Michael Jordan mania is taking over the auction world, as a pair of Nike Air Jordan 1s sold for $560,000 and became the most expensive sneakers ever sold.
The sneakers, which were worn in a game by Jordan and autographed, sold for more than three times their original estimate, after a frenzy of bidding that saw the value go up by $300,000 in the final 20 minutes. The final hammer price beat the previous record holder, a pair of 1972 Nike Waffle Racing "Flat Moon Shoes" that went for $437,500 in 2019.
Sotheby's didn't disclose the name of the buyer or seller, but said bidding came from four continents.
The sale coincided with the the last episode of the popular ESPN documentary about Jordan, "The Last Dance."
"This shows not only the incredible appeal of Michael Jordan as one of the most recognizable and legendary athletes of all time, but also that sneaker collecting is truly a global and growing market," said Brahm Wachter, Sotheby's director of e-commerce development.
The record-breaking sneakers were a pair of Air Jordan 1s in the Chicago Bulls' colors of red, white and black from 1985 that Jordan wore in a game and autographed. They are signed with a bold, black permanent marker, which was rare since Jordan typically signed with a ballpoint pen, which didn't hold up as well over time.
Since Jordan wore mismatched shoes most of his career, the left sneaker is a size 13 and the right is a size 13.5.
Nike gave Jordan a signature line of shoes and clothes in 1984, an unprecedented move at the time. Jordan's line of sneakers for Nike remains the most coveted by collectors and typically fetch the highest price at sneaker auctions and sales.