Top Stories
Top Stories
Personal Finance

Here are the world's most valuable sneakers

Key Points
  • Like Nike's "Betsy Ross," sought-after athletic footwear has the potential to balloon in value like few other investments.
  • The global sneaker resale market is now worth more than $6 billion.
  • Here is the current list of the most valuable sneakers in the world.
VIDEO1:4401:44
Nike comments on decision to pull sneaker featuring Betsy Ross flag

Few investments offer a 2,000% to 4,000% return like athletic footwear sometimes can.

Just last week, Nike pulled sneakers embellished with the so-called Betsy Ross flag on the heel from its apps and website after critics said the early U.S. flag — featuring 13 stars in a circle — is an offensive symbol because it is linked to a period of slavery.

Then their price ballooned.

Investors take note: The controversial kicks originally retailed for $120, but can now fetch more than $4,000 on the secondary market.

Other limited-edition designs have fared even better, with some, like Nike's What The Dunk model, appreciating as much as 4,000% in the after market. (The value is based on a number of factors, including rarity, condition and designer prestige.)

The global sneaker resale market is now worth more than $6 billion, according to Cowen Equity Research, which has even categorized sneakers as an emerging alternative asset class.

If you are considering stepping in, here are the top 10 most valuable sneakers in the world, according to fashion site Farfetch. (In determining the roundup, Farfetch only included sneakers that were released to the public and are in mint condition. Values were provided by Stadium Goods and are correct as of May 24, 2019.)

Kanye West x Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton Kanye West sneakers
Source: Farfetch

Current value: $28,471
Value increase: 2,532%

Currently the most valuable sneakers in the world, the high-top Jasper sneakers from the Kanye West x Louis Vuitton line were available in three color combinations, but this Patchwork grey and pink version is the most coveted.

Nike Air Mag

Nike Air Mag
Source: Farfetch

Current value: $14,235
Value increase: 400%

Look familiar? Created in 2011 and limited to only 1,500 pairs, these sneakers are a replica of the iconic self-lacing shoe from 1989's 'Back to the Future Part II.' They're now the most valuable Nike design on the market after appreciating 400%.

Chanel x Pharrell x adidas NMD Hu

Adidas Pharrell
Source: Farfetch

Current value: $13,282
Value increase: 1106%

Created as part of Pharrell Williams' NMD Hu line, only 500 pairs of this design were released as a unique partnership between adidas, Chanel and the French boutique Colette.

Nike Air Yeezy 2 Red October

Nike Air Yeezy 2 Red October
Source: Farfetch

Current value: $7,972
Value increase: 3,633%

Released as a surprise addition to the Air Yeezy 2 collection two years after the line's initial debut, this model sold out within minutes.

Nike Air Yeezy 2 Solar Red

Nike Air Jeezy 2 Solar Red
Source: Farfetch

Current value: $7,592
Value increase: 3.456%

Released in 2012, the Air Yeezy 2 collection was Kanye West's second collaboration with Nike. This pair originally sold for $214.

Nike Air Yeezy Blink

Nike Air Yeezy Blink
Source: Farfetch

Current value: $5,695
Value increase: 2,300%

A part of the first collaboration between Kanye West and Nike, the Yeezy launched in 2009 in three colorways. The black Blink version is the most sought after.

Nike Air Yeezy 2 Platinum

Nike Air Yeezy 2 Platinum
Source: Farfetch

Current value: $5,695
Value increase: 2,300%

Similar to the solar red version above, this platinum pair was also released in 2012 as part of the Air Yeezy 2 collection — the last collaboration between Nike and Kanye West.

Off-White x Air Jordan 1 Chicago

Off-White x Air Jordan 1 Chicago
Source: Farfetch

Current value: $5,695
Value increase: 3,058%

Introduced as a revamped classic, this limited-edition shoe is part of The Ten, the Nike x Off-White collection.

Nike Lunar Flyknit HTM Milano

Nike Lunar Flyknit HTM Milano
Source: Farfetch

Current value: $5,552
Value increase: 3,800%

As part of the HTM line, these sneakers were exclusively released in Milan and London in 2012.

Air Jordan 5 Retro T23 Tokyo

Air Jordan 5 Retro T23 Tokyo
Source: Farfetch

Current value: $4,983
Value increase: 2,449%

Based on the iconic Air Jordan first introduced in 1990, this Air Jordan 5 Retro T23 Tokyo pair was released exclusively in Japan in 2011.

More from Personal Finance:
6 summertime uses for this tax-favored savings account
How to be sure you're financial ready to retire
Why Facebook's Libra could lead some to clean out their wallets

Subscribe to CNBC on YouTube.