Sneakers can be for sneaker enthusiasts what gold is to a miner. Over the decades, sneaker culture has made waves in the basketball fandom, as well as in the skateboarding community. It is no surprise that some of these sneakers have aged, and are selling, like aged wine. Some of these sneakers have been an inseparable part of history and people have paid thousands and millions to get their hands on them. Here is the list of the 25 most expensive sneakers of all time.
List of 25 Most Expensive Sneakers Ever Made
25. University Blue, Nike Air Jordan 4 by Travis Scott’s Cactus Jack Friends and Family Exclusive – $25,000
Image: Fight Club
In 2018, Travis Scott released a customized version of Nike Air Jordan 4 going by the name of “Cactus Jack” and it is considered one of the most popular releases of sneakers ever. In addition to the retail pair, there were a few exclusive versions reserved for family and friends. One of the exclusive pairs is on sale for a mind-blowing $25,000. It is crazy that the shoes which factor in last on the list of most expensive sneakers of all time cost about a quarter of a hundred thousand dollars, and can pay for one university year on its own.
Travis Scott and Nike Jordan will expand their collaboration in the future. Branded labels on the inner tongues and insoles complete the look of these blue and black color-blocked sneakers. Embellished heels with the Cactus Jack insignia and design make the sneakers instantly identifiable.
24. Nike SB Dunk Low Reese Forbes x Denim Sneakers, 2002 – $25,000
This pair of Reese Forbes x Dunk Low Pro SB “Denim” features dual shades of blue denim on the upper body, which rests on an ivory midsole and a crimson outsole, tongue tag, and heel tab. The sneakers were released in December of 2002.
This rare color arrangement is one of its kind and a collector’s edition that can’t be found easily owing to the act that only 444 pairs are available worldwide. The Reese Forbes x Dunk Low Pro SB ‘Denim’ is inspired by signature denim jeans released by a Nike SB collaborator. The low-top features yellow stitching and frayed edges to give this a vintage 2000s look.
23. Jordan 1 Royal DS 1985 – $30,000
This black and blue version of Michael Jordan’s first signature shoe, known as the Air Jordan 1 ‘Royal’, was one of the original colorways released by Nike in 1985. The instantly recognizable combination of colors made a comeback in 2001, 2013, as a low-top in 2015, and then again in 2017. It has a combination of jet black and Royal Blue patent leather on its upper with a full-length snowy midsole and an indigo rubber outsole.
Currently unsold, these shoes are priced at $30,000 due to their rarity, ranking them 23rd on the list of most expensive sneakers.
22. Nike SB Dunk Low Pro B Alphanumeric in White Silver Supreme – $32,500
The Alphanumeric Dunk Low Pro B is still one of the most desired Dunks from SB’s first wave. The then-newly engineered Dunk, designed by streetwear frontrunner Alyasha Owerka-Moore, presented a fat tongue, Air Zoom insole, and a dramatic raised embroidered logo at the side of the shoe. The badged versions were created specifically for Alphanumeric’s friends and family. Later, an unbadged version was made available to the general public in 2001, in the colors white and grey.
This exclusive piece is currently available in white and is selling for $32,500 in the market. However, this price is meek for what is coming next on the list of most expensive sneakers of all time.
21. Nike Air Jordan 11 Retro Premium Derek Jeter, Yankee Stadium – $40,000
A pair of Jordan 11s is ranked number 21 on the list of most expensive sneakers. Nike Air Jordan created the special edition Air Jordan 11 x Derek Jeter to commemorate Derek Jeter’s entry to the Hall of Fame because of his career in the MLB. Only five pairs of these sneakers were made available to the general public through scratch-off raffle tickets distributed at a pop-up shop near Yankee Stadium.
This luxurious Jordan 11 is made of the finest materials and has custom detail, all of which pay homage to Jeter. These sneakers were being bid on with an initial market value of $18,000, and are currently being resold for $40,000.
20. Converse Chuck Taylor 1948 London Olympics Tribute – 1st Limited Edition – $50,000.00
This was the first-ever limited-edition Chuck Taylors that Converse ever released. It was to commemorate the USA Olympic Basketball Team at the 1948 London Olympics.
In 1947 Converse created the High-Top Chuck Taylor for the Olympic Team to wear at the 1948 London Olympics. These were also released as a commemoration of the first-ever High-Top Chuck Taylors launched. These shoes were released somewhere between 1999-2000.
These Chucks have a red canvas upper, and premium white leather accents which include the insole, and ouster sole. The color scheme was taken from the Converse Basketball Year Book from that year. The heel tabs are inspired by the original design dating back to the 40s. The image on the side of the shoe is of Chuck Taylor wearing a number 8 jersey, going up for a rebound. There was a total of 75 pairs released, of which, this one is selling for half a hundred thousand dollars, making them easily one of the most expensive sneakers.
19. Nike Dunk SB Low Pro ‘NYC Pigeon’ – $50,000
Image: NSS Magazine
This shoe is not only one of the most expensive sneakers ever but was the sneaker that popularized luxury sneaker designs and sneaker culture amongst the general public. The idea for this sneaker came from Jeff Staple, CEO of Staple Design, and it was released in 2005, making it one of Nike’s wildest sneakers drop in history. On the day of the release, a line formed outside of Reed Space, Jeff’s Lower East Side storefront.
The New York City Police Department has to be called in to keep order and ensure that lucky individuals who could buy the sneakers were able to move out of the commotion safely. The release made the cover of the New York Post. This day marked the peak of the popularity of Pigeon Dunk and led to the start of a legendary era for the Nike SB Dunk range in streetwear and skateboarding culture.
The shoe itself mimics the color and texture of a pigeon and was released with a grey colorway and a small embroidered pigeon near the heel. Due to its cultural importance and due to the number of people willing to pay insanely huge amounts for it, this shoe figures 19th in the list of the most expensive sneakers.
18. Nike SB Dunk Don Quixote Air Paris Jordan – $50,000
The shoe is inspired by Don Quixote’s book, “El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quijote De La Mancha,” which tells the tale of one man’s fantasy that he is a Knight fighting all sorts of illusions across the Medieval Spanish countryside in search of his Lady. The shoes symbolize Don Quixote’s travels, as well as the dirt and hay he trampled over. The shoe has beautiful and unique details never seen on any other SB, for example, intricate cross-stitching on the outside that represents the stitched clothing Don Quixote wore throughout the book.
So rare is it to come across a pair of these that a pair in new condition is currently selling for $50,000. This is a fantastic design and combines two cultural landmarks. This makes it finish 18th on the list of the most expensive sneakers of all time.
17. Stephen Curry’s Game-Worn “Moon Landing” Sneakers – $58,100
Image: Footwear News
When Stephen Curry fueled internet arguments by stating that the moon landing in 1959 was a hoax, he wore a personalized Under Armour 6 to a game a few weeks later. This shoe had a surface design that portrayed the moon, and the silhouette bore a resemblance to a certain Nike Air Max model. Curry then said his initial comment was a prank and the pair of shoes was auctioned off for $50,000 on eBay, with all proceeds supposedly going towards supporting science education.
16. Air Jordan 1 Silver Shoe (Autographed) – $60,000
Image by Heritage Auctions
These shoes are the original design of the Air Jordan 1 Silver conceptualized by Michael Jordan’s wife Yvette, who wanted to gift a custom pair of these for his 32nd birthday. She had the shoe molded from sterling silver with the help of a jeweler.
An originally signed pair ultimately found its way to the auction block, where it sold for $60,000. This ten-pound shoe was made a total of 10 times, so it is not hard to imagine that an autographed pair would sell for this high a price. The shoes have a shimmery look to them, and the silver looks oxidized, making it look like something out of an 80s sci-fi movie. Beyond cool, these shoes are amongst the most expensive sneakers of all time.
15. Nike Air Jordan 1 High “Chicago”, 1985 – $72,000
Initially priced at $90,000, this pair of sneakers was the first of a series that introduced the most well-known shoe designs today and might have set off the sneaker craze. Nike, Jordan’s shoe brand, had a huge breakthrough in 1985 when Michael Jordan signed with the Chicago Bulls.
After a fantastic year at the University of North Carolina, Jordan came out to play in the NBA. He favored Adidas but wore Converse, so he had talks with both businesses, but neither was able to strike an agreement. It’s peculiar but Michael Jordan at the time did not like Nike, so much so that he refused to meet with them.
His mother convinced him to travel to the Nike campus in Oregon to at least give them a chance. To make his parents and the agency happy, he put on a good front and played along, but at the end of it, he managed to leave with a contract unlike any other.
Nike loved having Michael Jordan on their team. He was the best-paid athlete at the time, and all because of a sneaker sponsorship. Nike offered him a leading role in its basketball marketing campaign and provided him with his very own line of sneakers—Air Jordan.
14. Nike Air Force 1 ‘Entourage x Undefeated x Fukijama Gold’ – $88,200
Image: Nice Kicks
Named after the Presidential aircraft, the Nike Air Force 1 sneaker originally came out in 1982. Created by Bruce Kilgore, it was the first Nike Air shoe, a series which is now Nike’s most iconic and best-selling just like the sneaker itself. The Air Force 1 has become an icon in the world of sneakers, as its simplicity and versatility have allowed it to be ideal for collaborations and make it popular with sneaker enthusiasts.
Nike and the clothing line Undefeated joined up in 2009 to produce this special two-pair pack as a tribute to the HBO series Entourage. The Nike Air Force 1 Fukijama Gold was the second sneaker to be created in celebration of the TV show. The Fukijama Gold Air Force 1, which appeared in the same episode, was another variant of the dust blue shoe.
13. Air Jordan 12 OVO (Drake Edition) – $100,000
Partnering with a shoe company can be an excellent way to increase sales. Numerous corporations, stars, musicians, and sportsmen have partnered with brands to increase their own brand’s profile, boost sponsorship opportunities, or just foster a lasting relationship.
Nike and Jordan are some of the biggest brand names and are well-known for making deals with some huge names. In addition to partnering with Toronto Raptors star DeMar DeRozan, the Jordan brand entered into a deal with hip-hop artist Drake to produce a special edition shoe: the Air Jordan 12 OVO.
October’s Very Own (OVO) is Drake’s own apparel line, and its branding can be found on the shoes. As the shoes were manufactured as gifts to Drake and his group, this design is quite difficult to locate. To continue the spirit of generosity, Drake presented a pair of his signature sneakers to a fan during a Toronto Raptors Drake Night event. After they were sold, the shoes were quickly able to raise $100,000 for the benefactor.
12. Game-Worn Air Jordan 12 (Flu Game) – $104,000
Owning a pair of Air Jordan 12 Flu Game shoes is almost like having a piece of history in the form of shoes. After Preston Truman received a pair of shoes from Michael Jordan personally, the former ballboy decided to auction off the shoes for $5,000. A record price of $104,765 was paid by the winning bidder after 15 bids were received and the auction was concluded.
In the Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals, Michael Jordan wore these shoes. MJ had flu-like symptoms, yet he scored 38 points in a game where the Bulls defeated the Utah Jazz, giving them a 3-2 series lead. The Flu Game is one of the most memorable moments in basketball history. That one moment established what kind of player Jordan would be and why he is among the finest in the league. Jordan didn’t need any excuses because he played and he played better than anyone else. The fact that these shoes have enabled history to be created in a way certainly increases its value. It’s a one-of-a-kind, never-to-be-repeated moment memorialized by these shoes.
11. Single Nike MAG from 1989 from “Back to the Future II”- $104,000
Image: HypebeastDespite being functional, this Nike Air Mag sneaker is slightly cracked and badly discolored, especially at the heel. This sneaker was used as a prop for the second movie in the iconic series “Back To The Future II”. While the rest of the original props had been destroyed, the sale price of these sneakers was approximately $100,000 because it was the only one left. However, it did sell for a little less than that through a private auction. Multiple sources suggest that this pair of sneakers came straight from the private collection of a long-time Nike employee, but there is no confirmation that Michael J. Fox ever wore them himself.
10. Game-Worn Air Jordan 7 ‘Olympic’ – $112,500
Michael Jordan debuted the Air Jordan 7 Olympic when he wore it while leading the Dream Team to triumph in 1992 and winning the Olympic gold medal. In the city of Barcelona, the worn Air Jordan 7 Olympic was a present to the hotel receptionist at the hotel Jordan was staying at.
This iconic design is a high-top shoe that has golden, red, and black detailing and a white upper and linings. It also has a blue tongue, a gold Jordan logo, and a unique blue design near the fastening. It sold for $112,500 at the 2020 Original Air auction.
9. Buscemi’s 100 MM Diamond and Gold Sneakers
One of the most recognized designers of ludicrously expensive shoes is Buscemi, but the price is quite reasonable if you know how they make their shoes. The Buscemi 100 MM Diamond Sneaker is distinguished by its use of high-quality materials, tasteful elements of elegance, and high-quality craftsmanship, but they are setting out to surpass their limitations with this sneaker. If you thought sneakers are hardly the most elegant pieces of attire, then you’re about to be proven wrong.
The extravagantly crafted sneaker comprises materials such as 11.5 carats of diamonds in the foundation of this white leather shoe. It is also inlaid with gorgeous and shimmery 18-karat gold. It has an upper which is covered in tumbled white leather. It’s exclusively available in-store at the SoHo flagship location, where it was revealed originally, and costs a mind-boggling $132,000.
8. Nike Shox XT IV – $150,000
Nike Shox XT IVs were intended to be released in the late 2000s, however, they were recalled before that could happen. A manager at Foot Locker had given the vendor a pair of these shoes a week before they were to be released. Nike recalled these sneakers before their launch date, unfortunately. The shoes were then sent back to Nike and destroyed. This design is quite unique and has a new shock absorption technology that was introduced by Nike at the time. Nike supposedly recalled the design as the adhesive in the soles was defective in some pieces. However, this design is easily amongst the most unique ones ever dropped by Nike and niche collectors would be thrilled by the prospect of owning these.
These are currently being sold for a minimum of $150,00,000 as they are the only pair to exist of this sort. The auctioneer has stated that unless he receives the right price for these shoes, he will simply hold on to them as it is not something you come by every day.
7. Game-Worn MJ Converse Fastbreak – $190,000
Image: Sole Collector
Michael Jordan’s debut year in the NBA—as well as his first Olympic gold medal with Team USA— both took place in 1984. Michael Jordan had not yet switched to Nike at this point in his career, but he was still sporting Converse, the brand that funded his college education, as a throwback to the old days. Converse Fastbreaks autographed by the then-rookie athlete, who was believed to have worn them in an Olympic game, were auctioned off in June 2017. This pair of game-worn sneakers, which were worn in 1982, was predicted to sell for $100,000 and ended up going for $190,373, making it the most expensive game-worn shoes in history at the time.
6. Nike Mag 2016 Auto-Lace – $200,000
Image: Sole Collector
The 2016 Nike Air Mag is a futuristic shoe design that had many movie fanatics vying for an opportunity to purchase it. A shoe that resembles a piece of space technology from the 1980s, it was first seen in Back to the Future Part II. The 2016 design was a remodel, now that technology has caught up with the idea of automated shoelaces that tie themselves and backlit shoe soles, which were created using special effects three decades ago.
Only a few hundred pairs of motor-driven sneaker boots were made available, and they were raffled off to shoe enthusiasts, film buffs, and pop-culture fanatics. This model of shoe was sought after because of its wide appeal, rarity, and cultural and technological relevance. A $200,000 pair of the Nike Mag’s Auto-Lace shoes were auctioned off in 2016 with the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research listed as sole beneficiary.
5. Nike Waffle Racing Flat Shoes a.k.a. “Moon Shoe”, 1972 –$437,500
In the sale, the “crown gem” of Sotheby’s x Stadium Goods was a special shoe that had been previously collected by Jordan Michael Geller of Shoezeum and ultimately purchased by Canadian collector Miles Nadal. Only twelve pairs of the “Moon Shoe” were ever produced, and it is thought that they are the only ones in existence that have never been worn.
Nike co-founder and famous University of Oregon track coach Bill Bowerman created the moon shoe, a handcrafted running shoe. The tale of the waffle sole is well known, having been inspired by Bowerman’s wife’s waffle oven and her waffle recipes. He poured the rubber to make the initial prototype for the sole. The final traction pattern design was superior to other running shoes of the day in terms of grip and comfort, and the waffle sole was Nike’s first significant breakthrough as a brand. The “Moon Shoe” acquired its moniker because the waffle pattern made in the soil resembles the iconic footprints that astronauts left on the moon in 1969.
The shoe was projected to sell for $110,000 to $160,000 before the transaction but ultimately sold for $437,500 in what can only be called a fierce bid.
4. Nike Air Jordan 1s ‘Chicago-Inspired’ – $560,000
Game-worn Air Jordan 1s with an autograph from Michael Jordan when he was playing his rookie season were auctioned off for a total price of $560,000 at a private auction. Nike produced a series of signature sneakers for Michael Jordan in an effort to get him to sign a shoe contract with the sports brand.
The story goes that the original Air Jordan I design with the red and black elements was prohibited in 1985. The league levied a fine for every time a pair was on the court because of its rules. In later iterations, the instantly recognizable shoe got a white color which was league-approved.
The shoe has red shoelaces, a longer Nike swoosh, and a Nike Air logo on the tongue. These sneakers are the classic “Chicago” hue, best recognized out of the several “Chicago” Jordan styles, and an integral part of the Nike brand. The shoes sold for $560,000 after being estimated at $150,000.
3. “Shattered Backboard” Nike Air Jordan 1 High “Chicago” – $615,000
In 1985, after completing his first NBA season, Michael Jordan played in a Nike-sponsored exhibition game in Italy. While sporting the Air Jordan 1 High “Chicago”, Jordan scored 30 points during this game. After making a transition play, Jordan took off for a slam dunk. His dunk was so powerful that it completely broke the backboard, which caused shards of glass to fly everywhere. The game was briefly delayed while the court was cleaned. He wore these shoes during that famous moment—and the left shoe even has a sliver of glass still embedded in its sole.
During Michael Jordan’s illustrious career, the “Shattered Backboard” is the most thoroughly photographed incident, and these shoes form important memorabilia. These shoes sold for $615,000 in an auction held by Christie’s, making it appear third on the list of most expensive sneakers ever.
2. Kanye’s Nike Air Yeezy 1 – $1.8 million
Kanye West’s debut shoe design for Nike—the original Nike Air Yeezy 1, which came out in 2008—is one of the most expensive sneakers in the world.
The prototype of Kanye West’s Grammy-worn Nike Air Yeezy 1 sneaker, worn on stage by the singer, was auctioned off for $1.8 million, which shattered the record for a publicly traded sneaker sale. Sneaker investing platform RARES, who purchased these sneakers, noted that these Yeezy sample sneakers are now believed to be the second most valuable ever, with the first verified $1 million sneaker transaction.
Kanye’s retail dominance is made evident by the impressive numbers garnered by the Yeezy brand, which is now an industry behemoth. The Air Yeezy 1 was Kanye West’s first signature sneaker, which marked a significant breakthrough for Nike. He wore the Yeezys on his historic debut at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards, performing “Hey Mama” and “Stronger.”
Watch – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9zuHpa-QnQ
1. Drake’s Solid Gold OVO x Air Jordans – $2 Million
Image: Godly Soles
The most expensive sneaker in the world is Drake’s Solid Gold OVO x Air Jordans.
Drake posted an Instagram photo showing off his gold-forged OVO Air Jordan 10 sneakers that are made of 24k gold. The $2 million sneakers were created by Matthew Senna, a world-renowned artist who specializes in using precious metals like gold and brass to cast unusual items like roses, ski masks, and, of course, athletic shoes.
The shoes became very popular on Instagram, where Senna himself posted a picture, stating that they weighed 100 pounds. Perhaps he didn’t mean to brag, but the value of 100 pounds of gold is about the same as four gold bars. The ultimate winner which takes the cake in the list of most expensive sneakers of all time is these sneakers made of gold.
The Bottom Line…
Game-history buffs have spent thousand on the best game-worn shoes making up the most of this list, but it’s no surprise that A-list rappers like Drake and Kanye have one-upped everyone else. While most of the top ten hardly seem wearable, they carry an important piece of history with them that buyers would love to be a part of.
Are you surprised by these prices? And if yes, what seems like the wildest purchase? Which one is your favorite? Let us know by leaving a comment down below!