A pair of Air Jordan sneakers that were worn in a game by Michael Jordan sold on Sunday for a record-breaking $560,000 at Sotheby’s auction house.
The white, black and red pair of Air Jordan 1s, made for Jordan in 1985 and autographed by the NBA legend himself, has dethroned the reigning “Moon Shoe,” one of Nike’s first sneakers, a pair of which sold in July 2019 for $437,000 also at Sotheby’s.
The latest sale highlighted the soaring market value of objects that have been identified in relation to the retired basketball superstar since the release of “The Last Dance,” an ESPN/Netflix documentary that showcases the life of Jordan and his Chicago Bulls.
The sneaker now holds a place of pride in the world of wealthy collectors alongside more traditional collectables.
The pair of Air Jordan 1’s in the “Chicago” colour scheme, effortlessly overtook the Sotheby’s pre-sale estimate of $100,000-$150,000. It is reportedly the first model specially created by Nike for Michael Jordan, who wore them during his first season in the NBA.
“I think the game-worn Air Jordan 1’s are the most iconic sneakers of all time,” the seller, collector Jordan Geller, told AFP at the start of the sale.
“They are so recognizable and they conjure up so much nostalgia, which I think gives them a very special appeal. The fact that these shoes were game-worn by Michael Jordan takes them to a whole other level,” he said.
Unlike the Air Jordan 1’s, the “Moon Shoes”, sold last year, had reportedly never been worn.
Before Sunday’s sale, the record for athletic shoes that have been worn by an athlete, was held by the leather-soled running shoes in which Britain’s Roger Bannister became the first person ever to run a mile in less than four minutes, in 1954.
They were reportedly bought for $409,000 by an anonymous collector in 2015 at an auction in London at Christie’s.