Michael Jordan's first Air Jordans break world record, sell for $560,000

'There is just something about those shoes that everybody gravitated towards,' seller tells FOX Business

An autographed pair of Michael Jordan's Air Jordan 1 Nike shoes sold for a world record $560,000 at an online Sotheby's auction that closed Sunday.

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The auction closed in time for the finale of the 10-part ESPN docuseries "The Last Dance" about Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls.

WHAT IS MICHAEL JORDAN'S NET WORTH?

The game-worn sneakers, custom made for Jordan in 1985, sold for nearly four times the initial estimate of between $100,000 and $150,000.

Michael Jordan signature on Air Jordan 1s (Credit: Jordan Geller)

Jordan Geller, original owner of the shoes and founder of the world's first sneaker museum, Shoezeum, told FOX Business that the Air Jordan 1s served as the "crown jewel" artifact when they were on display.

"People would come and visit and almost pray to them," Geller told FOX Business. "They would just sit there and look at them in awe thinking 'those are the shoes that Michael Jordan laced up with his own hands and wore on his own feet.' There is just something about those shoes that everybody gravitated towards."

MICHAEL JORDAN FAVORED ADIDAS OVER NIKE FOR NOW-HISTORIC SHOE DEAL

Geller collaborated with Sotheby's amid the Jordan nostalgia incited by the ESPN series, which chronicles Jordan's rise to basketball immortality.

"I've owned the pair since 2012, and I truly cherish them," Geller said. "I never thought about selling them until the ESPN Michael Jordan and Chicago Bulls documentary, 'The Last Dance' started airing. Ever since, there has been a surge of interest in Michael Jordan memorabilia." Basketball cards, posters and sneakers have seen a surge in price value.

Geller said that he paid close attention to what was happening in the market and finally decided the time was right to sell the shoes.

WHY DID MICHAEL JORDAN RETIRE IN 1993?

The Hall of Famer's sneakers feature the iconic Bulls red, black and white color scheme with red laces, complete with Jordan's signature and clear indication of wear. The pair is slightly mismatched, like most of Jordan's basketball shoes, with a size 13 in left and a size 13.5 in right, according to Sotheby's in New York.

Backsides of Air Jordan 1s (Credit: Jordan Geller)

 WHAT IS NIKE'S JORDAN BRAND WORTH TO THE SPORTSWEAR COMPANY?

This is not the first shoe-related world record that Geller has set. At one point Geller broke the Guinness World Records for the largest sneaker collection, which clocked in at 2,388 pairs.

The Air Jordan 1s marks his third world record, following Sotheby's first auction dedicated entirely to sneaks in 2019, where Geller sold a pair of 1972 Nike "Moon Shoes" for a world record $437,500. The shoes, created under the direction of Bill Bowerman, made up one of the 12 pairs ever made and debuted at the 1972 Olympic Trials Marathon.

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