Iconic Michael Jordan Air Jordan shoes from 1985 sell for record prices, says Sotheby’s

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Written by Leah AsmelashSusannah Cullinane

According to Sotheby’s, a pair of Michael Jordan sneakers from 1985 sold for more than three times the estimated auction price on Sunday, breaking the world record for sneakers.

Ten bidders from around the world competed for basketball legend Nike Air Jordan 1 shoes before the online auction closes at $ 560,000, the auction house said in a statement.

Michael Jordan's signature is on a permanent marker on one of the shoes.

Michael Jordan’s signature is on a permanent marker on one of the shoes. Credit: Sotheby’s

“After a bidding war that boosted the value of US $ 300,000 in the last twenty minutes of the sale, the pair made more than 3.5 times its high estimate of $ 150,000,” said Sotheby’s .

The auctions covered six countries on four continents, according to the auction house.

The sale breaks the world record auction for a pair of sneakers, established last year by Sotheby’s auction of the Nike “Moon Shoe” for $ 437,500. The waffle-soled running shoes, one of 12 pairs ever designed, were designed by Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman for the 1972 Olympic trials.

The Nike Air Jordan 1 were designed exclusively for Jordan and featured red laces instead of black and white.

“Produced between February and April 1985, Jordan wore the current pair of Air Jordan 1s at a pivotal point in his career and thus catapulted the popularity of the sneaker,” said Sotheby’s. “Wearing mismatched shoes most of his career, the pair is in size 13 (left shoe) and 13.5 (right shoe). “

The right shoe sports Jordan’s signature permanent marker.

Nike also didn’t offer mid-top sneakers to the public at the time – only ups and downs, according to Sotheby’s.

“Jordan wore Air Jordan 1s until October 29, 1985, when he broke his foot and then clinched 64 games in his second season while he healed,” said Sotheby’s. “He was wearing modified versions of the Air Jordan 1 when he returned to the game.”

The auction coincided with the final episode of “The Last Dance”, the ESPN docuseries on Jordan and the Chicago Bulls NBA dynasty.

The debut of the 10-part series, which aired in April, attracted an average of 6.1 million viewers, the network said in a statement. This makes “The Last Dance” the most watched ESPN documentary of all time.

Sotheby’s said selling shoes “not only shows the incredible appeal of Michael Jordan as one of the most recognizable and legendary athletes of all time, but also that the collection of sneakers is truly a growing global market “

According to Stockx, a website where people can buy and sell sneakers and streetwear, between January 1 and the series premiere on April 18, 217 pairs of the 2015 Air Jordan 1 retro basketball ‘Chicago’ were sold for an average price of $ 925.

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