Collectibles

The original first pair of Air Jordan sneakers fetch $672,000 and smash auction records

The original first pair of Air...
The1985 Air Jordan 1 Vintage Originals were produced for Jordan in the white, black and red of his Chicago Bulls, and were the colourway he wore most often on court. In 1984, Nike gave Jordan a signature line of shoes and clothes – a crucial, unprecedented move to entice Michael Jordan to sign with Nike. Produced between February to April 1985, Jordan wore this pair of Air Jordan 1s during an early, pivotal point of his career, catalysing an unprecedented sales spike and paving the way for Scottie Pippen, Penny Hardaway, Charles Barkley, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and LeBron James to have their own signature shoes … and ultimately for the birth of sneaker culture.
The1985 Air Jordan 1 Vintage Originals were produced for Jordan in the white, black and red of his Chicago Bulls, and were the colourway he wore most often on court. In 1984, Nike gave Jordan a signature line of shoes and clothes – a crucial, unprecedented move to entice Michael Jordan to sign with Nike. Produced between February to April 1985, Jordan wore this pair of Air Jordan 1s during an early, pivotal point of his career, catalysing an unprecedented sales spike and paving the way for Scottie Pippen, Penny Hardaway, Charles Barkley, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and LeBron James to have their own signature shoes … and ultimately for the birth of sneaker culture.
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The1985 Air Jordan 1 Vintage Originals were produced for Jordan in the white, black and red of his Chicago Bulls, and were the colourway he wore most often on court. In 1984, Nike gave Jordan a signature line of shoes and clothes – a crucial, unprecedented move to entice Michael Jordan to sign with Nike. Produced between February to April 1985, Jordan wore this pair of Air Jordan 1s during an early, pivotal point of his career, catalysing an unprecedented sales spike and paving the way for Scottie Pippen, Penny Hardaway, Charles Barkley, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and LeBron James to have their own signature shoes … and ultimately for the birth of sneaker culture.
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The1985 Air Jordan 1 Vintage Originals were produced for Jordan in the white, black and red of his Chicago Bulls, and were the colourway he wore most often on court. In 1984, Nike gave Jordan a signature line of shoes and clothes – a crucial, unprecedented move to entice Michael Jordan to sign with Nike. Produced between February to April 1985, Jordan wore this pair of Air Jordan 1s during an early, pivotal point of his career, catalysing an unprecedented sales spike and paving the way for Scottie Pippen, Penny Hardaway, Charles Barkley, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and LeBron James to have their own signature shoes … and ultimately for the birth of sneaker culture.
Breaking the four-minute-mile barrier was a milestone that many thought was slightly beyond human capability. Once it had been done (by Roger Bannister wearing these shoes in 3:59.4 on May 6, 1954), and the barrier broken, it was done repeatedly from that point forth. It has since been broken by over 1,400 male athletes, and the record for “the mile” currently stands at 3:43.13.
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Breaking the four-minute-mile barrier was a milestone that many thought was slightly beyond human capability. Once it had been done (by Roger Bannister wearing these shoes in 3:59.4 on May 6, 1954), and the barrier broken, it was done repeatedly from that point forth. It has since been broken by over 1,400 male athletes, and the record for “the mile” currently stands at 3:43.13.
One of the most significant artefacts in the history of both the Nike brand and sporting culture, this is the Nike “Moon Shoe”. It is one of only a handful of pairs known to exist, of the original handmade running shoe designed by Nike co-founder and Oregon University track coach Bill Bowerman. As the famous story goes, Bowerman was first inspired to create the innovative waffle sole traction pattern found on the brand’s early running shoes by tinkering with his wife’s waffle iron, pouring rubber into the mold to create the first prototype of the sole. The finished design of the traction pattern created better grip and cushion than most running shoes of the time, and the waffle sole was Nike’s first major innovation as a brand. The shoes sold for a world record $437,500 in 2019.
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One of the most significant artefacts in the history of both the Nike brand and sporting culture, this is the Nike “Moon Shoe”. It is one of only a handful of pairs known to exist, of the original handmade running shoe designed by Nike co-founder and Oregon University track coach Bill Bowerman. As the famous story goes, Bowerman was first inspired to create the innovative waffle sole traction pattern found on the brand’s early running shoes by tinkering with his wife’s waffle iron, pouring rubber into the mold to create the first prototype of the sole. The finished design of the traction pattern created better grip and cushion than most running shoes of the time, and the waffle sole was Nike’s first major innovation as a brand. The shoes sold for a world record $437,500 in 2019.
There is no more iconic piece of movie memorabilia than the Ruby Red Slippers from The Wizard of Oz. Of the three pairs extant, one pair sold for $666,000 at Christie's in New York on May 24, 2000 and the pair from the 2011 Debbie Reynolds Estate Auction were sold privately for a reported $2 million.
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There is no more iconic piece of movie memorabilia than the Ruby Red Slippers from The Wizard of Oz. Of the three pairs extant, one pair sold for $666,000 at Christie's in New York on May 24, 2000 and the pair from the 2011 Debbie Reynolds Estate Auction were sold privately for a reported $2 million.
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Michael Jordan’s autographed game-worn 1985 Nike Air Jordan 1s sold at auction yesterday for $672,000 ($560,000 plus 20 percent buyers premium) to set a new world auction record for any footwear. The shoes were the first ever signature sneakers and with Jordan top-of-mind thanks to The Last Dance documentary airing globally during the COVID-19 sports vacuum, the online auction powered past a number of auction records over the preceding few days.

Sneakerhead culture has enveloped the world in the last few decades and it is illustrative to turn to Wikipedia's entry on the subject to comprehend the cultural gravitas of this first ever pair of Air Jordans: "The birth of sneakerhead culture in the United States came in the 1980s and can be attributed to two major sources: basketball, specifically the emergence of Michael Jordan and his eponymous Air Jordan line of shoes released in 1985, and the growth of hip hop music. The boom of signature basketball shoes during this era provided the sheer variety necessary for a collecting subculture, while the hip-hop movement gave the sneakers their street credibility as status symbols."

With $240,000 bid on the shoes (with 20 percent buyers premium added, that’s $288,000) and the reserve price having been met four days before the virtual hammer fell, the shoes were already the most valuable Michael Jordan memorabilia ever sold at auction, having surpassed the $190,373 paid for Michael Jordan’s Converse basketball boots worn in the 1984 Olympics.

Breaking the four-minute-mile barrier was a milestone that many thought was slightly beyond human capability. Once it had been done (by Roger Bannister wearing these shoes in 3:59.4 on May 6, 1954), and the barrier broken, it was done repeatedly from that point forth. It has since been broken by over 1,400 male athletes, and the record for “the mile” currently stands at 3:43.13.
Breaking the four-minute-mile barrier was a milestone that many thought was slightly beyond human capability. Once it had been done (by Roger Bannister wearing these shoes in 3:59.4 on May 6, 1954), and the barrier broken, it was done repeatedly from that point forth. It has since been broken by over 1,400 male athletes, and the record for “the mile” currently stands at 3:43.13.

Other records which were eclipsed include the prior sports shoe record price of US$411,986 (£266,500) fetched by the running shoes in which Roger Bannister famously broke the four-minute-mile and standing sports shoe record price set by the original Nike Waffle Racing flats which sold for a world record $437,500 in 2019.

One of the most significant artefacts in the history of both the Nike brand and sporting culture, this is the Nike “Moon Shoe”. It is one of only a handful of pairs known to exist, of the original handmade running shoe designed by Nike co-founder and Oregon University track coach Bill Bowerman. As the famous story goes, Bowerman was first inspired to create the innovative waffle sole traction pattern found on the brand’s early running shoes by tinkering with his wife’s waffle iron, pouring rubber into the mold to create the first prototype of the sole. The finished design of the traction pattern created better grip and cushion than most running shoes of the time, and the waffle sole was Nike’s first major innovation as a brand. The shoes sold for a world record $437,500 in 2019.
One of the most significant artefacts in the history of both the Nike brand and sporting culture, this is the Nike “Moon Shoe”. It is one of only a handful of pairs known to exist, of the original handmade running shoe designed by Nike co-founder and Oregon University track coach Bill Bowerman. As the famous story goes, Bowerman was first inspired to create the innovative waffle sole traction pattern found on the brand’s early running shoes by tinkering with his wife’s waffle iron, pouring rubber into the mold to create the first prototype of the sole. The finished design of the traction pattern created better grip and cushion than most running shoes of the time, and the waffle sole was Nike’s first major innovation as a brand. The shoes sold for a world record $437,500 in 2019.

The long-standing outright most valuable shoes ever to go to auction was the final hurdle to fall - the ruby red slippers worn by Judy Garland as Dorothy in the 1939 classic movie, The Wizard of Oz. One of three pairs extant that were used in the movie, the pair sold for $666,000 at Christie's in New York on May 24, 2000.

There is no more iconic piece of movie memorabilia than the Ruby Red Slippers from The Wizard of Oz. Of the three pairs extant, one pair sold for $666,000 at Christie's in New York on May 24, 2000 and the pair from the 2011 Debbie Reynolds Estate Auction were sold privately for a reported $2 million.
There is no more iconic piece of movie memorabilia than the Ruby Red Slippers from The Wizard of Oz. Of the three pairs extant, one pair sold for $666,000 at Christie's in New York on May 24, 2000 and the pair from the 2011 Debbie Reynolds Estate Auction were sold privately for a reported $2 million.

The cultural significance of the Air Jordan range cannot be underestimated in framing the value of these shoes.

Beyond the commercial success though, Jordan was the first to ink a deal as a player for a signature sneaker and he paved the way for Scottie Pippen, Penny Hardaway, Charles Barkley, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and LeBron James to have their own signature shoes, and ultimately for the sneaker culture.

The 1985 Air Jordan 1 Vintage Originals were produced for Jordan in the white, black and red of his Chicago Bulls – the colorway he wore most often on court.

In 1984, Nike set out to entice Jordan. Converse had Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, and Nike offered him $250,000 a year and his own shoe line: Air Jordan. Nike’s expectations were that it would be selling $3 million a year by the fourth year of the contract. It sold $126 million in the first year and it has grown every year since. Nike's Jordan Brand generated $3.14 billion in revenue for the 12 months ending May, 2019 and the brand reported its first billion dollar quarter in December, 2019.

Auction page: Sotheby's

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Wavmakr
And people are starving in the world.....................