Welcome to another edition of “the most ridiculous things people have done with money”. For those with practical tastes and priorities, shoes are just things that one wears on their feet to avoid foot injury while walking around. But what kind of luxury and wealth publication would we be if we focused on those people, right?
But for the purposes of entertainment, opulence, frivolity and lavish spending often make for more entertaining subject matter than careful spending and calculated decisions. For those who are into chucking buckets of money around, there is always opportunity to spend on things that are normally affordable. Have a Honda Civic but have a barn-full of money and want something that goes through a tank of gas in half an hour? Every luxury car company out there has something that will satisfy your needs. If one is a watch fanatic, from Rolex to Patek Philippe, there are options available from $10,000 to hundreds of thousands.
Moving back to my original point, while plenty of shoe companies can offer footwear that will last a year or two for around $100, some see awesome shoes as an important fashion statement. So important in fact that they are willing to drop several hundreds or even thousands of dollars on their footwear. For your entertainment and spending pleasure, here are the most expensive sneakers on which people have dropped obscene amounts of money.
15. Nike Paranorman Foamposite – $3,000
Back in 2012, to accompany the animated horror movie ParaNorman, Nike produced a set of extremely rare sneakers. Just eight hundred pairs of these were made and all featured a graphics based on the film along with glow in the dark soles and tabs on the back that say “weird” and “wins” on the left and right respectively. The only way to get a pair was to follow the movie’s Twitter account and Tweet a picture of yourself “as a weird kid” with the hashtags: “#weirdwins ParaNorman Foamposites”.
They can only be found on eBay and other similar sites these days and generally go for around $3,000.
14. Nike Dunk Paris Edition – $3,000 – $3,500
Made back in 2003, the Paris Edition only saw a little over 200 pairs of the shoes ever actually produced. Each pair was unique and they were inspired by the work of French painter Bernard Buffet. A pair were once put on eBay for the price of $15,000 but it is unclear whether anyone paid that much. Rather, they usually sell for around $3,000 when they trade hands, and it has been suggested that the price can reach three and a half grand. Either way, a very rare set with an interesting story if you can find them.
13. Air Jordan Retro II “The Way I Am” – $3,500
Slim Shady is known to be a fan of Nike shoes, and has a special place in his heart for the Air Jordan II. He always said that growing up they were his favorite pair of shoes and in 2008, he collaborated to make “The Way I Am”, which featured his lyrics on the ankle, front and sides of the shoe. For his hometown, only 313 pairs of these shoes were made. Why is that number significant? It is the area code in Detroit. Not nearly as rare as some shoes on this list, a pair of these is still considered valuable and usually go for about $3,500.
12. Christian Louboutin Crystal High Tops – $4,000 – $5,000
French shoe designer Christian Louboutin, has made a career off of making amazing quality shoes for both men and women. Everything from sneakers to pumps can be found with his name (and signature red sole) on them. While he has some women’s shoes and dress shoes that go for much more, his Crystal Leopard High-tops usually go for four to five grand, and feature a pattern decorated with Swarovski crystals. There’s almost no reason to wear these, as they’re closer to art than footwear.
11. Rick Owens Chrome Hearts Geo – $5,000
American clothing and shoe designer Rick Owens, has been in the business for over 20 years and makes some of the most sought after sneakers out there. While normal Geobasket shoes go for anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000, his collaborative effort with another American label Chrome Hearts, have sold for around five grand. In this shoe, Owens’ company’s usual craftsmanship is complemented by silver decorative zippers and logos.
10. Air Jordan V Retro T23 Tokyo – $5,000
These yellow and black gems were produced for the Tokyo 23 basketball tournament a few years back in 2011. For most collectors in the west, they are a highly sought after item, as so few actually made it out of Japan. Recently they have been selling for around $5,000. Even if you can find a pair on sale though, it is unlikely that you can find your size, and even if you do, these may be better left on the shelf.
9. Gold Nike Dunks – $6,000
As of 2015, the Nike Dunk has been around for thirty years. It is considered to be one of the most iconic shoes out there, so much so that artist Kenneth Courtney actually dipped five pairs in 24 karat gold. That’s right, five pairs and they were all size eleven, so they are pretty much the definition of rare. These were purchased for $6,000 a couple of years ago but as you might expect, they are probably worth a lot more now.
8. Air Yeezy II Red October – $6,000 – $12,000 (Unverified eBay bid $16.4 Million)
I don’t want to sound like I am being critical of Kanye West, as he is talented and has bagged one of the finest women of the generation, but he decided to collaborate with Nike last year and produced completely red shoes. People ate it up and yes, the shoes are nice, and they sold out in just eleven minutes, but while most sold on eBay for between $6,000 and $12,000, there was a bid that apparently went up to over $16 million. That’s a lot of money for one pair of shoes.
7. Air Jordan XI Blackout – $11,267
By now, you have probably started to notice how much sneaker lovers flock to anything with the name Jordan on it. Well, as the name implies, the Blackout shoe is entirely black. Released in 2012, fans of the brand went completely nuts. Back in February of 2012, someone reportedly bought a pair of these shoes for over $11,000, proving that a certain name can cause otherwise rational beings to spend wheelbarrows of hard earned cash.
6. Undefeated Air Jordan 4 – $15,000
The Undefeated Air Jordan 4 design was the first collaboration for the Air Jordan brand. Undefeated (UNDFTD at the time) was the first to be selected to work with Air Jordan’s own designers and they created something that is widely considered one of the greatest sneakers of all time. The design came out in 2005, and only 79 pairs were actually produced (making them even more special), and in 2014, one pair was reportedly sold for a hefty $15,000.
5. Nike Air Mag – $37,500
The line of shoes inspired by the movie Back to the Future are among the most beloved sets of sneakers out there. They were first released in 2011, and there were 1,510 pairs sold in total. While the real life version of the shoes do not have power laces, they look enough like the footwear of Marty McFly. The money made from these shoes was donated to the Michael J. Fox Foundation, which provides funding for Parkinson’s Disease research. Most were sold online and for between $2,000 and $9,000, but rapper Tinie Tempah is said to have bought a pair off eBay for $37,500.
4. Drake’s Air Jordan OVO – $20,000 to $100,000
One of the most beloved Air Jordan products is the OVO, and of those, the 10 and 12 are among the most valuable. The Air Jordan OVO 10 pair in question were gifted to rapper Drake a few years ago, and when he gave them to a fan at a Toronto Raptor’s event, that fan turned around and sold them for $20,000.
The OVO 12 pair had a similar story. The top bid as of January 2014 for such a pair was reportedly $100,000.
3. Diamond Air Force 1 – $50,000
American rapper Big Boi, the half of Outkast who wasn’t Andre 3000, has an apparent appreciation of both nice shoes and expensive rocks. His choice shoes that he had produced by an Atlanta-based footwear company and a jeweler were worth $50,000. They are a pair of Air Force 1 “So Cal” with over $13,000 worth of diamonds. They are among the last shoes to actually wear, and great candidates for the privilege of being put on a shelf.
2. Silver Air Jordan 1 – $60,000
So we’ve pointed out over and over that most of these sneakers fall under the category of “good God, don’t wear these! Leave them on the shelf or in a fancy display case”. These fall under the category of “good luck wearing these because they are ten lbs and made of Sterling silver”. We may need to come up with shorter names for our categories. One of these was sold on eBay back in 2011 for $60,000. The story goes that only ten were made and the first of those was given to Michael Jordan himself, back in the 1990s.
1. Flu Game Air Jordans – $104,000
The “Flu Game” refers to a basketball match back during the 1997 NBA finals which has entered the legendary status of sports folklore. Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls were tied at two games a piece with the Utah Jazz. Jordan came down with either food poisoning or some other stomach issue and many on the team thought he would miss the fifth game. He showed up and put on his uniform just in time and ended up playing. He looked rough, and was sluggish throughout the game, but still managed to lead the Bulls with 38 points, to a win. They won game six as well, and took the championship.
The shoes he wore on this historic night sold two years ago for $104,765.