A partnership between international auction house Sotheby’s (BID) and sneaker marketplace Stadium Goods might seem incongruous. But starting July 11, the two brands are partnering for a first-of-its-kind online-only sneaker auction. From July 11-23, sneaker fans can bid on kicks in the the Stadium Goods Ultimate Sneaker Collection, which features 100 of the rarest sneakers in history.
Noah Wunsch, Sotheby's global head of e-commerce, thinks the partnership is a perfect match.
"The sneaker market for years has been evolving in such a fascinating way, and I think it's a testament to the ways that culture, art, streetwear, skating sneakers, and luxury collectibles are intertwining. So for me, it was, it was a no brainer," he told Yahoo Finance.
The shoes featured in the auction could be described as a sneakerhead’s dream. Coveted models include the 2011 and 2016 versions of the Nike (NKE) Air Mags, which were featured in "Back to the Future Part II;" the ultra-rare Chanel x Pharrell x Adidas NMD Hu TR - 1-of-1 for Karl Lagerfeld; and four versions of the Travis Scott Air Jordan 4 “Friends & Family” collection (one of which was seen worn by influencer Kylie Jenner), just to name a few.
Perhaps the most exclusive shoe in the collection is the handmade “Nike Moon Shoe,” created by Nike co-founder, famed Olympic team and University of Oregon running coach Bill Bowerman. He created just 12 pairs of the shoes for U.S. runners at the 1972 Olympic trials.
But their limited quantity isn’t the only reason why “Moon Shoes” are so special, it’s also their legendary creation story. Bowerman, who coached Nike co-founder Phil Knight, had a habit of tinkering with his runners’ shoes.
He was always cutting and trimming to remove any unnecessary weight. Bowerman would one day set his sights on his wife's waffle iron. He believed the waffle pattern would make excellent traction for a running shoe. After ruining a few waffle irons, Bowerman finally had a prototype he was confident to give runners. This pair on the auction block is estimated to sell anywhere from $110,000 to $160,000.
Paying over $100,000 for a pair of sneakers may seem unfathomable to most, but Stadium Goods co-founder and co-CEO John McPheters doesn’t think so.
"There's been a collector’s world that's been chasing and applying a value to these goods for quite some time. We've built the business on it in some ways, and it's been something that's grown consistently, and I think as interest in general in sneakers has grown and become much more massive and much more international. It's not surprising that the value of these items is going up and will continue to gain in value for the right items."
Reggie Wade is a writer for Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter at @ReggieWade.