ShoeZeum just received one of its rarest pairs: an original prototype Nike Waffle sneaker, first made in 1972.
Jordan Geller, who owns the museum, purchased the piece of Nike history from Tom Wasson—a worker for an Oregon utilities company who was given the sneaker by Tom Bowerman, son of Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman, the man who invented the waffle sole—for $1,500.
While helping Bowerman clear trees around his father's old property, they unearthed the original waffle irons used to make the first waffle soles, along with a pile of prototype Nike sneakers.
Bowerman gave Wasson the sneaker, and the rest went to Nike's archives. Wasson wanted to trade in the sneaker for a set of golf clubs for his son, but saw Geller on the TV show Pawn Stars, and realized his museum would be the right place for the sneaker.
"This shoe is really special, not because Drake or Kanye wore it, but because Bill Bowerman made this from his hands. I almost want to go back to his house, with a comb and toothbrush, and go through his back yard myself."