The Most Valuable Kicks Going Up For Auction At Sotheby's First Sneaker Sale

15 July 2019
Sneakers, Nike, Sothebys, Auction
Images: Sotheby's
It's official – sneakers are now venerated alongside watches and cars as some of our most important cultural collectibles

GQ has seen all manner of crazy stuff go under the hammer at esteemed auction house Sotheby's over the years.

Just in the last month or so, they've announced that they'll be handling the sale of both one of James Bond's actual Aston Martin DB5's and the mother of all Ferrari collections later on this year. Then there's the watches. The art. The sports memorabilia. The antiques. The list goes on.

For the first time, however, Sotheby's is dipping its hand into the increasingly lucrative sneaker game, announcing that it'll be the first major auction house to recognise sneakers on a level that puts them alongside things like watches and cars as major artefacts of pop culture history.

Sneakers have, of course, been sold before in the context of sports or pop culture memorabilia auctions, but this is the first time that they've been put entirely into the limelight as a new avenue of luxury goods for collectors to pursue.

The sale is in collaboration with New York-based retailer Stadium Goods, who are renowned for their collection of rare and covetable kicks. As Sotheby’s wrote on its own website, "the shoes are the story, and the stories are in the shoes. Once the domain of a dedicated core of collectors and connoisseurs scattered in select US cities, the culture of sneaker fashion has exploded to become a worldwide phenomenon, a new universal language of cool."
But just what kicks are actually going to hit the auction block? These are some of the most valuable of the 100 up for sale.

Nike

Nike "Moon Shoe" Waffle Racing Flat
One of the rarest Nikes in existance, the 'Moon Shoe' Waffle Racing flats were hand-made in 1972 by Nike co-founder and Oregon University track coach Bill Bowerman in preparation for that year's Olympic trials. Only 12 pairs are known to have been made, and this is the only unworn pair in existence.

Estimate: $110-228k

Nike sneaker

Nike Mag 2016 "Back to the Future"
The most faithful rendition of Marty McFly's iconic kicks to date, the Nike Mags dropped back in 2016 courtesy of Tinker Hatfield were the first of their kind to feature the futuristic self-lacing technology Nike would eventually also bring to the Hyperadapt.

Estimate: $50-70k

Nike sneaker

Adidas PW X CC X HU X NMD "Karl Lagerfeld"
Adidas's Pharrell-driven collab with Chanel produced one of the most coveted sneakers of the past few years when it dropped at Parisian store Collette in extremely limited quantities. One pair however, the one you see before you, was personally gifted to legendary designer Karl Lagerfeld by Pharrell himself, as displayed by the 'KARL' writing embossed on the right shoe.

Estimate: $35-50k

Nike sneaker

Nike Entourage "Friends & Family" Collection
The Entourage episode revolving around Turtle's grailed sneakers is one of the most iconic in the show, and another of the roughly 100 pairs produced for the cast's friends and family is back up for sale.

Estimate: $26-35k

Nike sneaker

Jordan Travis Scott Jordan 4 "Cactus Jack" Friends & Family Collection
Perhaps the most-hyped sneaker collab of the year so far has been that of Astroworld artist Travis Scott and Jordan Brand, which saw new flips of both their Jordan 1 and Jordan 4 models reach astronomical levels of value once more. All three colourways are available in the lot, two of which, the "Mocha" and "Purple" editions, were only made available to friends and family.

Estimate: $45-60k

Nike sneaker

Air Jordan 11 'Snake' Sample
Never released at retail, the two 'Snake' colourways of the Jordan 11 are among the rarest in the history of the model. Only two pairs, one in pink and one in grey, are up for auction.

Estimate: $24-30k

You can view (and bid) on all the lots now at Sothebys' website


Via GQ Australia