A pair of red-and-black Air Jordan 13 sneakers worn by basketball superstar Michael Jordan sold for $2.2 million on Tuesday, setting a new record for most valuable sneakers sold at auction. The shoes were sold during the ongoing Victoriam sale at Sotheby’s, a collection of sports artefacts from athletes like Jordan, the late Los Angeles Lakers player Kobe Bryant and tennis star Rafael Nadel.
Jordan wore the shoes during his final season with the Chicago Bulls, in particular during the second game of the NBA Finals, when the team faced off against the Utah Jazz. Those sneakers would go on to become as infamous as his final season, which has been dubbed the ‘Last Dance’ in pop culture and was the centre of an ESPN docu-series that aired in 2020.
Another pair of Jordan’s shoes held the previous record for sneaker sale: His Nike Air Ships, which he wore during the regular 1997-1998 season, were sold for $1.47 million at Sotheby’s in 2021. At the time, the Air Ships became the first pair of sneakers to sell for more than $1 million at auction.
Jordan’s 1998 NBA Finals Game 1 jersey also holds the record for the most expensive basketball jersey sold at auction, selling for $10.1 million in 2022, also at Sotheby’s.
The sale comes on the heels of the release of the film “Air,” which chronicles Nike’s partnership with Michael Jordan to create the Air Jordan sneaker.
Sotheby’s Auction of Virgil Abloh’s Louis Vuitton x Nike Sneakers Smashes Expectations
The online sale of 200 pairs of sneakers brought in a total of $25.3 million, Sotheby’s said, with most pairs selling for more than $100,000. One pair in size five — the first lot for sale and among the few sizes where only a single pair was available — reached $352,800. The estimate Sotheby’s had listed for each pair in the auction was $5,000 to $15,000.