NEW YORK – A pair of sneakers worn by NBA superstar Michael Jordan early in his career sold for nearly $1.5 million on Sunday, setting an auction record price for shoes worn by the game, said Sotheby’s.
The red and white boots were worn by the iconic player in Game 5 of his rookie season with the Chicago Bulls, and Nike’s Jordan-affiliated brand quickly became a sensation on and off the court.
“The most valuable sneakers ever to come to auction – the Nike Air Ships worn by Michael Jordan in the regular season in 1984 – just sold for $1,472,000 in our Las Vegas luxury sale,” the auction house said. auctioned in a statement on Twitter.
The astronomical price easily beat the record held by a pair of Nike Air Jordans that sold for $615,000 in August 2020 at a Christie’s auction.
A pair of Nike Air Yeezy 1s worn by rapper Kanye West sold for $1.8million in April, triple the previous record for the sneakers – despite being a private sale.
The market for rare sports shoes is booming. The sneaker price record has been broken several times recently, as what was considered a niche market a decade ago now attracts interest from the general public as well as major collectors.
The signature shoes that went under the hammer on Sunday predate the first Air Jordans, the now-classic sneaker line that quickly went from popular basketball gear to sought-after streetwear around the world.
The Air Ships that served as the genesis for Air Jordans were designed by Peter Moore. Jordan wore the Air Ships model in 1984 and 1985, as well as modified versions in 1986.
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