With warm weather here (we hope) to stay, let’s grab our sneakers and get out to muck around in the garden. But for the love of collecting, look carefully before destroying those old Nikes. Recently a collector paid $93,750 at a Heritage auction for a knock-off Nike that wasn’t really a knockoff. Yes, we know that is confusing. But it is a tale of cutthroat competition and a clever manufacturer. And it makes the sneakers that collecting combo jackpot of rare and famous. The “One Line” Nike, blue and white nylon, size 9 shoes are the “most famous forgeries in footwear history.”
Let’s go back to 1980 to untangle this tale. Nike co-founder Phil Knight created “One Line” sneakers the classic sneaker to gain the upper hand in a feud with the U.S. government. Nike was involved in a lengthy tariff battle with the U.S. Government’s Customs and Treasury departments that almost put the sneaker titan out of business. So, the sneaker company created a fake “competitor brand” called “The One Line.” They made a knockoff version of the Nike Oceania running shoes from the 1970s and 1980s. The “One Line” shoes were released in limited supply and didn’t have the Nike branding or signature swoosh logos.
A collector who ran a Los Angeles-based vintage shoe blog bought the sneakers online for a “few dollars” in 2018. We guess he drew the “One Line” and came out a winner.
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