SEE UPDATES BELOW
These may be one of the oldest pairs of basketball sneakers in the world. The shoes were manufactured by the Colchester Rubber Company which shut down in 1893. Vintage clothing dealer Gary Pifer paid 50 cents for them at an estate sale in Vista, California. From CafeTerra:
"In a instant, I knew this discovery would be re-writing basketball and sneaker history, as these sneakers are 25 years older than the 1917 Converse All-Stars", added Pifer. The Colchester Rubber Co. was located in Colchester, Connecticut and was in business from 1888 to 1893.
UPDATE: Hey, looks like this story was a marketing ploy! (Thanks, William Gibson!)
UPDATE October 2016: Jordy Stottlemeyer says that Gary Pifer is his dad and insists that the reported shoe discovery was not a marketing stunt as others reported. "There is no way on earth he could have had those shoes made- didn't have the funds nor the capability," Stottlemeyer says.