The most expensive Air Jordans ever made range from hard to find original releases to limited edition celebrity collaborations.
If you’re into sneakers, then you probably own (or want to own) a pair of Air Jordans. Like their legendary namesake, the shoes are perhaps one of the most iconic products in American pop culture and are among the most expensive shoes in the world.
Whether you’re a basketball fan or just love a great pair of kicks, Air Jordans are likely near the top of your list of favorite shoes. Just for the record, there are Air Jordans like the ones you can buy at Foot Locker, and then there are Air Jordans, the highly sought-after collector’s items. Only a few are lucky enough to own these versions.
So just how rare are these Jordans? And how much will they set you back? Read on to find out about the 20 most expensive Air Jordan shoes ever made.
History of the Air Jordan Shoe
Michael Jordan wasn’t the first famous basketball player, nor was he the first player to be associated with a sneaker. That title belongs to Chuck Taylor. But in the 1980s, when he burst onto the basketball court with a skill unlike any seen before, Michael Jordan became an instant legend.
Nike, always an innovator in the sports apparel industry, saw a star in Jordan and decided to create a new shoe just for him. The endorsement deal was for $2.5 million, a total that was unheard of for an unproven player.
To make the story even more legendary, Jordan broke NBA rules when wearing the new shoes, which went against their color regulations. Jordan wore the shoes anyway, and Nike ate the $5,000-per game fine, knowing the marketing was priceless. The shoe became synonymous with basketball and hip-hop style and is still a top sneaker today.
Fun Facts About the Air Jordan Shoe Brand
- Michael Jordan actually didn’t want to sign with Nike. He was an Adidas fan and wanted to sign a deal with them. Sadly for Adidas, their endorsement deal was nowhere near the $2.5 million-plus royalties deal that Nike offered.
- While Nike is known for its Swoosh logo, the Air Jordans’ second iteration was their first shoe not to feature the Swoosh. The shoe sold well, and Nike cemented their popularity.
- Jordan famously wore different sizes on each foot. One foot was a size 13, while the other was a 13.5. If you are lucky enough to snag a pair of Jordans won by him, they’ll be in two different sizes.
- Perhaps the most famous pair of Air Jordans, the XI, was designed by Tinker Hatfield, who got his inspiration in an unlikely place. Something about a lawnmower covered with a tarp drew his eye and inspired his design.
The Best Air Jordans of All Time
If you’ve been thinking of investing in a pair of Air Jordans, or if you just want to dream, we’ve rounded up 20 of the most expensive Air Jordan shoes ever made. Read on to learn why Drake’s Jordans are some of the most expensive you can buy, about some other famous collabs, and how the flu made one pair of Jordans skyrocket to over $100,000 at auction.
The 20 most expensive Air Jordans ever made:
Table of Contents
- History of the Air Jordan Shoe
- Fun Facts About the Air Jordan Shoe Brand
- The Best Air Jordans of All Time
- The 20 most expensive Air Jordans ever made:
- 1. Solid Gold OVO x Air Jordans
- 2. Air Jordan 1
- 3. Air Jordan 12 “Flu Game”
- 4. Air Jordan 10 OVO Drake Collection
- 5. Air Jordan Silver Shoe Autographed
- 6. Air Jordan 2 OG
- 7. Air Jordan 4 Eminem X Carhartt
- 8. Air Jordan 1 Black and Gold
- 9. Air Jordan 1 ASG
- 10. Air Jordan X OVO
- 11. Air Jordan 11 Retro Premium Derek Jeter
- 12. Air Jordan 4 Retro Undefeated 2018 Sample
- 13. Air Jordan 11 Blackout
- 14. Air Jordan 4 Retro Wahlburgers
- 15. Air Jordan V SE
- 16. Air Jordan 3 Retro Legends of Summer
- 17. Air Jordan 3 Retro DJ Khaled Father of Asahd
- 18. Air Jordan 3 Retro DJ Khaled Grateful
- 19. Air Jordan 5 Retro Transformers
- 20. Air Jordan 8 Retro Kentucky Madness PE
1. Solid Gold OVO x Air Jordans
Release Date: 2016
Selling Price: $2 million
If you want to own the world’s most expensive Air Jordans, you’re going to need a lot of money. A lot of money as in the kind of money only a famous rapper would have. Drake’s own apparel line OVO (October’s Very Own) paired with Nike to create a line of sneakers that are known for both their style and their price tags.
But nothing quite matches Drake’s custom OVO x Air Jordans, which are solid gold and reportedly worth $2 million. The cost was likely much higher, as $2 million will only cover the value of the gold, 100 pounds worth, and not the cost of design or manufacture.
Needless to say, since these kicks weigh in at over 100 pounds, they are more of an art piece than something the Canadian rapper can actually wear. Want a pair for yourself? Too bad. These are one-of-a-kind.
2. Air Jordan 1
Release Date: 1985
Selling Price: $560,000
Number two on the list is a new record-setter. In May 2020, Sotheby’s sold a pair of Air Jordan 1s signed by Jordan himself for $560,000. The shoes were originals and had been worn by Jordan in a Chicago Bulls game. This amount was the highest a pair of shoes had ever auctioned, beating the previous record-holder (a pair of Nikes from 1972) by over $100,000.
The Jordan 1s actually went for over three times the estimated selling price. The auction’s final minutes saw the bids jump over $300,000, with offers coming in from four different continents. No one knows for sure who won the auction.
3. Air Jordan 12 “Flu Game”
Release Date: 1997
Selling Price: $104,000
Until May 2020, the Air Jordan 12 “Flu Game” sneakers were the Jordans with the highest price tag. These sold at auction in 2013 for $104,000. The shoes were worn during Jordan’s famous “flu game” – game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals, where he led his team to victory, despite being violently ill.
Jordan gave the shoes to a ballboy, who put the shoes up for auction many years later with a starting bid of $5,000. Over the course of 15 bids, the price skyrocketed to almost 21 times their asking price.
The $104,000 selling price now puts them at the 3rd most expensive Air Jordans in the world.
4. Air Jordan 10 OVO Drake Collection
Release Date: 2014
Selling Price: $100,000
While you may not be able to own a pair of Drake’s custom gold Jordan’s, you stand a slightly better chance of getting your hands on a regular pair from the OVO collection. The shoes come in black and white, with the black being far more popular, and thus more expensive. While they’re listed at $225, the shoes are also notoriously sold out.
The pair that went for $100,000 was given to an undisclosed fan at the Toronto Raptors’ Drake Night. These shoes were samples from Drake’s collaboration with Nike and were only given to Drake and his inner circle. Both shoes were put up for auction, with the black pair netting $100,000. You can see the fate of the white pair farther down on this list.
5. Air Jordan Silver Shoe Autographed
Release Date: 1995
Selling Price: $60,000
The Air Jordan Silver Shoe – Autographed is special for many reasons, but not because they were worn by Jordan in a game. First, the shoes are rare. Only ten of them were ever made, making them extremely hard to find and very expensive. Second, the shoes were plated with handcrafted sterling silver. Third, the shoes that sold for $60,000 at auction were signed by Michael Jordan.
But what really makes the shoes special is the story of how Jordan got them. Jordan’s wife gave him the shoes as a present for his 32nd birthday. In collectors’ eyes, this makes them an important piece of sports history and really drives up the price.
6. Air Jordan 2 OG
Release Date: 1986
Selling Price: $31,000
Number six on our list is a bit of a mystery. This pair of Air Jordan 2 OGs went for $31,000 in an eBay auction, but most of the other shoes on this list there isn’t anything apparently unique about them. The price tag on these shoes comes from the story behind their design.
According to the story, Jordan had a foot injury that was causing him issues with his game. Nike designers decided to change the design of the Air Jordan for him, to give him more support. The shoe underwent a complete redesign, complete with lizard skin and a loss of the Swoosh logo.
The shoes are so expensive because they’re rare. The company lost the mold, and so only a few were made.
7. Air Jordan 4 Eminem X Carhartt
Release Date: 2015
Selling Price: $30,100
In 1015, Rapper Eminem, the clothing brand Carhartt, and Nike teamed up to create Air Jordans for charity. The collaboration resulted in a limited run of ten shoes. All were put up for auction on eBay, with all proceeds going toward Michigan State’s Literacy Through Songwriting program.
Altogether, the shoes raised $227,552, with the highest bid going for $30,100 for a pair of size nine sneakers. Most of the shoes were at least in the $20,000 range.
8. Air Jordan 1 Black and Gold
Release Date: 1985
Selling Price: $25,000
There are a few things to make these Jordans unique. Released in 1985, they were one of the only pairs to be made in leather and patent leather at that. Combined with the metallic gold Swoosh, the shoes were striking.
But why are they so expensive? The company only made 12 pairs. They were also only released in Asia, making it much more difficult for shoe aficionados to get their hands on them. The most recent pair for sale went for $25,000.
9. Air Jordan 1 ASG
Release Date: 1985
Selling Price: $21,780
For some sneaker fans, it’s not enough to own any old pair of Jordans. The true holy grail is own a pair worn by the great Michael Jordan himself. Not only did he play a game in them – he wore them during a 1985 NBA All-Star game. Jordan was a rookie that season and one of the few rookies ever to make it to the All-Star game.
While Michael Jordan didn’t get a lot of play during the All-Star game due to his rookie status, the shoes still fetched a pretty penny. This autographed pair of Jordans eventually auctioned for $21,780.
10. Air Jordan X OVO
Release Date: 2014
Selling Price: $20,000
As mentioned above, Nike gave Drake and a select few of his inner circle exclusive samples from the OVO collection. Drake then gave two pairs, one black and one white, to fans at a Raptors’ game. Both shoes were put up for auction on eBay, but for some reason, the white pair only got $20,000 – $80,000 less than their black counterparts.
11. Air Jordan 11 Retro Premium Derek Jeter
Release Date: 2017
Selling Price: $18,257
Why have one athlete on your Nikes when you can have two? The 11 Retro Premium Derek Jeter Jordans were designed to commemorate Jeter’s retirement from the New York Yankees. Only five of these shoes were ever produced, making them incredibly rare and very expensive.
One pair sold for $18,257, and the shoes are now estimated to go for much higher at auction. If you’re lucky enough to snag a pair, you will own a piece of both basketball and baseball history.
12. Air Jordan 4 Retro Undefeated 2018 Sample
Release Date: 2018
Selling Price: $15,750
Undefeated is a brand known for its refined sense of style, so it’s only natural that they would be one of the first brands to collaborate with Air Jordan. While the collab goes back to 2005, samples started popping up in 2018.
The hunter green suede and bright orange laces are certainly a departure for the Jordans, but fans were pretty rabid. How did this particular pair net over $15,000? When the shoes were listed on eBay, the owner claimed they were made out of ballistic material.
13. Air Jordan 11 Blackout
Release Date: 2012
Selling Price: $11,267
The Air Jordan 11s came out in 2012 to much praise from the sneakerheads. The iconic design was particularly famous due to the all-black style and their sleek profile. It’s no wonder that when a collector put a sample pair up for auction on eBay, they wound up going for $11,267.
14. Air Jordan 4 Retro Wahlburgers
Release Date: 2018
Selling Price: $11,000
If you’re a fan of Jordans and the Wahlburgers hamburger chain, these green kicks are bound to catch your eye. The shoes were actually first seen on Mark Wahlberg at the grand opening of one of the restaurants.
After the popularity of the shoes, Wahlburg and Nike released 30 pairs of the shoes and raffled them off to help with California wildfires relief. The shoes now average at $11,000.
15. Air Jordan V SE
Release Date: 1990
Selling Price: $10,000
There’s a lot of interest around the Air Jordan Vs, both the originals and the retros. Perhaps it’s because of the shoes iconic shark-tooth style or the fact that legendary Nike designer Tinker Hatfield was inspired by World War II planes when coming up with the style.
While many retros have been made, if you are a true collector, you’ll want a pair of the originals. If you want to snag a pair, they average at around $10,000.
16. Air Jordan 3 Retro Legends of Summer
Release Date: 2013
Selling Price: $9,250
In 2013, Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z went on tour. Their concert was known as the Legends of Summer Tour. Throughout the tour, Nike supplied Timberlake with many of the shoes he wore in concert. Timberlake strutted across the stage all summer in pair after pair of Nikes created exclusively for him.
One such pair was an all-red colorway that is incredibly hard to find. These expensive shoes get snapped up almost the moment someone puts them up for sale, and it’s easy to see why. The red color makes them stand out, and the fact that they were worn by the legendary Justin Timberlake makes them even more special.
17. Air Jordan 3 Retro DJ Khaled Father of Asahd
Release Date: 2018
Selling Price: $8,759
As shown in this list, Nike is known for collaborating and partnering with famous music artists. DJ Khaled is a fan of rare Jordans, so it’s only natural that the brand would create a player exclusive just for him. This pair, the Father of Asahd, is actually the second pair Nike has released in his honor.
The shoes were created to celebrate the release of DJ Khaled’s album, Father of Asahd. The shoes are a bright blue colorway and feature a hanging tag that states, “We the best.” The average resale is over $8,000.
18. Air Jordan 3 Retro DJ Khaled Grateful
Release Date: 2017
Selling Price: $7,733
As stated above, DJ Khaled is a fan of the Air Jordan line. With the release of his album, Grateful, Nike created a player exclusive pair of Air Jordan 3 Retros just for him. These feature the same print as the Father of Asahd, but the main colorway is a bright red instead of blue. The price tag on these has reached as high as $14,000 but has settled around $7,700.
19. Air Jordan 5 Retro Transformers
Release Date: 2017
Selling Price: $7,471
Mark Wahlberg shows up twice on this list, once for his restaurant and once for a film franchise. In 2017, with the release of Transformers: The Last Knight, Nike and Wahlberg worked together to create a show to celebrate the film’s opening. The design is a unique take on the Air Jordan 5s.
The black shoes have red, blue, and gold details and a number 84, referencing the original cartoon. While Wahlberg originally wanted the Jordans to transform from one model to another, the result is still pretty impressive. These shoes were only given to a few cast and crew, making them extremely valuable.
20. Air Jordan 8 Retro Kentucky Madness PE
Release Date: 2017
Selling Price: $7,000
Sneaker-ing in at #20, Drake is on the list one last time. It seems that once he puts on a pair of Jordans, the price skyrockets. This pair was worn for the Kentucky Wildcats’ Midnight Madness. While these shoes weren’t the first or even the last time Nike came out with Jordans in college colors, these are the most expensive. It seems what Drake touches turns to gold, and these will set you back around $7,000 if you’re lucky enough to find a pair.
Most of us can afford a pair of Air Jordans or two, but not many have the cash flow it takes to be a true sneakerhead and own a pair of Nike history. You may need to start your own business or take on a second job if you want to snag a pair of these kicks. These most expensive Air Jordans truly prove that people are willing to pay whatever it takes to get their hands on a piece of pop culture history.