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Minnesota Man Auctions Early Nike Prototype for Over $6,000

If sneakerheads will spend thousands on limited-edition Nike releases, how much might they spend for one of Nike’s earliest prototypes?

Bruce Mortenson, a 72-year-old runner from Minnetonka, MN, is selling his 44-year-old Nike Moon Shoes on Ebay with bids already exceeding $6,000.

The Nike Moon Shoes are an early prototype from the sneaker giant and were the first Nike sneaker to use their waffle sole.

According to, only a dozen of the prototype Moon Shoes were made under the direction of Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman in 1927. Each pair was hand cobbled by Nike employee Geoff Hollister during the Oregon sneaker brand’s early years.

Dirty, well worn and without laces, the Nike prototypes were originally given to Mortenson to replace his Onitsuka Tigers when he was qualifying to compete as a marathon runner for the 1972 Olympics. Mortenson was not selected for the American team, but he kept the Moon Shoes and wore them for many events to come in Minnesota.

Now looking a little worse for wear after the last half a century, the Moon Shoes are still attracting many sneaker collectors. As of Wednesday, the auction has 110 bids and over four more days until it concludes with a current bid of $6,200.