Cash-strapped man gives up century-old Converse sneakers for RM40,800

Malaysian sneaker collector Wan Irfayuim Azim Wan Ab Aziz carrying the pair of vintage Converse sneakers. Photo: Jeroong Wia/Facebook
Malaysian sneaker collector Wan Irfayuim Azim Wan Ab Aziz carrying the pair of vintage Converse sneakers. Photo: Jeroong Wia/Facebook

A vintage Converse sneakers collector has sold his most prized item to stay financially afloat – a pair of rare 1917 “Non-Skids” that later became widely known as “Chuck Taylors.”

Wan Irfayuim Azim Wan Ab Aziz, 31, sold the pair for RM40,800 (US$9,800) to another collector in Pahang less than 24 hours after his online call for buyers went up on Facebook Saturday. He needed the money to tide him over after losing his job in tourism in Japan, where he has not been able to travel since Malaysia closed its borders due to the pandemic last year. 

Seven potential buyers contacted him over the vintage sneakers but only one agreed to his asking price, Wan Azim told Bernama yesterday. The buyer, understood to be someone known online as Dynamo Rasqputin, was also gifted three more pairs of vintage shoes manufactured by Converse in 1950, 1960, and 1970, respectively. The buyer did not immediately respond to Coconuts’ request for comment today.

Wan Azim’s Facebook ad for the pair of sneakers that survived two world wars was shared 7,000 times. He originally got hold of them in 2018 from a couple in the U.S. who needed money to treat their ill child. 

“They contacted me via Facebook after seeing my posts on the history of vintage sneakers,” Wan Azim said. He said a similar pair was stored at the Converse Museum in Boston. 

Converse sneakers called the “Non-Skid” were originally designed for basketballers and were made using rubber soles that were believed to provide players that extra push on the court.

The classic high-topped Converse All Star sneakers, easily recognized by its “All Star” patch, were endorsed by basketball player Chuck Taylors in the ‘20s. His signature was added to the shoe in 1923.

Converse became a subsidiary of sneaker company Nike in 2003.

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