Before NFTs and cryptocurrency, there were paintings from world-famous artists, memorabilia from game-changing athletes, and limited edition cars from luxury manufacturers to provide generations of value often exceeding monetary form. Their value stemmed from their history, exclusivity, and most importantly, their cultural impact. This same set of factors also determines the value of the most expensive sneakers.
Despite starting from humble beginnings, sneakers are now an asset class of their own. They were created out of the urgency to enhance athletic performance and then transitioned into a canvas for creative expression. Now, these objects made of leather and EVA foam make headlines as they prove to be savvy investments.
To show that, we put together a list of the 10 most expensive sneakers on StockX in 2021 so far. For this list, we looked at sales history from the last year of every shoe on our platform – including unreleased designs and samples – and identified those with the highest average resale price.
These are the top ten most expensive sneakers on StockX right now.
The Most Expensive Sneakers on StockX
10. Air Jordan 1 OG Bred 1985
Average Price: $16,000
From being “banned” by the NBA to jumpstarting the global Air Jordan phenomenon, the Air Jordan 1 OG Bred 1985 is a monument in sneaker history. Its design seamlessly transitioned from the court to the street, influencing decades of style with its high-top leather construction.
A pair of 35-year-old Jordan 1 Breds in deadstock condition is not a common find, but when it does surface, it sells at a steep price. On average, the Air Jordan 1 OG Bred 1985 is valued at $16,000, pushing it into our list of most expensive sneakers.
9. Air Jordan 1 Chicago 1985
Average Price: $16,722
Alongside the Bred colorway, the original 1985 Air Jordan 1 Chicago is another vintage Air Jordan that has become one of the most expensive sneakers on StockX. Michael Jordan famously wore the Chicago colorway for the majority of his first season on the Chicago Bulls, making the design synonymous with his introduction as a star in the NBA.
While the Chicago 1 originally retailed for $64.99 in 1985, and has hit the sale rack in decades past, it is valued at much more in today’s market given its level of rarity. Now, averaging for just over $16,700, you can own the same Chicago 1s that Michael Jordan wore in his rookie season.
8. Air Jordan 4 Eminem Encore 2017
Average Price: $17,238
In 2017, we partnered with Eminem to re-issue the 2005 Air Jordan 4 Eminem Encore as part of a Marshall Mathers Foundation charity campaign. Only 23 pairs were produced, making the release nearly impossible to grab. The only way to take home a pair was to donate to the foundation and win a raffle from a pool of eligible donors.
Those who were lucky enough to get the W stumbled upon a fortune because now the Air Jordan 4 Eminem Encore 2017 is valued at just over $17,200, making it one of the most expensive sneakers on our list.
7. Nike SB Dunk Low Freddy Krueger
Average Price: $22,353
Coming in as the seventh most expensive sneaker in 2021 is the Nike SB Dunk Low Freddy Krueger. While it’s valued at a whopping $22,353 may come unwarranted to the average sneaker newcomer, its historical value and rarity make the case.
When Nike first unveiled the Nike SB Dunk Low Freddy Krueger as part of their 2007 Halloween Pack, New Line Cinema sent Nike a cease and desist order over usage of Freddy Krueger’s sweater pattern used in the design. To avoid further legal trouble, the Freddy Dunk was immediately pulled from store shelves and returned to Nike so that they could be burned. It is true that most pairs were destroyed, but a few managed to escape – with some even being doused in oil but never set aflame. Those that survived their fiery fate now sell at prices above some college tuition.
6. Air Jordan 4 Travis Scott Purple F&F
Average Price: $23,000
While Air Jordan F&F colorways are typically gifted only to friends and family of the brand and their collaborators, sometimes, they occasionally make their way on to StockX where they resell for stratospheric premiums.
In the last year, Travis Scott’s Air Jordan 4 Travis Scott Purple F&F has resold for $23,000, a massive payday if you were willing to risk your F&F status from La Flame or Jumpman, although that status alone might be worth more.
5. Air Jordan 4 Travis Scott Olive F&F
Average Price: $25,000
In addition to the Air Jordan 4 Travis Scott Purple F&F, the Air Jordan 4 Travis Scott Olive F&F is another Travis Scott Jordan 4 colorway that escaped friends and family of La Flame and Jordan Brand to become one of the most expensive sneakers sold on StockX. At an average price of just $2,000 higher than its purple Air Jordan 4 Travis Scott Olive F&F, it’s clear La Flame has the hottest F&F Jordans in the game.
4. Nike SB Dunk Low Paris
Average Price: $28,780
With only 200 unique pairs in existence, the Nike SB Dunk Low Paris is one of the rarest Nike SB Dunks to ever officially release. No two pairs are alike – each pair features one-off canvas overlays cut from an original Bernard Boufett piece of art. Plus, every year that goes by there are fewer DS pairs. These will continue to go up in value like many on the list.
The scarcity of the Nike SB Dunk Low Paris has sent its value to record highs. In the last year, it has averaged a resale price of $28,780, with the highest individual sale being just above $50,000.
3. Nike SB Dunk Low Yellow Lobster
Average Price: $30,453
According to the Lobster Institute at the University of Maine, the chances of catching a yellow lobster are one in 30 million. While this probability is extremely low, the probability of grabbing the Nike SB Dunk Low Yellow Lobster might have been similarly small when they first surfaced.
In July of 2009, news broke of a fisherman who caught the rare yellow lobster. In response to the momentous occasion, Nike SB and Boston sneaker boutique Concepts gifted the 36 pairs of the Nike SB Dunk Low Yellow Lobster to friends and family just ahead of the release of the Nike SB Dunk Low Concepts Blue Lobster.
At an average value of just over $30,000, the Nike SB Dunk Low Yellow Lobster is the third most expensive sneaker on StockX and one of the rarest SB Dunk Lows ever created.
2. Nike SB Dunk Low Staple Pigeon NYC
Average Price: $33,400
Arguably the release that exposed the world to the Nike SB Dunk hysteria, Jeff Staple’s Nike SB Dunk Low Staple Pigeon NYC was and still is one of the most expensive sneakers in the world. Crowds were mobbing outside the NYC Reed Space to get a pair in 2005 when the resale value of the Dunk was only a few thousand dollars. It’s almost unfathomable to imagine what those mobs would do if they knew how much the Pigeons would go for 16 years later.
Now, the average resale value of the Nike SB Dunk Low Staple NYC Pigeon is a massive $33,400. This hefty price tag is a tell-tale sign of the design’s rarity, the importance of the Pigeon is greater than its monetary value or scarceness. It is the shoe to put the once-niche Nike SB Dunk subculture on a global scale, jumpstarting many of the trends we see on StockX today.
1. Nike Mag Back to the Future (2016)
Average Price: $41,429
Five years after the first run of Nike Mags were auctioned off, Nike brought true on-screen functionality to the design with Nike Adapt, their innovative auto-lacing technology. The concept of self-lacing Nikes was first documented in Back to the Future II, and with that advanced technology finally made possible, those lucky enough to win the raffle could own a pair even more identical to the ones Marty McFly wore in the film.
With only 89 pairs in existence, the Nike Mag Back to the Future (2016) is even more exclusive than its predecessor. The incredible scarceness of the design has driven its value to just over $40,000, almost 3x more than the 2011 model. The Nike Mag was already one of the holy grails in sneaker history, and its current status as the most expensive sneaker in StockX history solidifies that reputation even more.
Most Valuable Sneakers Ever
While the list above reflects the most expensive sneakers that have sold on StockX, there are other pairs that have sold at auction elsewhere, at prices that are even higher. Here are five of the most expensive sneakers to sell at public auction.
Air Jordan 12 Flu Game Game Worn
Sale Price: $104,765
After battling through “flu-like” symptoms to win Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals in one of the most significant moments of his career, Michael Jordan personally gifted his Jordan 12s to Delta Center ballboy Preston Truman. Truman later auctioned the shoes off at a floor price of $5,000. Only a few bids later, Michael Jordan’s game-worn “Flu Game” shoes closed at a colossal $104,765.
It was later exposed in ESPN’s 2020 docuseries The Last Dance that MJ’s symptoms were not from the flu, but rather food poisoning from bad (possibly tainted) pizza. With a number of conspiracies resurfacing about the “Flu Game”, it is possible that the shoes are worth even more today.
Air Jordan 11 Space Jam Sample
Sale Price: $176,400
Ahead of the release of Space Jam: A New Legacy, an unworn and Michael Jordan- autographed Air Jordan 11 Space Jam Sample that was made for the original Space Jam was auctioned off at an astronomical price of $176,400. This historic Jordan 11 sale speaks volumes as to how impactful the animated film is today amongst Jordan and Looney Tunes fans alike.
Nike Waffle Racing Flat Moon Shoe
Sale Price: $437,500
In 2019, Sotheby’s auctioned off one of the 12 original Nike Waffle Racing Flats. The “Moon Shoes” mark the very start of Nike’s journey in performance innovation, which took place in 1971 when Bill Bowerman poured rubber into his wife’s waffle iron to create the first-ever Waffle sole.
The Nike Waffle Racing Flat Moon Shoe ended up closing on a monumental price of $475,500, making it the most expensive Nike shoe in history at the time. To read more about the origin of these historic sneakers, click here.
Air Jordan 1 Chicago Game Worn
Sale Price: $560,000
When the original Air Jordan surfaced in 1984, Michael Jordan transitioned from being known only as a professional basketball player to a cultural icon. The design introduced MJ’s celebrity to audiences outside of basketball, as the shoes inhabited spaces across the world.
Last year, the design’s historical value was proven when a game-worn pair of Air Jordan 1s auctioned off at Sotheby’s for over half a million dollars. They are still the most expensive Air Jordans ever sold.
Kanye West Nike Air Yeezy Grammy Prototype
Sale Price: $1,800,000
During the 2008 Grammy Awards, Kanye West performed in a never-before-seen, all-black pair of Nike Air Yeezy 1s. These shoes, later identified as the Nike Air Yeezy 1 Grammy (Prototype), never ended up releasing and became one of the most coveted sample sneakers of all time.
Pairs of the Grammy Prototypes have sold for $50,000 to $75,00 in years past as they have surfaced but this year, that valuation spiked in a big way when Sotheby’s auctioned off the Nike Air Yeezy Grammy Prototype earlier this year. The rare pair beat all expectations and cleared a record-setting price of $1.8M, further changing the way sneakers are valued.