It's time to break the bank to buy your favorite collector sneakers... or maybe sell your house? Well, let's just imagine it. So, what are the most expensive sneakers in the world?
If you're a mere mortal, you're probably reading this out of curiosity. But it's real; some people have paid up to $1.47 million for a pair of sports shoes. The sneaker collector market is getting bigger, and it's no longer just about nice designs and technology. Sneakers are increasingly being treated as pieces of art. For example, in 2019, Sotheby's, the auction house that regularly sells multimillion-dollar masterpieces, held its first auction dedicated entirely to sneakers. Generally, the most expensive sneakers are sold at auctions and have some special feature.
So, if you want to feed your curiosity or are willing to pay these amounts, you're in the right place. We've created a list of the top 5 most expensive sneakers in the world.
What are the most expensive sneakers in the world?
Kanye West's Nike Air Yeezy
The Nike Air Yeezy sneakers by Kanye West are so far the most expensive sneakers in the world in the history of private sales, according to the Guinness World Records.
Part of the reason for their value is that Kanye West wore them during a performance at the 2008 Grammy Awards. These sneakers were never released by Nike and became the most desired sample sneakers among collectors and the public.
The record-breaking sale of Sotheby's 2008 Kanye West Nike Air Yeezy Grammy prototype sold for $1.8 million through private sale on April 26, 2021.
2. Michael Jordan's Nike Air Ships
The Nike Airship sneakers that Michael Jordan wore in 1984 are also considered one of the most expensive sneakers ever sold at an auction. Collector Nick Fiorella paid $1,472,000 for them at Sotheby's Las Vegas on October 24, 2021. Brahm Wachter, director of Sotheby's Streetwear and Modern Collectibles, said in a statement that the sale "confirms Michael Jordan and the Air Jordan franchise's position at the top of the sneaker market."
In 1984, Nike gave Michael Jordan an exclusive line of shoes and clothing, which Sotheby's says was a crucial and unprecedented move to lure Jordan into signing with Nike. "It paved the way for many of the player collaborations we see now," says Sotheby's.
Nike Air Jordan 1 High
Once again, the Jordan collection shows how they have positioned themselves as the most expensive when it comes to sneakers. The sports shoes worn by the Chicago Bulls star in an exhibition game in 1985 were called "the rarest of the rare" when they sold for $615,000 in August 2020 in an online auction by Christie's.
Nike Air Jordan 1
These sports shoes from 1985 were worn and signed by none other than Michael during a game. They are classic tricolor red, white, and black sneakers of the Chicago Bulls and sold for over triple their original estimate at $560,000.
- 1972 Nike Waffle Racing Flat "Moon Shoe"
On July 23, 2019, the 12 original Nike Waffle Racing Flats, the "Moon Shoes," sold at Sotheby's New York for $437,500.
Now, are you ready to have one of these sneakers?