Air Jordans are more valuable than almost any other brand when looking at the resale market.
That’s down to a variety of factors, such as the quality of the materials used to make the sneaker, as well as successful long-term marketing strategies from the Jordan Brand.
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We’ve come up with a list containing six of the most expensive Air Jordan shoes ever, with details about how and why they managed to earn their spot.
Most Expensive Air Jordan Shoes
Every sneaker to feature on the list is rare, whether it be due to low availability, or an interesting background.
Some of the shoes were worn by Michael Jordan himself, while others were released to commemorate a special occasion.
Put it this way. Your average sneakerhead is unlikely to have a pair of these tucked away under a bed.
The first sneaker to feature is a highly anticipated collaboration between Dior and Jordan Brand.
In terms of design, the Dior branding on the Nike tick makes them instantly recognizable, and it made its debut at the Men’s Fall 2020 Runway show in Miami.
Dior and Kim Jones partnered with Jordan Brand to unveil the limited-edition Air Jordan 1 High OG Dior sneaker.
It’s more attainable than you might have expected, as 13,000 pairs were produced.
However, only 8,000 pairs were made available to the public, as the other 5,000 were offered to Dior’s top clients, via personal invitation.
In terms of interest, over five million people signed up in an attempt to buy a pair.
In 2015, the rare Eminem X Carhartt X Air Jordan 4 Retro was released via untraditional means
Made to commemorate the 15th Anniversary of Shady Records, this pair comes in black and metallic silver.
They were only available for purchase through a series of eBay auctions with all proceeds going to the Marshall Mathers Foundation.
The decision to release the shoes through the secondary market has led to high resale prices, while only 10 pairs were made available to the public.
They’ve continued to increase in value substantially over the past six years.
7. Air Jordan 4 Retro Undefeated 2018 Sample
The original Air Jordan 4 UNDFTD debuted in 2005 and was limited to only 72 pairs.
50 were raffled in-store, seven were auctioned online, and the rest were reserved for friends and family.
It’s another iconic pair of sneakers, instantly identifiable to anyone who knows what they’re looking for.
There was a frenzy when a new sample image made its way onto the internet in 2018, but the Air Jordan 4 Retro Undefeated 2018 never saw full production.
The Sample shoe does exist, but it’s exceedingly rare.
Even the original ‘05 UNDFTD is special, as it was the first time Jordan brand had collaborated with a third party to produce a sneaker.
6. Air Jordan 11 Retro Premium Derek Jeter
In 2017, Jordan Brand released a limited Yankees-themed Air Jordan 11 Retro in celebration of Derek Jeter’s retirement ceremony at Yankee Stadium.
You’ll find Jeter’s jersey number 2 embroidered on the heel of each shoe. They also switch out the leather for suede.
There are just five pairs of sneakers in existence, so it’ll take a serious offer to prise them away from collectors.
Whether it be baseball fans or sneakerheads, there are sure to be more than a few fans of the rare Jeter Air Jordans.
5. Air Jordan 4 Retro Eminem Encore 2017
Eminem’s Air Jordan 4 Encore is one of the rarest pairs in existence.
Only 23 pairs were originally created for Slim Shady’s friends and family to celebrate his “Encore” album in 2017.
The color scheme is dark blue and black, with a grey sole.
Many eventually made their way onto the resale market, but they’re still exceptionally difficult to source.
With two separate pairs making the list, there’s clearly a connection between Eminem and the most expensive Air Jordans ever made.
As you may have guessed, it’s another shoe that has rapidly increased in value since it was released.
4. Air Jordan 1 “What The” Doernbecher
The next pair of sneakers is one of the hottest sellers on the market right now.
Nike and Oregon’s OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital have partnered to release a charitable series of shoes designed by patients since 2003, raising over $29 million for the hospital so far.
However, in 2020, the project was halted due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
In 2021, Nike created a “What the Doernbecher” Nike Air Jordan 1 which uses elements from each of the program’s previous 14 Air Jordan designs.
Somehow, the meshed styles work to form one of the greatest pairs of Air Jordans ever produced.
The line is limited to just 17 pairs, making it rare and coveted.
3. Air Jordan 1 Silver Shoe (Autographed)
Molded with silver and gifted to Jordan by his wife Yvette for his 32nd birthday, these sneakers are valuable due to their unique design.
As the name implies, the shoe is completely wrapped in precious metal, making for footwear like no other.
Just 10 copies were produced, and it came with an autographed ’94 Retro Air Jordan 1 shoe as well!
Notably, the molds were destroyed shortly after production was completed, so the rarity of these sneakers makes them highly prized MJ memorabilia.
Soon after, Jordan announced his return to both basketball and the Bulls, helping to enhance their aura.
There aren’t many shoes that can match a sterling silver piece, but we’ve listed two crazy examples below.
2. Air Jordan 12 Flu Game (Autographed)
On the subject of unique shoes, these one-of-one sneakers were used in Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals.
Truman bided his time, before selling the sneakers over 15 years later.
The pair set a new record as the highest-priced game-worn shoes to be sold back in 2013 when they went for $104,000.
They’ve also inspired the Jordan 12 Reverse Flu Game release in December 2020, which is an alternate version of the iconic colors seen in Michael Jordan’s game 5 of the NBA finals back in 1997.
Riding on the wave of the attention paid to Jordan after ‘The Last Dance’ documentary, a pair of Nike Air Jordan 1s sold for $560,000 and became the most expensive sneakers ever sold in May 2020.
CNBC notes that “the final hammer price was three times its estimate and beat the previous record holder, a pair of 1972 Nike Waffle Racing “Flat Moon Shoes” that went for $437,500 in 2019.”
The game-worn sneakers are red, white and black to match the ‘85 Bulls colours, while they’re also signed by Jordan in permanent marker, rather than with a ballpoint pen that would fade easily.
9 Most Expensive Air Jordan Shoes: Summary
The most expensive Air Jordans ever will cost more than your average mortgage and are more likely to be found in a display case or a museum than on the owner’s feet.
Game-worn editions are a real piece of sporting history, while the brand is helped by being attached to the legacy of an undisputed GOAT.
Air Jordan Shoes Investment Rating: Buy (4.6 out of 5)
Ownership Disclosure: None
Best Air Jordan Shoes: Air Jordans 1 (buy on eBay now)
Despite being hyper-rare, they do pop up on auction sites from time to time, but you will have to ensure its legitimacy considering the money at stake.
From literal silver sneakers to pairs originally reserved for Eminem’s friends and family, every single shoe to make the list is a flex.
That’s part of the genius of Jordan Brands’ marketing, which is parallel to other collectibles that we extensively cover.
They build up hype and release the shoes to a small selection of collectors. They can sell the shoes for more money, and someone gets the pair in the end.
It’s a deal that works for everyone, and it would be unsurprising to see records broken again in the next few years.