A pair of Nike Air Yeezy 1s worn by rapper Kanye West sold for $1.8 million, triple the previous record for sneakers, Sotheby’s said Monday, as the market for rare sports shoes soars.
The shoes beat the record held by a pair of Nike Air Jordan 1s which sold for $615,000 in August 2020 at a Christie’s auction.
The record price for sneakers has been broken several times recently as what was seen as a niche market 10 years ago now attracts interest from the general public as well as leading collectors.
“The sale marks the highest publicly recorded price for a sneaker sale ever,” Sotheby’s said in a statement.
“The sale also marks the first pair of sneakers to top $1 million,” it added.
The black high-top Yeezys were worn by West during the 2008 Grammy Awards as he performed Hey Mama and Stronger.
The sneakers, which were part of a collaboration between Nike and West, were prototypes, with the resulting model not going on sale until April 2009.
The shoes were acquired by RARES, a sneaker investment marketplace that allows users to invest in rare pairs of athletic footwear.