A pair of trainers worn by NBA superstar Michael Jordan early in his career have sold for nearly $1.5m, setting a record price at auction for game-worn footwear.
The white leather shoes with the red Nike swoosh and soles were worn by the iconic player in the fifth game of his rookie season with the Chicago Bulls, when Nike’s Jordan-affiliated brand was only just taking off as a sensation both on and off the court.
“The most valuable sneakers ever offered at auction – Michael Jordan’s regular season game-worn Nike Air Ships from 1984 – have just sold at $1,472,000 in our luxury sale in Las Vegas,” auction house Sotheby’s said.
The astronomical price easily beat the record held by a pair of Nike Air Jordans which sold for $615,000 in August 2020 at a Christie’s auction.
Jordan’s autographed size-13 lace-ups were in good overall condition, with signs of court wear and tear, Sotheby’s said.
The pair was a gift from the player to Tommie Tim III Lewis, who was a ball boy for the Denver Nuggets during the 1984-85 season.
The market for rare sports shoes is soaring. The record price for sneakers has been broken several times recently as what was seen as a niche market a decade ago now attracts interest from the general public as well as leading collectors.