Nelson Mandela’s sneakers are coming home.
A pair of white Hi-Tec trainers worn by the late South African leader upon his walk out of Robben Island’s prison in 1990 will now be permanently exhibited in the sportswear brand’s new Stellenbosch store.
According to FN’s sister publication, WWD, the size 10 sneakers — part of a line of tennis shoes called Hi-Tec Wimbledon — were won by the Netherlands-based company at an auction in 1996 to benefit the Nelson Mandela Foundation. After their display at the Hi-Tec Amsterdam flagship, chairman Frank van Wezel returned the sneakers to their home country in December, showcasing them at the storefront window of the outpost in the university town.
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Nelson Mandela’s sneakers have come back home to South Africa. The late South African president and global icon of freedom, affectionately known as Madiba, walked out of the notorious Robben Island prison in 1990 after a total of 27 years of incarceration and hard labor wearing a pair of white tennis shoes, U.S. size 10, with the Hi-Tec logo in blue. “They were a classic design of tennis shoes called Hi-Tec Wimbledon, given to Mandela by his then wife Winnie