefontaine’s legacy can be found around the University of Oregon campus.

The auction for the shoe opened on Sept. 6, and the bidding began at $100,000.

From 1969 through the mid-1970s, Pre dominated the sport, setting eight NCAA records during his time at the University of Oregon and competing in the 5,000m at the 1972 Olympics in Munich. In 1975, Prefontaine died in a car accident in Eugene, Ore.

The winner of the auction will now get to hold on to a unique piece of running history. Each year, Prefontaine’s career and life are celebrated at the Prefontaine Classic, a world-class Diamond League track event held at Hayward Field in Eugene, in his honour.

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