Up and Clout: Most Expensive Jordans Sneakers
The exclusive world of the most expensive Air Jordans ever sold—like the iconic $2 million OVO x Air Jordans—will have you dribbling all the way to the bank.
Updated Feb 23, 2023
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Nobody foresaw that Michael Jordan’s collab with Nike to launch Air Jordan would take the fashion world by storm.
Air Jordans are among the most popular sneakers to ever hit the market. Seen on the feet of basketball players since 1985, these sneakers would dominate street fashion wardrobes.
Nowadays, Air Jordans are the bee's knees. They are more than just sneakers—a symbol of luxury, fashion, and opulence. With each new edition released, hype and anticipation continue to grow, with more and more people striving to become the proud owners of a pair of these iconic shoes.
The Solid Gold OVO x Air Jordans are the most expensive Air Jordans ever made, coming in at a mind-blowing $2 million
But some pairs are more special than others, often commanding monstrous prices. In this article, we take a peek into the exclusive world of the most expensive Air Jordans ever sold.
What makes Air Jordan sneakers so valuable?
What makes Air Jordan sneakers so valuable?
Air Jordan sneakers set the standard for style, comfort, and status. Since they first released in 1984, the sneakers have become an emblem of success and accomplishment for those who can afford them.
The Jordan brand’s long-lasting quality materials and exceptional marketing have pushed prices sky-high. After all, you’re not just buying a sneaker, but a piece of history.
Another glaring reason why Jordans are so highly valued is their signature collaborations with celebrities. From Travis Scott and Eminem to collaborations with high-end luxury brands like Dior and Levi’s, buying a Jordan model isn’t just about copping a trendy pair of sneakers—it’s an experience.
That, in combination with the high demand, makes Jordans a double whammy—not only are you buying a sought-after and stylish piece of history, but they also come with an incredible resale value.
Wearing the most expensive Jordans is a privilege for those who can afford it. As Michael Jordan himself once said, “Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.”
Who is Michael Jordan?
Michael Jordan is one of the most iconic and successful athletes in history with a staggering $1.7 billion net worth. They don’t call him the GOAT for nothing.
Born in Brooklyn on February 17, 1963, it wasn't until the 1984 NBA draft that the Chicago Bulls took a chance on Jordan. He played with them until 1998, then had a stint in the MLB before coming out of retirement to play for the Washington Wizards.
His dominance in the NBA has been undeniable with the six championships and five MVP awards he has won. But the one thing that really made him shine is when NBA officials made an exception regarding their white sneakers policy to allow Jordan to strut the courts with his signature red, black, and white Air Jordans.
Thanks to Nike's willingness to pick up any fines and expenses, Air Jordans were able to rake in $126 million in the first year alone, turning it into one of the greatest-ever sneaker lines. Truly, Jordan is the king when it comes to making money from the court—what a great way to spin an MVP award into a billion bucks.
The most expensive Jordan sneakers to invest in
The most expensive Jordan sneakers to invest in
Jordan sneakers have been in the spotlight since the classic Air Jordan 1 was released more than four decades ago. These iconic silhouettes bring huge value to those who collect them.
The Air Jordan 2 OG ‘Chicago’ and the iconic Air Jordan 12 'Flu Game' from the 1997 NBA Finals are worth noting, as these pairs sold for $31,000 and $104,675 respectively. There's also the ultra-exclusive Air Jordan 10 x OVO Solid Gold, commissioned by Drake and crafted from solid 24-carat gold, setting him back a serious $2.1 million.
As the sneaker market continues to boom, it's safe to say the world of investing in Jordan sneakers is a profitable venture.
From the Air Jordan 1 ‘Broken Foot Game’ to the collaboration between Nike and LA's Union skate store, Air Jordan 4 Retro OG Raptors Drake OVO, there's something for you. So in honor of the legendary shoes, we've rounded up some of the most expensive Jordans to invest in if you're in the market for serious sneaker collectibles.
1. Air Jordans #1 'Broken Foot Game'
- Price Range: $30 to $7,300
- Highest Sale Price: $560,000
Air Jordan 1s are a symbol of basketball history, worn by the six-time NBA champion in 1985 as he faced his first major injury, fracturing a bone in his left foot which prevented him from playing for six months.
These classic Chicago Bulls-inspired shoes were recently sold for a stunning $422,130 at a Lelands Auction in January 2022. But that’s not all—just two years earlier, in May 2020, these antique kicks sold for an even higher price of $560,000 at a Sotheby’s auction.
With the ESPNs release of the The Last Dance documentary in 2020, the hype and popularity of the Air Jordan 1 reached new heights and surpassed our wildest expectations.
2. Air Jordan #12 'Flu Game'
- Price Range: $45 to $500
- Highest Sale Price: $104,765
Former Utah Jazz ball boy Preston Truman sold the autographed Air Jordan 12 from the Flu Game for $104,765 at an auction in 2013.
When it comes to iconic pieces of sneaker history, the Air Jordan #12 Flu Game must be mentioned. As the name suggests, Michael Jordan famously wore the shoes during one of the most legendary games in NBA history: the 1997 NBA Finals, when Jordan, battling flu-like symptoms, led the Chicago Bulls to victory over the Utah Jazz.
Those shoes—consigned to Utah ballboy and former Delta Center Preston Truman—sold at a Grey Flannel auction for a mouth-watering $104,765. Mind you, the starting price for the iconic shoes was a humble $5,000.
The shoes' selling price can be attributed to several factors—the unique autograph on the left side upper of the left shoe by the basketball legend, the iconic backstory behind the shoes (and the 'Flu Game' itself), as well as the fact that it was a one-of-a-kind piece, making it an eye-catcher for any serious collector.
3. Air Jordan #1 'Shattered Backboard'
- Price Range: $66 to $1,075
- Highest Sale Price: $615,000
Caitlin Donovan holds the game-worn Air Jordan 1 High during a press preview in New York. The sneakers sold for $615,000 at an online Christie's auction in August 2020.
The Air Jordan #1 ‘Shattered Backboard’ pays homage to an iconic moment in basketball history—Michael Jordan's legendary backboard smashing slam dunk during an exhibition game in Italy in 1985. Jordan's success and influence on the basketball world came from moments like these.
At the time, the dunk heard ‘round the world was seen as powerful moment from a string of exhibition games. But when the 'Shattered Backboard' Air Jordan 1 dropped in 2015, it amplified the story and brought it to life for millions of sneakerheads worldwide. The iconic black-and-orange 'Shattered Backboard' silhouette was based on the Chicago Air Jordan 1 and was a hit, selling out instantly.
Later versions of the shoe such as the 'Reverse Shattered Backboard' and the satin women's version have cemented the 'Shattered Backboard' series as one of Jordan Brand's most iconic colorways.
The actual pair of Air Jordan 1's that Michael Jordan wore in the 1985 Italy game have recently sold for an astonishing $615,000.The 'Shattered Backboard' Air Jordan 1 has gone from an unknown moment in Jordan's basketball career to one of the world's most recognizable sneaker designs in under a decade. Now, owning a piece of the legend’s memorabilia can cost over half a million dollars.
4. Air Jordan #10 x OVO 'Solid Gold'
- Price Range: $200 to $2 million
- Highest Sale Price: Not sold yet
The Air Jordan #10 X OVO ‘Solid Gold’ is worth its weight in gold. It’s no surprise that rapper Drake has taken these shoes to the next level, commissioning NYC-based artist Matthew Senna to create a solid gold version. From the 24-karat gold exterior to the hefty 100-pound weight, the Solid Gold OVO x Air Jordans are the most expensive Air Jordans ever made, coming in at a mind-blowing $2 million.
After Drake showed off the Solid Gold Air Jordan 10s on Instagram, the kicks quickly sparked lots of attention from people all around the world. It’s no wonder these sneakers have become the most sought-after on the market.
5. Jordan #4 Retro x Eminem 'Encore'
- Price Range: $700 to $45,000
- Highest Sale Price: $24,200
The Jordan 4 Retro Eminem Encore (2017) released in December 2017 sold for $24,000 in May 2021
The Jordan 4 Retro is one of the most popular sneakers in the Jordan Brand lineup and has been around since 1989. It was the second Air Jordan model designed by famed Nike designer Tinker Hatfield and the second to feature visible Air.
The Air Jordan 4 was released in four original colorways, including white and cement gray, white black and red, off-white and military blue, and black and red.
Over the years, the model has seen a multitude of collaborations and colorways, but one of the most sought-after is the OG 'Eminem' pair from 2005. The shoes were released in partnership with Marshall Mathers to commemorate the release of his ENCORE album, with only 50 pairs being given to friends and family.
The Jordan 4 Eminem Encore 2017 edition was a re-release of the sold-out OG and was a successful collaboration between Jordan Brand and StockX. Only 23 pairs were made, and they quickly sold out. Prices for the model have skyrocketed over the years and can reach up to $45,000. All in all, whether it’s an OG pair or the remastered 2017 edition, the Air Jordan 4 is an iconic and timeless sneaker.
6. Air Jordan #1 'Dunk Sole'
- Price Range: $600,000 - $800,000
- Highest Sale Price: no records found
This classic pair of red and white Air Jordans worn by Jordan during the 1985-86 season shows many scuffs and abrasions, as well as his signature on the white leather.
The Air Jordan 1 'Dunk Sole' is an incredibly rare and valuable sneaker. Worn by Michael Jordan during his celebrated 1985-1986 season, the 'Dunk Sole' was one of the first modifications Nike used to help Jordan recover from an injury. It included an ankle strap and incorporated the sole from a Nike Dunk—making the Dunk Sole taller, wider, and softer than the original Air Jordan.
This particular pair of Air Jordan 1s feature the classic red, black, and white color scheme, complete with Nike Swoosh, Air Jordan Wings logo, and a sewn-in Nike Air Label. Plus they have Nike logos on the red-tinted soles, and two Jordan Wings logos on the interior. Definitely showing their age, the shoes have numerous scuffs and creases, cracked and chipped ankle padding, and loose threads throughout.
They’re recorded as one of five pairs in existence, with this pair at Heritage Auctions being estimated to fetch upwards of $800,000.
7. Air Jordan #11 'Space Jam'
- Price Range (Retros): $20- $1,000
- Highest Sale Price: $176,000
The Air Jordan 11 ‘Space Jam’ was created back in 1995, originally selling for $125. It has since become one of the most widely talked-about sneakers in the world. Michael Jordan Supreme ('MJ') famously wore the shoes in the final basketball game of the 1996 film Space Jam.
Only a few are known to exist, and the one up for auction had never been worn—made specifically for MJ himself. The sneaker was expected to be auctioned for anywhere between $150,000 and $200,000, but the final selling price of this special pair hit $176,400. However, you can find some retro versions selling between $20 and $1,000 or more right now.
A true grail to many sneaker collectors, the 'Space Jam' Air Jordan 11 certainly deserves its place as one of the most expensive pairs of sneakers ever sold at auction and the third most expensive Jordan at auction. This just goes to show how much of an impact Michael Jordan and Space Jam made on the culture.
8. Jordan Nike Air Ships
- Price Range: $95 - $1,350
- Highest Sale Price: $1.5 million
The Jordan Nike Air Ship trainers have recently made history after auctioning for a glorious $1.472 million. The white and red leather high-top sneakers worn by Michael Jordan during his rookie season with the Chicago Bulls in 1984 grew the NBA star's fame and turned the heads of sneakerheads and luxury fashionistas.
The record-breaking auction was held by Sotheby’s during their 'Icons of Excellence & Haute Luxury' sale in Las Vegas. Jordan wore the shoes during his fifth NBA game against the Denver Nuggets in November 1984 and later gifted them to a ballboy after the face-off. Since then, the shoes have remained in good condition and were bought by well-known collector Nick Fiorella.
Are Jordan sneakers a good investment?
Are Jordan sneakers a good investment?
Air Jordan sneakers have proven to be profitable long-term investments, and recent events have only increased demand. With pairs of autographed Air Jordan sneakers worn by Michael Jordan in 1985 commanding prices of up to $1.5 million, there's enough evidence that people are willing to pay big bucks for limited-edition Jordans.
Since 2019, more than a hundred Jordan sneakers on StockX have at least doubled in resale value, and the average top-selling Jordan has seen its resale price rise 27%.
Meanwhile, sneaker resale sites such as StockX and GOAT have reported a spike in sales since The Last Dance aired on ESPN, so the brand’s fan base doesn’t seem to be waning. All signs point to rare and game-worn Air Jordan sneakers being a worthwhile investment.