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Nike Moon Shoes are 44 years old, beat up, worn out and worth $11,200

MINNETONKA, Minn. -- A 44-year-old pair of worn-out sneakers, stored for decades in a basement in Minnesota, ended up being worth $11,200 to an avid shoe collector from Malaysia.

MINNETONKA, Minn. -- A 44-year-old pair of worn-out sneakers, stored for decades in a basement in Minnesota, ended up being worth $11,200 to an avid shoe collector from Malaysia.

Although they are stained, missing their laces and the soles are crumbling, Bruce Mortenson’s vintage running shoes have a rarified pedigree.

They are a pair of Nike Moon Shoes, handmade prototypes of what would become the iconic bestselling Nike waffle-soled running shoes, the legendary Waffle Trainer, which helped launch a little Oregon shoe company into the giant brand it is today.

In 1972, Mortenson was an elite runner from Minnesota when he was offered a pair of Moon Shoes, the first Nike waffle-soled shoes made and used in competition.

Mortenson, now 72 and living in Minnetonka, used the size 10.5 shoes to compete in the marathon trials for the 1972 Olympics.

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Mortenson didn’t make the Olympic team, but he kept the shoes and used them in about a dozen local road races in Minnesota.

And he held on to them over the years even after he had gone through dozens of other shoes in a running career that includes 64 marathon finishes and a total lifetime tally of about 175,000 miles.

Mortenson said he decided to finally sell the old shoes after hearing that another 1972 Olympics trials runner, Mark Covert, had sold his Moon Shoes to Oregon sneaker collector Jordan Geller for an undisclosed price.

Geller, creator of a shoe museum called the ShoeZeum, helped Mortenson put his sneakers up for sale on eBay.

Over 10 days, 29 bidders made a total of 135 bids, starting out at $1.04 and ending up at $11,200 on Sunday night.

Geller said the buyer is “a huge collector based out of Malaysia.”

“He is one of the biggest collectors of vintage Nikes in the world,” Geller wrote in an email.

“Initially I thought the shoes would fetch 5-10K. I was pleasantly surprised that they sold for more than that,” Geller wrote.

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