A pair of game-worn Michael Jordan Nike Air Jordan 1 shoes were auctioned off for a record $615,000 last week. Jordan wore the shoes in a 1985 exhibition game in Italy, and a piece of the backboard — shattered by a Jordan dunk — is still embedded in the shoe.
While the auction, held by Christie’s, brought below the $650,000 to $850,000 pre-auction estimate, the sale continues the boom in sneaker culture. The previous record was set three months ago, when a game-worn and autographed pair of Nike Air Jordan 1s from Jordan’s rookie season were sold for $560,000.
The pair from Jordan’s rookie season sold on the day the final episode of “The Last Dance” aired. ESPN’s 30 for 30 helped fuel a surge of Air Jordans, with sales of the brand growing 38% during the broadcasts.
It’s not just Air Jordans having a hot year, however. Foot Locker — which reports its full quarterly earnings Friday — already has revealed an 18% increase in sales for its second quarter ending Aug. 1. Among the top-selling sneakers in the first half of 2020:
— Adidas NMD R1
— Nike Air Force 1 Low
— Nike Air Max 270
— Nike Air VaporMax Plus
— Jordan XIII Retro