Top 12 Pricey Sneaker Sales Ever!

NIKE MAG 1

In July 2019, the record for the priciest sneakers ever sold changed. Sotheby's auctioned off vintage Nike “Moon Shoes” from 1972 for $437,000, surpassing the expected price of $150,000. Then, in May 2020, they sold autographed Air Jordan 1s for $560,000, proving it wasn't a one- occurrence.

Rare sneakers are now being seen as valuable investments, attracting both collectors and investors. The prices have skyrocketed, making some sales reach unbelievable amounts. Woody, the editor-in-chief of Sneaker Freaker, highlights how these sneakers are now being compared to blue-chip investments. It's hard to believe that old sports shoes can be worth as much as a house.

You can buy some rare astronomical items right now. For example, on the Sotheby's auction , you have the opportunity to bid on a limited edition pair of Nike Air Force Ones designed by Virgil Abloh in collaboration with Louis Vuitton. There are only 200 pairs available, and they cost $190,000. If you're interested, they are size 11, which happens to be my size too. In case you want to get me a gift, just saying. If that's not fancy enough for you, there's also a pair of signed Air Jordan 11s listed recently. These shoes were actually worn by MJ during the 1996 NBA Finals. The current bid is $380,000, but it's expected to go even higher.

Some sneakers may seem expensive, but they're nothing compared to the real heavy hitters. From rare game-worn grails to unique one-of-one gems, these are the priciest sneakers ever sold.


1. The Dynasty Collection, $8 million

Courtesy20of20Sothebys90 2

Earlier this year, Sotheby's achieved its highest sneaker sale ever. The “Dynasty Collection,” consisting of eight shoes, was sold for a remarkable $8 million.

The Dynasty Collection features eight sneakers worn by Michael Jordan during NBA playoffs in eight different seasons. Tim Hallam, the Chicago Bulls' public relations officer, requested one of MJ's game-worn shoes after the 1991 Finals. Jordan kept up this tradition after each playoffs, possibly due to superstition. These eight shoes include the one Hallam didn't get in those instances.

This sale is remarkable because none of the sneakers were sold in pairs. It also signed photos by Bill Smith of Jordan after each Finals game, showing him wearing a shoe on only one foot.

2. “The Last Dance” Air Jordan 13, $2.2 Million

CourtesyOfGoat132786 01.jpg

In 2020, ESPN's documentary about Michael Jordan, called “The Last Dance,” became extremely popular. This led to a lot of people becoming interested in the Air Jordan sneakers that Jordan wore during his last season with the Chicago Bulls. One pair of Jordan 13s, which Jordan wore during the final game of the 1998 NBA Finals, was sold at Sotheby's last year. These sneakers are very rare and highly sought after.

The final amount? An impressive $2.2 million, agreed upon beforehand and matching the auction house's predictions. This sale was significant for just one pair of athletic shoes, proving once again that Michael Jordan's sports memorabilia is hard to surpass. The shoes were in the popular “Bred” scheme and seemed to be well-maintained, despite being used extensively on the basketball court.


3. Nike Air Yeezy Samples, $1.8 Million

Courtesy20of20Sothebys90

Besides Jordans, other high-end sneakers are also making waves in the market. A unique pair of Nike Air Yeezy prototypes, worn by Kanye West at the Grammys in 2008, was sold at auction by Sotheby's in spring 2021 for over a million dollars.

RARES, an investing platform, bought the Yeezys. Gerome Sapp, the CEO and founder, mentioned that acquiring the shoes would help empower sneaker culture communities financially and increase accessibility. He also stated that purchasing them was like owning a piece of history.


4. Nike Air Ship, $1.4 Million

Courtesy20of20Sothebys90

In late 2021, a pair of Nike Air Ships was sold for almost $1.5 million at a Sotheby's auction, making them the priciest sports shoes ever and among the most expensive sports memorabilia sold. Michael Jordan wore them during his fifth NBA game in November 1984, making them a significant part of sneaker history.

True sneaker enthusiasts are aware that the Air Ship was the initial model Michael Jordan wore in the NBA, before the Air Jordan design was completed. These Air Ships were among the few shoes he wore on the court that were not part of his signature line, adding to their uniqueness.


5. “Flu Game” Air Jordan 12, $1.3 Million

COurtesyofGoat46482 01.jpg

After Game 5 of the 1998 NBA Finals, a ball boy named Preston Truman received a special present: the sneakers worn by Michael Jordan during the game. In 2020, with the popularity of Air Jordans increasing due to the release of “The Last Dance,” Truman sold the shoes to Grey Flannel Auctions for slightly over $200,000. Surprisingly, in early 2023, the shoes were sold at auction once more for an astonishing $1.38 million.

The shoes were a great help during the famous Flu Game, when Jordan played exceptionally well despite being sick from poisoning. The black-and-red Air Jordan 12s are still referred to as the “Flu Game” and are considered the original version of one of the most popular Jordan colorways. These sneakers have a remarkable history attached to them, making them highly esteemed.

Truman filed a lawsuit against Grey Flannel in 2023, alleging that they forced him to sell the shoes. The lawsuit is still in .

6. “Glass Shard” Air Jordan 1, $615,000

air jordan 1 shattered backboard original air stadium goods christies 2

In August 2020, during the peak of the post-Last Dance Jordan craze, a pair of Air Jordan 1s worn by Michael Jordan in an exhibition game in Italy caught everyone's attention by selling for over $500,000 at a Christie's auction. The estimated value was even higher at around $850,000, making the final price quite impressive.

The special thing about this pair of Jordan 1s was the addition of a piece of broken inside the shoe, believed to be from Jordan breaking the backboard during a slam dunk. Another pair of sneakers worn by Jordan during the 1992 Olympics sold for over $100,000 at the same auction.


7. Game-Worn Air Jordan 1, $560,000

01 michael jordan game worn shoes Sothebys auction

Just a few months before the last record-breaking sale, another set of Air Jordan 1s were put up for auction and surpassed the previous record set in 2019. These shoes, autographed by Michael Jordan himself, were worn by him during his rookie season in a game. Similar to MJ's jumping ability, the bids for these sneakers skyrocketed in the last hours of the 10-day auction, increasing by $300,000 and ultimately closing at an astonishing $560,000.


8. Nike “Moon Shoe,” $437,500

CoutresyofSothebys90

Back in 1972, Nike was a new company. Bill Bowerman, one of the co-founders, created the “Moon Shoes” with unique waffle-tread soles. These shoes were given to athletes at the US Track & Field Olympic Trials. The design later inspired the iconic Waffle Trainer released in 1974.

The sneakers made history once more after forty-five years, as they became the first collectible sport shoes to be auctioned by Christie's. The 2019 sale set the stage for the growing market, with the Moon Shoes fetching almost triple their initial estimated value of $160,000. Canadian businessman Miles Nadal, the winning bidder, described them as a significant piece of sports and pop culture history.


9. “Broken Foot” Air Jordan 1, $422,130

COutresyofLelandsitem 107823 1 285100

The Air Jordan 1s known as the “Broken Foot” sold for an incredible $422,130, surpassing the starting bid of $250,000 at a Leland's auction in January 2022.

The shoes are named after a famous game between the Bulls and Golden State Warriors on October 29, 1985. During that game, Michael Jordan broke a bone in his left foot. This injury had a big impact on Jordan's career, affecting his second season and motivating him to win his first championship. Leland's obtained the shoes from someone whose father received them directly from Jordan. The sneakers are in Jordan's own sizes: size 13 on the left foot and size 13 and a half on the right foot.


10. Louis Vuitton x Nike Air Force One, $352,800

In February 2022, shortly after Virgil Abloh's death, Louis Vuitton sold 200 pairs of his popular sneaker designs at an auction. The sneakers were Nike Air Force Ones with LV's signature monogram and Damier check. The auction at Sotheby's was held to raise funds for Abloh's scholarship program “Post-Modern,” which helps Black, African American, and African students with their education.

The majority of pairs were sold for low six figures. This specific pair, a US size 5, was sold for almost 25 times the original auction estimate and double the price of the second-most expensive pair, a US size 5.5 that sold for $176,400. The demand for Abloh's creations keeps rising, suggesting that other rare items with his signature will fetch even higher prices in the future.


11. Nike Air Mag, $200,000

14164674 21073031 2048

The iconic scene of Marty McFly wearing his self-lacing Nike Air Mag sneakers in the movie Back to the Future: Part II is well-known. Nike released limited editions of these fictional sneakers in 2011 and 2016, with the latter having the power laces. The proceeds from both releases went to the Michael J. Fox Foundation to help find a cure for Parkinson's . The 2016 version alone raised over $6 million, with one pair auctioned off for $200,000 at a gala.

12. “MJ's Secret Stuff” Air Jordan 11, $176,000

Courtesy20of20Sothebys90 3

Sneaker enthusiasts who are a certain age highly desire the Air Jordan 11 “Space Jam.” This shoe gained popularity for its appearance in a movie and was worn by MJ when he returned to the NBA playoffs in 1995 after playing baseball. The most coveted version of the “Space Jam” is a new sample made for the and autographed by Jordan. These exclusive shoes, known as the “MJ's Secret Stuff” Jordan 11s, were recently sold at an auction in 2021 for an impressive $176,000.

Share This Article
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *