The 5 most expensive Nike shoes of all time

Nike has been a pioneering name in the sneaker industry since entering the game in 1971.

By paying attention to shapes, silhouettes, colors and details, the swoosh brand single-handedly became the sneaker capital of the world, also winning in the reseller market, with the exorbitant value of their shoes.

Most of the time, their condition and quality are not the only things that attract sneakerheads, who are also drawn to their history and cachet, which adds a sense of nostalgia and rarity to sneakers.

Sold at record prices at Sotheby’s, the shoes of the Oregon-based sportswear giant have now become real collector’s items. Ahead, we’ve compiled a list of sneakers whose values ​​have skyrocketed since their release.

Top 5 Nike shoes that brought in an incredible amount

1) Drake OVO x Nike Air Jordan 12: $2 million

Rapper Drake collaborated with Nike’s sub-brand Jordan for a pair of Air Jordan 10s. While a collaboration between Jordan and Drake might be common, this sneaker was more than just a collaboration, as it was constructed of solid gold and was crafted by Matthew Senna.

All Jordans belong to the swoosh label, and this was also made under the supervision of the label. The shoes weighed around 100 pounds and were custom made for Drake. The one-of-a-kind sneakers were made for around $2 million and featured details that the original AJ10 includes.

The shoes feature “OVO” lettering at the bottom of the tread and the upper is a perfect nod to the leather construction. The iconic embroidered Jumpman logo featured on the heel and the lacing was also mimicked.

The shoes were leaked by the rapper himself on July 18, 2006.

2) Kanye West x Nike Air Yeezy 1: $1.8 million

Kanye West x Nike Air Yeezy 1 - $1.8 million (Image via Sportskeeda)
Kanye West x Nike Air Yeezy 1 – $1.8 million (Image via Sportskeeda)

These sneakers debuted on February 10, 2008, when Kanye West gave an emotional performance of Stronger and Hi Mom at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards. During the performance, he put on a pair of sneakers that no one could identify, but that everyone wanted to own. The only clue about the sneakers was the Nike branding.

This marked the first collaborative shoe between the swoosh brand and Ye’s Yeezy. Sending sneakerheads into a frenzy, the shoes lit up throughout the community and the Nike Yeezy empire was officially born. This collaborative journey has become a mainstay of modern sneaker culture.

Later, the Nike x Yeezy partnership was severed and Yeezy continued its legacy with Adidas in 2013. However, the Nike x Air Yeezy 1 and Air Yeezy 2 are still among the most fashionable shoes by collectors and enthusiasts. The sneakers were originally sold to benefit Doernbecher Children’s Hospital and sold for $1.8 million at Sotheby’s.

The Air Yeezy 1 was built in Nike’s Oregon-based lab, aka The Innovation Kitchen. The shoe’s upper was crafted from supple black leather with perforated detailing, and the heel overlay utilized a tonal swoosh. A forefoot strap detail has been added to bring more to the sneaker, while a signature “Y” medallion for Yeezy can be seen on the laces in a bright pink tone. The shoes were sold at Sotheby’s on April 21, 2022.

3) The Nike Air Ship 1984

MJ’s Nike Air Ships, worn by the game, just sold for a record $1.47 million.

Prior to the launch of the OG Air Jordan 1, Nike Air Ship sneakers were a key part of the design’s heritage. The Air Ship sneakers were worn by Michael Jordan for his fifth game with the Chicago Bulls in the first season, and the sneakers have become iconic on and off the court.

The sneakers came in a custom red and white colorway. The term “Air Jordan” was coined after the Air Ship debuted in 1984 at the feet of Michael Jordan. When creating AJ1, the swoosh brand created an Air Ships silhouette, made in a limited number of pairs and featuring “Nike Air” printed on the heel.

The Air Ship was originally designed by Bruce Kilgore in 1984 and was the first swoosh shoe worn by MJ as an NBA professional. The pair was then gifted to ‘TJ’ aka Denver Nuggets Ballboy Lewis, after the Bulls game on November 1, 1984. The pair was auctioned off at Sotheby’s for $1.47 million on October 24, 2021.

4) Nike Air Jordan 1 Bred (1985): $560,000

Air Jordan 1 Bred (1985) - $560,000 (Image via Sportskeeda)
Air Jordan 1 Bred (1985) – $560,000 (Image via Sportskeeda)

The Nike Air Jordan 1 is one of the most iconic shoes in sneakerworld history. Also known as Chicago, it is an integral part of Jordanian heritage. Designed by Peter Moore in 1984, the AJ1 debuted in 1985. These shoes are Chicago’s signature colorway, as well as the most recognizable Jordan ever.

After signing a deal with the brand at the swoosh, this shoe not only marked MJ’s signature line, but it was also the first time a brand had picked up a player’s collaboration and signature line. The term for the shoes, namely Air Jordan, was coined by David Falk, MJ’s agent.

The shoe became so popular that every sneakerhead and MJ fan wanted their own pair, leading to the highly successful AJ line we see now. Currently on AJ 37, the brand has acquired an unbeatable reputation.

On this shoe, the inside said “850204 TYPS”, which meant that the date of the reproduction of the shoes was between February and April 1985. The TYPS stands for “Tong Yang Player Sample”, which means that the shoes were produced originally to be a sample shoe. The pair sold at auction at Sotheby’s for $560,000.

5) Nike Waffle Racing Flat Moon Shoe: $437,000

1972 Nike Waffle Racing Flat ‘Moon Shoe’ breaks record for most expensive pair of sneakers ever sold – $437,500 @Sothebys. #Shoedog

The Nike Moon Shoe is one of the most important sneakers in the history of the Oregon-based sportswear giant. The shoe is down to just a handful of pairs and was designed by founder Bill Bowerman himself. Bowerman was inspired to create the shoe and its signature waffle sole traction pattern, featuring his wife’s waffle iron. He poured the rubber onto the waffle maker, creating a waffle sole. The prototype proved successful and offered better cushioning and grip than other running shoes of the time.

The Moon Shoe takes its name from the waffle pattern it left in the earth, which resembled the tracks left by astronauts on the moon in 1969.

It was cobbled together by Geoff Hollister, who was one of the brand’s first employees at the swoosh.

The waffle outsole was two-piece, due to the lack of technology at the time, and the soles were marked with hand-cut marks to cut them into shape. The uppers have been constructed in white nylon, while the swooshes have been stitched onto the upper, in black.

The pair was designed for Olympic runners for trials in 1972, and only 12 pieces were created at the time. The pair sold at an auction by Sotheby’s on July 23, 2019, for an incredible price of $437,500, and was purchased by a collector named Miles Spencer Nadal.

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