December 18, 2015

For most of us, buying a pair of sneakers is a mundane event. But for a true sneaker aficionado, there’s no greater joy than putting on a pair of rare kicks. So how did the humble sneaker reach such heights of allure? Some, with hefty 5-digit price tags. Let’s take a look at some of the world’s most expensive sneakers, and how basketball and the hip hop subculture helped propel them to cult status.

Sneaker collecting started back in the late 1970s as part of the burgeoning b-boy and hip-hop movement in New York City. Unique clothes were a hallmark of the early hip-hop subculture. The sneakers were easily customisable with colour-coordinated laces, or by filling in the triple stripes on a pair of Adidas with a sharpie. The sneaker craze went into full swing when Nike and Michael Jordan introduced the Air Jordans in 1985. One legendary pair of Jordans netted a cool $104,000 on eBay. There is an interesting story behind that pair too. Michael Jordan had a bad flu during the 1995 NBA Finals, but he managed to power through the game, thanks to a thoughtful ball boy who gave him some apple sauce. To repay his kindness, Michael gave him the pair of Air Jordans he was wearing, plus autograph. Thereafter, the enterprising ball boy sold the sneakers for a cool US$104,000 to an anonymous bidder on eBay.

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The success of the Air Jordans paved the way for more sporting brands to collaborate with celebrities, resulting in other rare and limited edition kicks. One such notable partnership in recent years is Nike x Kanye West. A pair of Air Yeezy 2 Red October reportedly went for a whopping USD $17 million on ebay. No news if the final bidder ponied up the cash.

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And remember these futuristic sneakers from Back to the Future? Rapper Tinie Tempah paid US$37,500 for the first pair. For the rest of us, you can get your hands on one for US$3,600. Although they don’t come with automatic laces, for every pair bought, a certain percentage goes to the Michael J. Fox Foundation. There are only 1,500 pairs in the world.

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Now, check out these resplendent silver high top Balmain sneakers. These lustrous pair of kicks can do no wrong in the style department. Priced at US$1475, it is one of the more ‘affordable’ sneakers in the luxury sneaker market. Grab it before some celebrity puts their name on it!

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Well-known footwear designer Christian Louboutin also took a chance with this red hot offering. Featuring his signature use of red and authentic snake skin, Christian Louboutin’s Rantus Orlato Flat makes a very bold fashion statement. This is definitely a unique addition that will surely grab one’s attention.

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Photo Credits:unsplash.com (Cover Photo), therichest.com, fittedhawaii.com, yeezyshopping.net