5 most expensive Nike shoes of all time

What are the 5 most expensive Nike shoes of all time? (Image via Sportskeeda)
What are the 5 most expensive Nike shoes of all time? (Image via Sportskeeda)

Nike has been a pioneering name in the sneaker industry since they entered the game in 1971.

By paying attention to shapes, silhouettes, colors, and details, the swoosh brand has singlehandedly become the capital of the sneaker world, winning at the reseller market as well, with the sky-high value of their shoes.

Most times their mint condition and quality isn't the only thing that attracts sneakerheads, who are also drawn to their story and cachet, which adds a sense of nostalgia and rarity to the sneakers.

Selling for record-breaking figures at Sotheby's, the Oregon-based sportswear giant's shoes have now become a genuine collector's item. Ahead, we have compiled a list of the sneakers whose values have soared high, ever since their release.

Top 5 Nike shoes that have grossed an unbelievable amount

1) Drake OVO x Nike Air Jordan 12: $2 Milion

Rapper Drake collaborated with Nike's sub-brand, Jordan, for a pair of Air Jordan 10s. While a collaboration between Jordan and Drake might be common, this sneaker was more than just a collab, as it was constructed out of solid gold and was crafted by Matthew Senna.

All Jordans are owned by the swoosh label, and this was too manufactured under the label's overseeing. The shoes were reported to weight around 100 pounds and were custom-made for Drake. The one of a kind sneakers were made for approx $2 million and featured details that the original AJ10 comprises.

The shoes features the "OVO" lettering on the bottom of the tread and the upper was perfectly reminiscent of the leather construction. The iconic embroidered jumpman logo was featured on the heel, and the lacing was also imitated.

The shoes were disclosed by the rapper himself on July 18, 2006.

2) Kanye West x Nike Air Yeezy 1: $1.8 Million

Kanye West x Nike Air Yeezy 1 - $1.8 Million (Image via Sportskeeda)
Kanye West x Nike Air Yeezy 1 - $1.8 Million (Image via Sportskeeda)

These sneakers were first debuted on February 10, 2008, when Kanye West gave an emotional performance of Stronger and Hey Mama at the 50th annual Grammy Awards ceremony. While performing, he donned a pair of sneakers that no one could identify, but everyone wanted to own. The only clue on the sneakers was Nike's trademark.

This marked the first collaborative shoe between the swoosh brand and Ye's Yeezy. Sending sneakerheads into a frenzy, the shoes lit up across the community, and the Nike Yeezy empire was officially born. This collaborative journey went on to become a pillar of the modern sneaker culture.

Later, the Nike x Yeezy partnership was severed, and Yeezy continued its legacy with Adidas in 2013. However, the Nike x Air Yeezy 1 and Air Yeezy 2 are still some of the most-hyped shoes by collectors and enthusiasts. The sneakers were originally sold to benefit Doernbecher Children's Hospital, and was sold for $1.8 million on Sotheby's.

The Air Yeezy 1 was constructed in Nike's Oregon-based lab, aka The Innovation Kitchen. The shoe uppers were constructed out of soft black leather with perforated detailing, and the heel overlay used a tonal swoosh. A forefoot strap detailing was added to bring more to the sneaker, whereas a signature "Y" medallion for Yeezy can be seen upon the lacelocks in a bright pink tone. The shoes were sold at Sotheby's on April 21, 2022.

3) The Nike Air Ship 1984

Before the OG Air Jordan 1 launched, the Nike Air Ship sneakers were a key part of the design's legacy. The Air Ship sneakers were worn by Michael Jordan for his fifth game with the Chicago Bulls in the first season, and the sneakers became iconic both on and off the court.

The sneakers came in a custom red and white colorway. The term "Air Jordan" was coined after the Air Ship's debut in 1984 at the feet of Michael Jordan. In the process of creating AJ1, the swoosh brand created an Air Ships silhouette, which was made in just a limited number of pairs and had "Nike Air" printed on the heel.

The Air Ship was originally designed by Bruce Kilgore in 1984, and was the first swoosh shoe worn by MJ as an NBA professional. The pair was later gifted to 'TJ' aka Denver Nuggets Ballboy Lewis, following the game of Bulls on November 1, 1984. The pair was auctioned off on Sotheby's for $1.47 million on October 24, 2021.

4) Nike Air Jordan 1 Bred (1985): $560k

Air Jordan 1 Bred (1985)- $560k (Image via Sportskeeda)
Air Jordan 1 Bred (1985)- $560k (Image via Sportskeeda)

The Nike Air Jordan 1 is one of the most iconic shoes in the history of sneakerworld. Also known as Chicago, it is an integral part of the Jordan legacy. Designed by Peter Moore in 1984, the AJ1 made its debut in 1985. These shoes are the iconic Chicago colorway, as well as the most recongizable Jordan of all time.

After signing a deal with the swoosh brand, this shoe not only marked MJ's signature line, but was also the first time any brand had taken up a player's collaboration and signature line. The term for the shoes, i.e. Air Jordan, was coined by David Falk, MJ's agent.

The shoe became so popular that every sneakerhead and MJ fan wanted a pair of their own, thus leading to the very successful AJ line that we see now. Currently on AJ 37, the brand has earned an unbeatable reputation.

On this shoe, the inside stated "850204 TYPS," which meant that the date of the reproduction of the shoes was between February and April, 1985. The TYPS stands for "Tong Yang Player Sample," meaning that the shoes were originally produced to be sample footwear. The pair was auctioned off at Sotheby's for $560,000.

5) Nike Waffle Racing Flat Moon Shoe: $437k

The Nike Moon shoe is one of the most significant sneakers in the history of the Oregon-based sportswear giant. The shoe has only a handful of pairs left, and was designed by founder Bill Bowerman himself. Bowerman was inspired to create the shoe and its iconic waffle sole traction pattern, with his wife's waffle iron. He poured the rubber onto the waffle iron, thus creating a waffle sole. The prototype proved to be successful and offered better cushioning and grip than other running shoes of the time.

The Moon Shoe got its name after the waffle pattern it left in the dirt, which resembled the tracks left by astronauts on the moon in 1969.

It was cobbled by Geoff Hollister, who was one of the first employees of the swoosh brand.

The waffle outsole was made out of two pieces, due to the lack of technology at the time, and the soles were marked with hand cut markings to cut them into shape. The uppers were constructed out of white nylon material, while the swooshes were sewn onto the upper, in black.

The pair was made for Olympic runners for the trials in 1972, and only 12-pieces were created at the time. The pair was sold at an auction by Sotheby's on July 23, 2019, for an astounding price of $437,500, and was bought by a collector named Miles Spencer Nadal.

1) What are the most expensive Nike shoes ever sold?

What are some expensive AJs of all time? (Image via Sportskeeda)
What are some expensive AJs of all time? (Image via Sportskeeda)

While the aforementioned shoes are all extremely costly, most of them were never sold at retail. A few of them were sold at low retail rates and was then resold at high prices, while other were one-of-a-kind and were limited-edition.

One of the shoe, which fits all the categories and were sold by Nike at an auction in the recent times was Virgil Abloh's Louis Vuitton x Air Force 1 low "Monogram Brown Damier Azur" sneakers. The sneaker was presented to the public at an auction via Sotheby's and was sold at a high cost of $300k.

2) How much do the most expensive Nike shoes cost?

There are many variables when one names the most expensive Nike shoes. In the one-of-a-kind category, one can consider the aformentioned Drake OVO x Nike Air Jordan 12 sneakers, which cost $2 million. These sneakers, however, weren't ever on sale and were made with solid gold. The sneakers are not wearable and only for show.

Considering the reseller prices of sneaker, the aformentioned Kanye West x Nike Air Yeezy 1 "Prototype" tops the list. These sneakers didn't retail at high prices, however, over the time they were appreciated by fans due to its pop-culture relevance. The sneakers currently resells for $1.9 million. The sneaker pair was worn by Kanye West himself during 50th annual Grammy Awards function and hence they over the time became famous.

What are some of the most expensive AJs of all time? (Image via Sportskeeda)
What are some of the most expensive AJs of all time? (Image via Sportskeeda)

The third variable could be the most highly-priced Nike's officially sold sneaker to the public. These sneakers were limited-edition, however, they were still sold to the public at an auction. For these sneakers, public itself bidded upon the shoes and it ended up selling for $300k. The shoes were famous as it was last nod to the late designer Virgil Abloh and Nike's first collab with Louis Vuitton.

3) Are the most expensive Nike shoes limited edition or mass-produced?

Most of the expensive shoes are limited-edition, in fact, one of the high price point driving forces is the limited number of sneakers which can be attained by only a few people.

4) What are the features that make the most expensive Nike shoes unique and worth the price?

Most expensive shoes always have some unique features. They are usually made from premium and comfortable materials, including high-quality suede and leather. The shoes are usually unique in design or under collaborative offerings.

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Edited by Upasya Bhowal