Image: Business Insider
Air Jordan’s have been sought-after products ever since their first release in 1985. But perhaps never as much as today, in an age of crazy sneaker spending. On the 11th of April, a pair of Air Jordan 13’s were sold by Sotheby’s for $2.2 million. The most spent on a single pair of sneakers ever! The pair, dressed in a bred colorway, were worn by Jordan in game 2 of the 1998 NBA Championships. Which Jordan and the Chicago Bulls would go on to win. The sneakers would then be signed after the game and given to a ball boy, who would pass it on to the previous owner who put it up for auction.
What previously held the title of the most expensive sneaker?
The Air Jordan 13 is by no means the first sneaker to reach seven figures. In 2021, Kanye West’s personal pair of Nike Air Yeezy’s from his 2008 Grammys performance, sold for $1.8 million. Bought by Rares.io, the sneakers put up for auction in 2022, hoping to achieve an estimated $2.5 million price tag. However, in the aftermath of Kanye West’s controversial statements in late 2022, the auction has been halted indefinitely. Whether the owners will see a return on their $1.8 million investment is yet to be seen.
Image: The Guardian
How does this sale compare to past Jordan memorabilia auctions?
Before this month, the most expensive Jordan was a pair of Nike Air Ships, which went for $1.47 million. Although not officially an Air Jordan, they were the sneakers Jordan wore for the first half of his rookie season. But outside of sneakers, Jordan’s most expensive piece of memorabilia was actually a jersey. Worn in the first game of the 1998 series, the jersey sold in 2022 for $10.1 million.
And speaking of the Air Jordan 1, the most expensive was a game-worn pair of Chicago’s. Selling for $615,000 in 2020, the sneakers benefitted heavily off the back of the last dance documentary on Netflix. The highly acclaimed documentary following Jordan on his way to his sixth championship took Jordan’s nostalgia to an all-time high. But clearly, the price people were willing to pay to have a piece of Jordan’s story was even higher. This hype has also stuck around, however, hence the Air Jordan 13 becoming the most expensive sneaker ever. Its appearance on Jordan’s feet in the 1998 finals meant it tied into the story of the documentary. And the listing likely also benefitted from the auction coinciding with the release of “Air.” A movie dedicated to Nike’s endeavours to sign Jordan when he was a rookie.
Image: The Washington Post
That said if you’re happy to forgo getting yourself the pair worn by Michael Jordan. The Jordan 13 Bred last released in 2017, and although selling out, have settled around 300 euros on the resale market. A slightly more reasonable price to pay for a bit of MJ magic!