Sneakers Head to Auctions as Market Finds New Value

    • Sneakerheads boost the value of shoes up to six figures.
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A pair of leather Adidas sneakers adorned with porcelain overlays, specially created for a Sotheby’s online auction, sold for $126,000 in late December. 

They’re just one example of the high-end sneakers that have been popping up in auctions lately. 

Jordan Geller, founder of the sneaker museum Shoezeum, sold a pair of game-worn Jordan 1s for a then-record $560,000 through Sotheby’s when the “The Last Dance” craze was at its height. 

Online platforms like StockX and GOAT play a huge role in boosting the resale market, but traditional auction houses are taking it to the next level.

  • July 2019: Sotheby’s auctioned one of the 12 existing pairs of  Nike “Moon Shoe,” the rare waffle-soled sneaker from 1972, for a then-record $437,500. 
  • August 2020: Christie’s sold a pair of game-worn Nike Air Jordan 1s for $615,000.
  • October 2020: A pair of 2018 Nike x Off-White Jordan 1 sneakers sold for about $2,750 at Bonhams in London, a 1,347% increase over their $190 retail price. 

There appears to be a limit, however. At Bonhams’ online “Pop x Culture” sale last October, 11 of the 13 Nikes on offer failed to meet their minimum sale price.