Michael Jordan’s Game-Worn Sneakers Break Record At Auction
By Ryan Velez
In the fall of 1985, basketball great Michael Jordan had a broken bone in his left ankle during a game, leaving him out of commission until November of that year. When he came back, he needed a little extra support, and a customized pair of Nike Air Jordan 1 sneakers was commissioned to provide MJ the additional support his healing ankle needed while he played, with support features made out of aluminum and nylon added to the sneakers. The combination of these shoes’ rarity and importance makes them a hot auction item, and Celebrity Net Worth reports that it has been auctioned off for a massive sum.
Official authenticated by Jordan, the shoes sold for $55,000 at auction over the course of four days of bidding in Dallas, Texas overseen by Heritage Auctions. Heritage's director of sports collectibles Chris Ivy had this to say about the shoes in a press statement:
"For a global audience of Jordan collectors, this is as good as it gets. Only a tiny handful of game worn Jordan I's are known to exist, and this unique pair is by far the rarest and most desirable of that breed, as our result would confirm." $55,000 is the most ever paid for a pair of sneakers in this style. However, the buyer appears to be content to remain anonymous for now. Last year, several pieces of sports memorabilia sold that far eclipsed this number, though. A pair of fight gloves Muhammad Ali wore in the “Fight of The Century” against Joe Frazier went for $549,000. Several baseball cards even sold for more than that, with a Jumbo Honus Wagner becoming the world’s most valuable baseball card, selling for $3,120,000, as it was a rare miscut.
However, it is a set of documents that claimed top honors last year, “The Laws of Baseball,” written in 1856 and 1857. While these may not be as exciting as autographed clothes or even a rare card, their value is clearly important to at least one collector, who paid $3,263,246 to own them. It will be interesting to see if any of the athletes we see on our televisions today will be commanding numbers like that for some of their items a few decades down the road.