Home Arts Michael Jordan sneakers sold for a record $2.2 million

Michael Jordan sneakers sold for a record $2.2 million

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The booming secondary sneaker market has reached new heights after a pair worn by megawatt basketball star Michael Jordan sold in an online sale yesterday at Sotheby’s for $2.2 million ( with fees), setting the world record for sneakers at auction.

The Air Jordan 13s, valued at $2-4 million, were worn by Jordan in Game 2 of the 1998 Finals with the Chicago Bulls, his final year with the team, known to fans as “The Last Dance”. The black and red shoes are the only complete pair of sneakers worn by Jordan in an NBA Finals game to be authenticated, according to Sotheby’s.

Yesterday’s feat comes on the heels of another record sale for the jersey worn by Jordan in the same 1998 game, which fetched $10.1 million at Sotheby’s in September 2022, the highest price on record publicly for sports memorabilia.

The former record for a pair of sneakers at auction was $1.4 million achieved by Sotheby’s in 2021 for those worn by Jordan in 1983, the same year Nike and Jordan created his signature line of footwear and apparel ( a deal that is the subject of the recently released Hollywood movie Air). The Nike Air Ships were purchased by high-end card collector Nick Fiorella and were the first pair of sneakers to sell for over $1 million at auction.

Since Sotheby’s inaugural dedicated sneaker sale in 2019, in which a pair of Nike Waffle shoes sold for $437,500 setting a new auction record at the time, the auction house has quickly developed into the streetwear and modern collectibles market.

Sneaker resales have gone from being a niche market in the early 2010s to one of the most consistently rising auction categories in recent years. However, some financial authorities have warned that the rapacious resale of sneakers could lead to a bubble. In 2019, China’s central bank reportedly expressed concern on the speculative prices emerging from the sneaker trade on smartphone apps.

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