Bannister's shoes fetches $412,000

"These shoes are the last tangible link I have with the four-minute mile," says Bannister.

An employee of Christie's holds the running shoes worn by Sir Roger Bannister, which sold in the Out of the Ordinary auction. The lightweight leather spikes was worn by Bannister when he ran the first sub-four minute mile in 1954.   -  AP

The pair of running shoes worn by Roger Bannister when the Briton ran the first sub-four minute mile in 1954 were sold by auctioneers Christie’s on September 10 for GBP266,500 ($412,062.30).

The black kangaroo leather shoes, with six spikes on each sole, were accompanied by a letter of provenance signed by Bannister, 86, who was selling them to benefit charitable causes. Expected to fetch between GBP30,000-50,000, they were bought by an anonymous bidder at the ‘Out of the Ordinary’ sale in London.

“These shoes are the last tangible link I have with the four-minute mile,” Bannister had said before the sale. “All my trophies are now on display at Pembroke College, Oxford, where I was Master.

“They served me great purpose, I’m grateful to them. I think it’s the right time to part with them and I plan to give part of the proceeds to the Autonomic Charitable Trust (ACT) which encourages the area of neurological research to which I have devoted most of my life,” he added.

“Other worthwhile causes in which I have an interest will also benefit.”

Bannister wore the shoes on May 6, 1954 at Oxford’s Iffley Road cinder track when he ran the mile in three minutes 59.4 seconds. A programme from the meeting, with pencil notes for the race, fetched GBP4,375.