It’s been a huge decade for the sneaker scene. The resale market exploded, hip hop collaborations owned the charts, and Friends and Family editions saw distant relatives desperately dialling in from OS. From DJ Khaled's Air Jordan 3 'Grateful' to the mythological Nike Air Mag, these are some of the most valuable sneakers of the decade (all prices reflective of latest StockX sale).
The 10 Most Insanely Expensive Sneakers of the Decade
Date: December 29 2019
By: Gabe Filippa
Air Jordan 4 Retro ‘Carhartt x Eminem’ – $16,000
Linking up with the Jordan Brand again in 2015, Detroit rapper and producer Eminem revealed the Air Jordan 4 ‘Carhartt x Eminem’. Originally gifted to Friends and Family, the Air Jordan 4 later appeared on eBay, with an additional 10 pairs auctioned. One of Eminem’s more esteemed collaborations, the sneaker was built with Carhartt twill uppers, metallic silver lace tags, and backwards ‘E’ logo. Our favourite part of the design? The Jason Voorhees mask on the heel!
Nike Air Mag 'Back to the Future' – $28,000
It took nearly 30 years for the Nike brains trust to catch up on the science-fiction tech explored in the cult classic Back to the Future Part II. A collaboration between dream team Mark Parker and Tinker Hatfield, fewer than 100 pairs released in 2016. With another version dropping in 2011 (1,500 Air Mags were sold through auctions on eBay with funds going to the Michael J. Fox Foundation), the Nike Air Mag has assumed mythological status in the sneakersphere. Two months after the 2016 sneaker debuted, the Mag was spotted at a Hong Kong auction selling for $104,000. Ready to have your mind blown? The original Nike Mag (used on the set of 1989’s Back to the Future Part II) sold for nearly the same amount!
Pharrell x adidas NMD R1 HU Friends and Family – $7,224
While master of style Pharrell Williams continues to inexplicably Benjamin Button, classics like the adidas NMD R1 HU Friends and Family stay locked at close to $10,000. Releasing back in 2016, the Friends and Family iterations of Pharrell’s drops routinely fetch monster prices online, none more so than the ‘Burgundy’ Primeknit (although colourways like ‘Shock Pink’ also command huge prices). With tonal Japanese characters reinforcing its exclusivity (the words ‘friends’ and ‘family’ occupy each shoe), it seems Pharrell’s sneakers will continue to exist in cultural perpetuity like the multi-faceted artist himself.
Air Jordan 5 'Fab Five' Retro PE – $5,600
Designed by Tinker Hatfield and Dan Sunwoo, the Air Jordan 5 Retro ‘Fab Five’ PE celebrated the extraordinary Michigan Wolverines era during the 1990s. With a lineup of Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King, and Ray Jackson, the Wolverines team of 1991 was one of the greatest basketball squads of all time. Hatfield and Sunwoo dressed the Jordan 5 in a colourway recalling the iconic Michigan team colours, with ‘Hail to’ and ‘The Victors’ stitched on either tongue for good measure. Keen to join the fab five? The last pair sold for $5,600.
Nike Air Force 1 High 'VLONE' – $4,105
Making its debut at ComplexCon back in 2016, ASAP Bari’s Swoosh collaboration was cut short after allegations of sexual misconduct. While the Air Force 1 Low can fetch big numbers online, it’s the high-tops that really elevated the price. Rumour has it that only 20 pairs were ever made of the Air Force 1 High ‘VLONE’, the black tumbled leather accented by an ankle strap reading ‘Every Creature Dies Alone.’
UNDFTD x Nike Air Jordan 4 Retro – $28,000
A collaboration between LA-based UNDFTD and the Jordan Brand, this Air Jordan 4 Retro was limited to just 72 pairs. Taking cues from the MA-1 Flight jacket, the militarised Jordan 4 made history, becoming the first linkup between a sneaker boutique and the Jordan Brand. With olive nubuck uppers and velcro tongue patch emphasising its utilitarian aesthetic, the UNDFTD Air Jordan 4 appeared at the New York–based consignment store Stadium Goods for $24,500!
Under Armour Curry 6 ‘Moon Landing’ – $58,100
Steph Curry sent the Internet into an intergalactic spin when he told us the moon landing may have been staged. Wearing a pair of custom Under Armour Curry 6 ‘Moon Landing’ sneakers in January, the comments were later revealed as a troll. Just one of only two pairs ever made, the Under Armour ‘Moon Landing’ sneakers were hand-painted by sneaker customiser Mache, where they appeared on eBay selling for $58,100 (after 113 bids were placed). Featuring grey moon graphics alongside the American flag and NASA-motifs, the Under Armour Curry 6 was one of the most expensive game-worn sneakers of the decade.
Air Jordan 11 ‘Jeter’ – $18,257
The Jordan Brand celebrated the illustrious career of New York Yankee Derek Jeter with the Air Jordan 11 ‘Jeter’ back in 2017. Just five pairs of the velvety Air Jordan were released, with fans of the World Series MVP flocking to a pop-up shop near Yankee Stadium for a scratch-off auction. Keen to catch one of these? The last pair sold for $18,257.
Air Jordan 6 'Macklemore' – $25,000
The man with the hot Thrift Shop cops has (ironically) one of the most lucrative Jordan Brand collaborations of the decade. The Air Jordan 6 was designed exclusively for Macklemore and his Friends and Family, the Seattle-born sneakerhead designing a tonal green suede Jay with icy translucent outsoles.
DJ Khaled Air Jordan 3 ‘Grateful’ – $4,100
And another one (Jordan)! Made in collaboration with DJ Khaled to celebrate the release of his 10th studio album, the Air Jordan 3 ‘Grateful’ dropped on January 23, 2017. Randomly gifted to a few lucky shoppers that picked up the album, resale value quickly skyrocketed. Composed with ‘University Red’ leather uppers, cement print, and co-branded ‘WE THE BEST’ hangtags, the Air Jordan 3 ‘Grateful’ is one of the most lucrative hip hop sneaker collaborations of the decade.