The “steps” to success

Shoes are collectors’ items across the world; let’s explore

Leeyandel Arias and Rachel Young

According to Newsweek, a pair of Nike Air Ships that were worn by athlete Michael Jordan sold at auction for a whopping $1.47 million dollars making this purchase the most expensive game-worn shoes ever sold at an auction. 

Even though many people are under the impression that shoes simply just get you from one place to another comfortably; think again. Every shoe has a story, and this is why shoes have gained so much popularity in the modern-day era. According to Statista, The United States has the largest footwear market in the world and made over $91 billion, in the US, in revenue in 2019 alone. This shows how crazy the shoe culture has changed over the years in prices and designs.

Celebrities played a huge part in starting shoe trends and a great example of this is one man, Michael Jordan. If you’re not aware of who he is, Jordan is a former professional basketball player and businessman. He partnered with Nike in 1984 and created his own signature shoe: The Air Jordan I.  

This shoe was initially banned by the NBA from being used in games, but Nike happily paid a $5,000 fine anytime Michael wore them to help amp up their shoe marketing. According to Roy Johnson from Fortune Magazine who spoke about the shoe in The Last Dance, “Before Michael Jordan, sneakers were just for playing basketball and all of the sudden sneakers became fashion and culture.” So the after-effects were that this shoe is now considered to be one of the most iconic sneakers in the world, and is credited as the shoe that launched the international shoe community. 

Another reason why shoes have become so exclusive is the quantity and exclusiveness of shoes. A great example of this is the Nike Air Mag. This shoe was introduced in a movie called Back to the Future II, where the character ‘Marty McFly’ wore it in a few scenes. And according to Robb Report, after the release of the movie, Nike partnered with Michael J. Fox Center for Parkinson’s Research to sell the shoe for a good cause. So Nike produced just 1,500 pairs, all of which were auctioned for charity on eBay. The ‘Nike Air Mags’ were sold just shy of $10 million in 10 days, with all proceeds helping to fund the Foundation’s vital work. 

And as of now, if you wanted to grab a pair of the ‘Nike Air Mags’ yourself, you would have to spend more than fifty-thousand dollars. Depending on the shape and quality the shoe is currently in.

The majority of people believe that shoes may be an expensive and pointless item to collect, but shoes have become a way for people to develop a hobby and fall in love with scouring the internet for shoes and finding interests that they didn’t know they had. Overall, educate yourself before simply looking at an item as it is because everything you look at contains a deeper meaning.