Sothebys is to have its first sneaker auction featuring 100 of the rarest sneakers ever produced by the brand, in New York. Shoes includes the likes of the 1994 Air Jordan 1 (expected to fetch $3,000), which marked Nike’s first-ever reissue of the shoe that launched modern sneaker culture, and the handmade Nike “Moon Shoe” from 1972 (expected to reach $160,000), designed by Nike cofounder Bill Bowerman, who got the inspiration for the grippy sole from his waffle iron. Some items were never even released to the public and were only made for brand partners to give to friends and family. There’s even the 2016 self-lacing Nike Mag, first imagined for the movie “Back to the Future 2”, which is predicted to fetch up to $70,000 at auction - watch this space!
NIKE, SB DUNK LOW, PARIS, SIZE 11
Suede, Canvas, Rubber
This 2002 release of the Nike SB Dunk Low is one of the most sought-after sneakers of all time. Rumored to have been produced in a run of only 150-200 pairs, the Dunk features artwork by French painter Bernard Buffet, who passed away in 1999. It released only at select retailers in Paris, where collectors queued outside shops like Colette and Opium for days in hopes of buying a pair.
JORDAN, AIR JORDAN 11 JETER, DEREK JETER, SIZE 9.5, 351792 147
Derek Jeter is one of the greatest New York Yankees ever, so it made perfect sense for Jordan Brand to commemorate his retirement in 2017 with one of the greatest Air Jordan models, the Air Jordan 11. Only five pairs exist, and each were released via a scratch-off lottery system at a pop-up shop near Yankee Stadium on the day of his retirement ceremony. The colorway is constructed in a premium navy suede upper with Jeter’s famed #2 embroidered on each heel in white. A white midsole, translucent white outsole, and leather laces complete the stunning look for one of the rarest Air Jordan 11s ever produced.
NIKE, NIKE MAG, BACK TO THE FUTURE 2016, SIZE 11
Leather, Synthetics, Rubber
The Nike Mag is the once-fictional sneaker worn by Marty McFly in “Back To the Future Part 2.” Fans of the movie and sneakerheads alike had been petitioning Nike to release the mythical design since the film debuted in 1989, and it finally became a reality in 2011. However, that version did not include the self-lacing ability seen in the movie—which was actually created with special effects. It wouldn’t be until 2016 that Nike perfected real power lacing technology, when they released the Mag once again. The self-lacing version was much more limited than the 2011 release of 1,500 pairs, with only 89 pairs produced, once again benefiting the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. The 2011 Mag was one of the most historic and significant sneaker releases of all time, and this 2016 version is even more special due to the power-lacing feature and extreme rarity.
NIKE, NIKE WAFFLE RACING FLAT, MOON SHOE, SIZE 12.5, 1972 OG
Nylon, Leather/Suede, Rubber
The Nike “Moon Shoe” is one of the most significant artifacts in the history of the multi-billion dollar athletic brand. One of only a handful of pairs known to exist, this Moon Shoe is a handmade running shoe designed by Nike co-founder and legendary Oregon University track coach Bill Bowerman. As the famous story goes, Bowerman was first inspired to create the innovative waffle sole traction pattern found on the brand’s early running shoes by tinkering with his wife’s waffle iron, pouring rubber into the mold to create the first prototype of the sole. The finished design of the traction pattern created better grip and cushion than most running shoes of the time, and the waffle sole was Nike’s first major innovation as a brand.
ADIDAS, PW X CC X HU X NMD, KARL LAGERFELD, SIZE 9.5, D98150
Pharrell’s partnership with Adidas has produced some pretty epic sneakers, but none have been more legendary than the ultra-rare adidas NMD Hu TR in collaboration with famed fashion house Chanel. The shoe released only at a special Chanel pop-up shop at Colette in Paris in extremely limited quantities, but this pair is even more special. It features a modified design that replaces “Chanel” across the top of the right shoe with “Karl” and was given exclusively to Karl Lagerfeld as a gift from Pharrell. This “Karl” edition is thought to be the only pair in existence.
JORDAN, AIR JORDAN 4 RETRO, OKLAHOMA PE, SIZE 12, AJ4 904282
Leather, Synthetics, Rubber
This Air Jordan 4 is an extremely rare edition of the classic model produced only for the Oklahoma University football team. The player exclusive Jordan 4 first surfaced in late 2018 during college football bowl season. The striking colorway features a dark red suede upper with the model’s signature lacing eyelets and “wings” in clear plastic with red and white speckles. More speckling is found on the heel tab and midsoles, while an icy outsole adds the final touch to the impressive execution. “OU” logos are also added to the tongue patches. The Air Jordan 4 Oklahoma Sooners PE is extremely rare and will never be released to the general public.
NIKE, THE 10: AIR JORDAN 1, OFF-WHITE, SIZE 9.5
Leather, Synthetics, Rubber
The Off-White x Air Jordan 1 by Virgil Abloh was the sneaker of the year for 2017. The shoe absolutely everybody wants but few can get, the sneaker world has not seen a force like Virgil Abloh’s Air Jordan 1 from “The Ten” collection in a long time, if ever. Based off the original “Chicago” Air Jordan 1, the shoe features details that coincide with the rest of the ten models by Abloh, including exposed foam, stitched on Swooshes, and the signature red zip tie. Sure to go down as one of the most hyped and coveted sneakers of all time, the Off-White x Air Jordan 1 is an important piece of sneaker history.