Are these worn trainers the most expensive shoes in the world?

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Watch: Michael Jordam sneakers sell for nearly $1.5m, an auction record

Forking out for new trainers is always an expensive game. But not quite on the level of the trainers that sold at auction this week for an astonishing $1.47 million (around £1.1 million).

Though there is a very lively market for sports shoes worn by legendary players, the record-breaking red and white Nike Airs belonged to Michael Jordan, and were used during his first season with the Chicago Bulls in 1984.

Long regarded by many as the best-ever basketball player, Jordan, who retired in 2003, recently hit the spotlight again thanks to the acclaimed Netflix documentary about his career, The Last Dance.

The record price is the highest ever paid for any used sports footwear.

Shoes worn by Steve Nash,
Shoes worn by Steve Nash, "Air Jordan 1" worn by Michael Jordan, a pair of Adidas worn by Kevin Garnett, and Nike "Air Pippen V" worn by Scottie Pippen at auction preview in Geneva, Switzerland, April 2021. (REUTERS/Denis Balibouse)

Jordan became globally famous, and was also the first billionaire in NBA history, thanks to sponsorships and endorsements. The signed trainers were symbolic of Jordan's deal with Nike which began in 1984 and continued through his career - 37 years on, they have been bought in Las Vegas by collector Nick Fiorella. 

Chicago Bulls Michael Jordan leaps for joy after the final buzzer as

the Bulls defeated Portland 97-93 to win the NBA championship in

Chicago June 14, 1992. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn

PP03040050 REUTERS
Chicago Bulls Michael Jordan in 1992. Many fans consider him the GOAT. (REUTERS/Gary Hershorn)

"This record-breaking result for the Jordan Nike Air Ships affirms the place of Michael Jordan and the Air Jordan franchise at the pinnacle of the sneaker market," said a Sotheby's spokesman.

While these are indeed the priciest sports trainers ever purchased, the most expensive remain Kanye West's Yeezy trainers.

Read more: ASICS Announces First Digital NFT Shoe Auction

The rapper, now known as Ye, earned $1.8million for his Nike Air Yeezy 1 Prototypes in April. He had worn them once, onstage in West Germany. 

The collectables market for trainers has boomed in recent years. Last year, another pair of Michael Jordan's sold for  $615,000 at online auction. The Nike Air Jordan 1 High sneakers, were described as the "rarest of the rare", and worn in an exhibition game in 1985. 

Singer Kanye West of the U.S. arrives for the Brit Awards at the Earls Court Arena in central London, February 15, 2006. REUTERS/Mike Finn-Kelcey
Ye, before the Yeezy brand made him even richer. (REUTERS/Mike Finn-Kelcey)

Christie's auction house called a collection of nine pairs the "greatest" collection of Michael Jordan NIkes ever offered and added, "Put simply, Michael Jordan and his signature line of footwear set the foundation for modern basketball and the worldwide phenomenon of sneaker collecting." 

Trainers may achieve frankly insane prices - but women's designer shoes can also reach the price of a house, and there's always someone willing to pay it.

Forget Carrie's run-of-the-mill Manolos, the kinds of shoes that sell for mortgage-prices are one-of-a-kind.

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 21:  Actress Sarah Jessica Parker as
"I had to wonder... could I even walk in these heels?" (PA)

Amongst the priciest are the glittering Contessa Wafer Stilettos, rather ludicrously "backed by a 1000-year warranty". Designed by Christopher Michael Shellis, for the House of Borgezie, the shoes cost $130,000 and required "18 months of research and development."

Stuart Weitzman's $500,000 30 Carat Diamond Dream Shoes to be worn by Anika Noni Rose at the 79th Annual Academy Awards airing February 25, 2007 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Mark Sullivan/WireImage)
Stuart Weitzman's $500,000 30 Carat Diamond Dream Shoes, worn by Anika Noni Rose (Photo by Mark Sullivan/WireImage)

Designer label Stuart Weitzman, much loved by Hollywood stars, also created shoes worth $500 000 for actor Anika Noni Rose to wear at the Oscars in 2007. They are coated with 1,420 diamonds.

Actor Regina King, meanwhile, showcased shoes first worn by Marilyn Monroe to the Oscars in 2005, decorated with a pair of Marilyn's earrings. They were auctioned later at a charity event for $1million.

Regina King wears a pair of shoes worth a million dollars.
Regina King, looking a million dollars. (Getty Images)

Stuart Weitzman were also responsible for $2million 'Cinderalla' slippers crafted from 565 platinum-set diamonds and a 5 carat 'amaretto' diamond. They were worn by singer Alison Krauss to the Oscars in 2004. 

Read more: Michael Jordan: Trainers worn by NBA legend fetch record £1m at Las Vegas auction

As for the most expensive women's shoes of all time, that honour goes to the Passion Diamond Shoes, created by Jada Dubai in collaboration with Passion Jewellers and revealed at Dubai's 7-star Burj Al Arab hotel in 2018. They feature an excessive 236 diamonds around the outer rim, and two 15-carat D-flawless diamonds in the centres. 

They're priced at- deep breath - $17 million. Unfortunately, they're unlikely to fit many women, as they're made in a tiny UK size 3. 

A pair of shoes worth 17 million US dollars are seen on display at Burj Al Arab during the launch presentation in Dubai on September 26, 2018. - The Passion Diamond Shoes, features hundreds of diamonds, together with two imposing D-flawless diamonds of 15 carats each. (Photo by GIUSEPPE CACACE / AFP)        (Photo credit should read GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP via Getty Images)
The $17 million shoes. (Getty Images)

However, perhaps the most iconic and desirable shoes in the world are not the sky-high heels and glittering diamonds of the red carpet - more like the rubies of the Yellow Brick Road.

Dorothy's Ruby Slippers were created for Judy Garland to wear in The Wizard of Oz in 1939, made by jeweller Harry Winston. Though they are in private hands, a replica pair was made in 1989 to celebrate the film's 50th anniversary. 

The House of Harry Winston spent two months placing each one of the 4,600 rubies by hand, and the precious mementoes are now worth around $3 million. 

Watch: Slippers from The Wizard of Oz finally return home


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