Michael Jordan’s Game-Worn Nike Air Ships Sold For Record-Breaking $1.47 Million

A pair of sneakers worn by American basketball legend Michael Jordan during the fifth game of his rookie season with the Chicago Bulls were sold for almost $ 1.5 million.

"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," the famous auction house Sotheby's announced on Sunday.

The Story Of Michael Jordan’s Sneakers

The shoes, a pair of Nike Air Ships designed by sneaker icon Bruce Kilgore, were sold to a high-end cards collector - Nick Fiorella -  and set a new world record for the highest price achieved for a pair of sneakers at auction. The footwear also became the first pair of sneakers to sell for more than $1 million at auction.
Sotheby's sold a pair of Kanye West "Grammy Worn" Nike Air Yeezy 1 Prototypes from 2008 for $1.8 million in April, but those were sold in a private sale.

Michael Jordan and the Jordan Brand helped redefine what a signature line formed around an athlete could be. These sneakers are a crucial part of the genesis of that story.
 
This pair, with provenance from Michael’s 5th NBA game, really touches two worlds as the Nike Air Ship holds a special place in the hearts of sneaker-heads as the precursor of the Air Jordan 1, but beyond that, it is also simply an incredible artifact that dates to the nascency of Michael Jordan’s rookie season. Michael Jordan’s Game-Worn Nike Air Ships Sold For Record-Breaking $1.47 Million
Photo: Sotheby's
We are thrilled to unveil this astonishing piece worn by one of the best athletes to play any sport, as Sotheby’s continues to lead the sneaker and modern collectibles market," said Brahm Wachter, Head of Sotheby’s Streetwear and Modern Collectables.

The red and white Nike Air Ships were worn by Michael Jordan in the preseason and early games of his rookie year as the Air Jordan 1. The Nikes have been sitting unused for decades after the NBA star gave them to Tommie Tim III Lewis, a ball boy for the Denver Nuggets during the 1984-85 season.

Sneakers That Cost A Fortune

The market for rare sports shoes, which was considered a niche market a few years ago, is booming and is attracting the interest of collectors as well as the general public.

In April, the shoes worn by American rapper Kanye West during the 2008 Grammy Awards were sold for $ 1.8 million - the highest amount paid at an auction for a pair of sneakers.

The black leather shoes were designed exclusively for Kanye West's show and represented the starting point of the artist's shoe line.

Last year, a pair of white sneakers handmade by a Nike co-founder about 50 years ago was sold for $ 162,500.

Another pair of Jordan sneakers sold for $ 560,000 last year.