With the final episodes of the Chicago Bulls' documentary The Last Dance set to air later tonight, Michael Jordan's footwear continues to make headlines for commanding premium money on the second-hand market, this time in record-breaking fashion.
As previously reported, a game-worn pair of Jordan's Air Jordan 1 Exclusives in the "Chicago" colorway from 1985, distinguished by unique details such as a scaled down mid-top cut and enlarged Swoosh branding, have been up for auction through Sotheby's since May 8 and were set to close today. Originally estimated to fetch somewhere between $100,000 and $150,000, the shoes closed at a staggering $560,000—shattering the record for most expensive shoes ever sold. The previous mark was $437,500, paid by Canadian entrepreneur Miles Nadal for a pair of unworn 1972 Nike Waffle Racing Flat "Moon Shoes" through Sotheby's in 2019.
The Jordan 1, like the Waffle Racing Flats, were from the personal collection of Jordan Geller. We reached out to Geller for comment on this landmark sale, but he has yet to respond at the time of this writing.
Prior to the close of today's auction, the most expensive pair of game-worn Jordan shoes ever sold was a pair of Converse Fastbreaks from his gold medal run with Team USA in the 1984 Olympics, commanding a then-record $190,000 in 2017. Those beat out 2013's $104,765 price tag of the Air Jordan 12s from the iconic "Flu Game" in the 1997 NBA Finals, which would likely sell for much more in today's market.
While The Last Dance hasn't had a significant impact on general sneaker retail, its influence on the current resell market is undeniable. Not only are prices for Jordans increasing on marketplaces like StockX, Goat and eBay, but we're now seeing the effect the documentary is going to have on the Jordan memorabilia market—surely in the short-term and perhaps long after that.