This week an anonymous bidder paid $55,000 at a four-day auction in Dallas for a pair of the star basketball player’s game-worn Nike Air Jordan 1 sneakers. The price for the shoes, according to Heritage Auctions, is the highest ever paid for Nike sneakers in that style.
In the fall of 1985 Jordan was forced to forgo playing for the Chicago Bulls after an X-ray revealed a broken bone in his ankle. For Jordan’s return to the court in 1986, Nike customized this pair of sneakers, including heavy nylon and aluminum buckle features for additional support.
“For a global audience of Jordan collectors, this is as good as it gets,” said Chris Ivy, director of sports collectibles at Heritage Auctions, in a statement. “Only a tiny handful of game worn Jordan I’s are known to exist, and this unique pair is by far the rarest and most desirable of that breed, as our result would confirm.
At the time, Jordan’s ankle fracture caused a major blow for the Chicago Bulls, which had been on a winning streak. The shoes, which also have Jordan’s inscription on one of the tongues, have enormous collector potential — both for their customized features and historic significance.