Vintage 1968 PUMA Brush Spikes Appear on ‘Pawn Stars’ for $150,000
Over the course of its 17-season and counting airtime, collectible footwear has occasionally popped up at the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, the setting for popular reality show and meme factory Pawn Stars. The latest offering to show up is an original pair of PUMA ‘Brush Spikes’ from 1968 – officially known as No. 296.
The shoe's birth year saw PUMA set out to revolutionise their sprint shoes to be better adapted to the new ‘tartan track’ surface that would be at Mexico later that year. They updated the jam-prone design of traditional spikes by arranging 68 (in reference to the year of the imminent Games) fine pins in multiple rows across the forefoot of the sole. The uppers were also significantly sleeker than before, locked down with a new hook-and-loop closure system widely known as Velcro.
Unfortunately for PUMA, the Brush Spike was a victim of its own success. Ahead of Mexico, athletes running in the new design toppled the 200 metres and 400 metres records. According to the brand, their rival adidas appealed to the IAAF using a big bag of cash and got the shoes banned, with most of the 500 pairs made never leaving PUMA HQ.
However, it’s believed about 100 pairs made it to America, such as the example brought onto Pawn Stars. Despite its impressive provenance, the prospective seller wasn’t able to fetch his $150,000 asking price, with Rick Harrison making a maximum offer of $90,000 – seemingly to the disappointment of his co-star Chumlee.
Want to learn more about banned sneakers? Check out the story of the Nike Air Ship here.