The footwear index reached new highs in 2017. When the $10,000 price tag on Anthony Vaccarello’s Saint Laurent Niki boot was announced, everyone reckoned it was a sure fire winner for most expensive shoe of the year.
Rihanna wore it straight off the runway and it was the most instagrammed shoe of fashion month according to Net-a-Porter fashion director Lisa Aiken. Since then, celebrities from Cardi B to Beyoncé have been sporting the style – with its total 6,000 rhinestones.
However, by our reckoning, it has still only ranked No. 2 out of the year’s top five most expensive shoes.
Yes, anything dubbed the most expensive always creates a new challenge and Pharrell Williams rose admirably to the occasion. His ongoing Adidas Human Race NMD collaboration has been punctuated with limited edition versions commanding some serious resale prices.
The title for the year’s most expensive shoe lies with Williams and his Human Race NMD x Chanel shoe which launched at Colette Nov. 21. A limited edition run of 500 pairs at around $1,175 a pop was sold via a draw following an online registration process.
The shoe is currently listed for a top price of $26,642.99 on eBay making it far and away the number one most expensive shoe of 2017.
With the musician’s eagerly anticipated N.E.R.D. “No One Ever Really Dies” album out Friday, Williams’ special edition Human Race NMD x N.E.R.D. shoe has rocketed to $8,500 on the eBay platform making it the third most expensive shoe of the year.
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Number four spot goes to Footwear News Shoe of the Year winner, Virgil Abloh for his Nike Air Jordan 1, The Ten, Off-White collaboration kicks. The shoe is currently listed on eBay for the top-dollar price of $2,980.
Honorable mention must go to the humble Birkenstock. In July, the brand collaborated with jewelry designer Patrik Muff. The limited-edition style, featuring handmade buckles in sterling silver, retailed for $799. And while, admittedly, that’s a snip compared to an $8,500 sneaker, it’s still an eightfold markup, a heck of a lot for a Birkenstock Arizona which hovers around the $99 mark at retail.
Last word must go to Williams, though. “At the end of the day, they’re just shoes,” he told Footwear News when we were discussing resale values last month at Colette. Well, quite.