Add One More Item to the List of “I Just Don’t Get It”


  • In July 2019, Sotheby’s sold a historic set of Nike’s “Moon Shoe” waffle-soled sneakers from 1972 for a then-record-setting $437,500.
  • Not to be outdone, during the peak of the Michael Jordan fever triggered by ESPN’s 2020 docuseries “The Last Dance,” a pair of game-worn Jordan 1s sold to an unnamed buyer for a record-breaking $560,000 through Sotheby’s.
  • In December 2020, a pair of leather Adidas sneakers, made in partnership with the 311-year-old porcelain-maker Meissen and festooned with porcelain overlays and meticulously hand-painted with fanciful motifs from toe to heel, sold for $126,000.

All I can say is ‘why?’

Part of it is that I don’t get high-end collectibles at all, but even if I did, sneakers seem like an unusual item to be auctioned off like fine art.

But as the numbers above show, there is a market for such items.

There is even a stock-market-like exchange for sneakers, known as StockX.

And if that weren’t enough, there is a a sneaker museum named Shoezeum that focuses on used sneakers. That’s right, it sells sneakers previously worn by star athletes. Jordan Geller, the founder of Shoezeum, says, “It’s just so cool to have in your hands,” he said of one pair. “Like, wow, Charles Barkley laced this shoe up and put it on his feet and went to battle wearing this in 1993.” The Jordan shoes which sold for $560,000 were part of Geller’s collection.

I can’t imagine buying a pair of sneakers and viewing it as an investment that I could hopefully sell at a higher price at some future date. To me, sneakers have one purpose, to be worn on your feet.

But if anyone is interested I’ve got a pair of 2019 Brooks running shoes that I wore all over Singapore, Bangkok, and Malaysia.

I paid about $120 for them. You can have them for $5,000.

Going once, going twice…

Source: Wall Street Journal


61 thoughts on “Add One More Item to the List of “I Just Don’t Get It”

  1. I’ve always found that curious also. I can understand wanting to buy a good pair of shoes to wear. I suppose they see it as an investment. At least jockstraps aren’t collectibles (as far as I know).

    Another unrelated sports thing that I don’t understand is adults wearing player jerseys. Support your team all you want, wear their colors, but I’d feel ridiculous wearing a jersey with another man’s (or woman for that matter) name on it. Newsflash—you aren’t LeBron James, Tom Brady, or Mike Trout. Would any of your students come to class wearing Borden jerseys? 😎

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  2. If you sole them, they will come….I agree with you on the meaningless of a pair of sneakers won at Sotheby’s. Its obscene when u consider how people are suffering without a bite to eat in the US.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The only pair of shoes that I wanted to spend a fair amount on was the limited addition spongebob shoes. They were around $120 (I was trying to get the kids shoes) but they sold out before I could figure out what size I would need. I was a little disappointed at first, but hey that’s 120 bucks still in my pocket. And it can be kind of fun for me to buy the $20 flashy shoes from Walmart or Burlington because I normally tear up my shoes anyways. Reading about the shoe museum makes me think about that movie Like Mike, so I guess a lot of people actually believe there is some kind of magic in the shoes lol

    Liked by 1 person

      1. They definitely wouldn’t have been my everyday sneakers (after all they looked like a pineapple lol) but I would have worn them on days where I felt like making a statement with my outfit

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t quite “get it” either, but then again so many things are now seen as collectible that have little to no intrinsic value. I guess anything can be collectible now. I was tempted by your “Asian Tour” running shoes, but I am holding out for your clown shoes to hit the auction block!

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  5. it is an interesting collecting phenomenon. I suppose all collections are, they are a very personal choice, I think some see the shoes as an investment or piece of limited edition art. as for me, I prefer being barefoot, wearing sandals, or my beat to hell running shoes (walking, in my case).

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  6. I can understand the 311-year-old porcelain-maker because it’s art, but the rest, no, I don’t get too.

    So yeah, your shoe should be valid. My husband has an old shoe too which he used when he traveled to more than 45 countries. Hahaha 😂

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  7. I’ll bet Charles Barkley and other NBA stars get a wad of money, selling their shoes to StockX brokers. But I’m with you, I don’t get it either. And I’d never be able to buy these shoes, as I couldn’t foot the bill.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I don’t get it either. What kind of pleasure does one get from spending that much money of these stupid shoes? Actually, I have to insert a corny statement here: What kind of pleasure does one get from spending that much money of these stupid shoes when there are people who are hungry, or need shelter, when our world is losing species at a rapid state, when this money can be used for so much good elsewhere? I guess it’s a relative thing, since any of my spendings can benefit someone else, but there has got to be a line somewhere…okay, I will go and look for something happy to read now.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. It’s strange, but, very unusually for me, I know a bible quote to explain it. Proverbs 21:20 – I’m not religious, but I once had to look up the origin of the modern day saying that we’re familiar with and was surprised to find it there

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I love sneakers so I get it- maybe I’m just an annoying millennial lol! At the same time I would never spend that kind of money on shoes. BUT I do love sneakers so I get why people who have that kind of money would spend it on shoes.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Wow, that is gross on greed. Speaking of Meissen china, do you know anyone wanting to buy a setting for 12 with all the accompanying bowls and platters? LOL, I’m serious. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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