5 of the most expensive shoes ever made have sold recently. But the list making up the most expensive shoes is changing rapidly. New amazing collaborations by designers and jewelers creating multi-million dollar pieces of art and vintage game-worn pieces of sports history have shoe prices soaring. We’ve come a long way in the art and science of footwear.
The earliest shoes date back to sometime between 7000 and 8000 BC. A pair of sagebrush bark sandals were uncovered in 1938 in the Fort Rock Cave in Oregon. The sandals were in excellent condition, given the fact that they were so old. Although they lacked heel cushion and torsional rigidity, I’m guessing.
The Gift of Shoes
I love giving shoes as gifts. I learned a trick from an old boss I once worked for. When one of his employees completed their first work anniversary, he would give them a pair of costly, well-made leather boots. Although I moved on from the company years ago, I still wear the boots. And each time I lace them up, I think of my old boss, who I remain friends with to this day, and I think just for a brief second, what a great gift that was.
So I took a page from his book and started giving shoes of various types and styles as gifts to close family members and friends. Of course, I attempt to find their correct size and a style they actually like before I order. But I’ve received lots of interesting comments from the practice, and not always what you would expect. For instance, “thanks, I can wear these while I mow the grass…”
Most Expensive Shoes of All Time
While learning more about shoes with each passing birthday of a sibling or close friend, I’m astounded by the incredibly rare and valuable shoes that exist. There’s such a wide variety, from sneakers to slippers to heels, boots, and sandals, the wide-world of footwear is gigantic.
There are a few shoes you should be aware of in case you ever come across them in a consignment shop. Don’t pass up a chance to grab a pair of these most expensive shoes in the world. Or at least notice them as a stranger walks by with them on their feet.
Stuart Weitzman Tanzanite Heel, $2 million
The Stuart Weitzman Tanzanite heel was created by the top two shoe designers in the world about 15 years ago. Together, Stuart Weitzman and Eddie LeVian collaborated to produce the most ridiculous pair of heels ever to step foot on the earth.
These evening shoes feature 185 carats of blue and purple tanzanites and 28 carats of diamonds. The tanzanite stone was selected because of its extreme rarity. They are more expensive than diamonds because there is only one mine known to exist near Mount Kilimanjaro.
The heels of the shoes are not just plain soles but covered in platinum. The Stuart Weitzman Tanzanite heels are one of a kind, never to be duplicated again. The best heel designer in the world is coming together with one of the top jewelry designers globally, and they are both known for producing one-of-a-kind epic designs. There’s no doubt the value of these heels will remain astronomical.
Most Expensive Shoes from Stuart Weitzman
For decades Stuart Weitzman has been designing amazing shoes. Since his father and brother opened a shoe factory when he was nine years old, Stuart has been involved in the shoe business. The shoe designer has his name on some of the most incredible shoes of all time, including the Stuart Weitzman Rita Hayworth heels, the Stuart Weitzman Platinum Guild Stilettos, and the designer Stuart Weitzman Retro Rose Pumps.
In 2004, Alison Krauss wore the Stuart Weitzman Cinderella Slippers to the Oscars. The diamond shoes were made with 565 stones, including a five karat Kwiat diamond.
The list of most expensive shoes designed by Weitzman doesn’t end there. He unveiled another creation for the 2007 Oscars, the Stuart Weitzman Diamond Dream Stilettos. The shoe design featured a circular sunburst of gems, including 1,420 individual diamonds. The stiletto heels are valued at over a half-million dollars.
Michael Jordan Signed Nike Air Jordan 1s, $560,000
What are the most expensive sneakers in the world? The signed, game-worn Air Jordan 1 sneakers sold at a Sotheby’s auction for $560,000. These were the same basketball shoes worn by star athlete Michael Jordan during his 1984-85 rookie season. The auction began just as the last two episodes of “The Last Dance” were set to air on ESPN.
Experts say the timing couldn’t have been better for the sneaker seller, Jordy Geller, who originally purchased the shoes in 2012 for an undisclosed amount. Now that a few months have passed since the auction, I wonder if the seller wants to have another shot at selling the shoes now. Prices for memorabilia have only gone up, and especially for game-worn sneakers such as these.
Even though the original pair of Air Jordan sneakers might fetch a higher price today if there was another auction, I’m fairly certain Geller is satisfied with his 8-year investment return. When the Sotheby’s auction was announced, it was estimated the Nike sneakers would have a price tag of around $100,000. The Jordan brand remains one of the most valuable shoe brands in the world.
Jason of Beverly Hills Tom Ford Loafers, $2 million
Another pair of two million dollar shoes, this time in loafer form. Jeweler Jason of Beverly Hills designed the one-of-a-kind kicks that include more than 14,000 full-cut round white diamonds individually set in white gold. All these diamonds sitting atop a Tom Ford sole.
Roughly one year and 2,000 hours were spent crafting the loafers, which broke a Guinness World Record for the most expensive shoe in the world. The shoes were designed for the host of “America’s Got Talent,” Nick Cannon. All proceeds of the commissioning will be donated to charity.
Nike Moon Shoe, $437,500
The recent sale of the Moon Shoe was one of twelve shoes ever made and was the only unworn pair of the Nike waffle racing flat. Collector Miles Nadal was the winning bidder at the auction, which broke a record for the highest amount ever paid for sneakers. That record was broken just about a year later with the sale of the game-worn Michael Jordan 1s.
The pre-auction estimate was $160,000 for the Moon Shoe, but the demand was incredible. Nearly a year and a half later, I would not guess what the Moon Shoes would bring at auction in the current day. Like the Jordan 1s, it’s not impossible to say they could sell for double or even triple the sale price from last year.
Passion Diamond Stilettos, $17 million
The most expensive shoes ever are currently the Passion Diamond Stilettos, worth an estimated $17 million. A partnership between the United Arab Emirates-based shoe brand Jada Dubai and Passion Jewelers created this amazingly expensive and valuable combination of diamonds in 2018.
The stilettos feature two huge 15-carat diamonds on the shoe’s upper portion, both ultra-rare D flawless. In fact, every one of the 236 diamonds is rated Flawless D, not just the two largest stones. After nearly nine months of crafting the Passion Diamond shoe in Italy with other features, including leather, silk, and gold, the shoes were sent to Dubai.
The shoes were unveiled at the world’s only seven-star hotel, the Burj Al Arab, in Dubai.
Harry Winston Ruby Slippers, $3 million
A recreation of Dorthy’s Wizard of Oz slippers is valued at $3 million, one of the most expensive shoes ever. Even though the original slipper worn by Judy Garland is still held in pristine condition in a private collection, they are not worth more than the Harry Winston ruby slipper remakes.
What makes the House of Harry Winston slippers worth millions is mostly found in the encrustment of 4,600 gemstones. The original slippers worn in the movie had nothing of the sort. Precious stones with a total of 1,350 carats are what helped boost the value of these shoes to the $3 million price tag.
Debbie Wingham Stilettos, $15 million
After hundreds of hours of work, British designer Debbie Wingham created a pair of shoes valued at over $15 million. Featured on the shoes are a pair of rare pink and blue diamonds and four flawless three carat white diamonds.
These Debbie Wingham high heels are just the latest luxury items to come from the famous designer; she’s also produced some of the most expensive dresses in the world valued in the tens-of-millions.
5 of the Most Expensive Shoes – Kanye West
How could you discuss top designers and the most expensive pair of sneakers without mentioning Kanye West? What he’s done in the sneaker world over the last few years is truly astounding. It wasn’t even ten years ago when the first Yeezy shoe from the Nike brand was released. 5 of the most important models in the Kanye West shoe empire could be debated for days, but here are a few with astronomical prices in the resale market.
- Kanye West X Nike Air 180
- X Bape “Dropout Bear” Bapesta
- X Reebok S. Carter
- Kanye West X Nike Air Huarache 08 “Glow in the Dark Tour”
- Nike Air Yeezy 2009
Shortly after, Kanye signed with Adidas and grew the brand into a billion-dollar empire. Now, he owns one of the most popular shoe brands in the world. One of the most expensive Yeezy shoes is the Nike Air Force One Entourage X Fukijama Gold, recently auctioned for an estimated $60,000.
What are the Most Expensive Shoes? There’s Much More to Come
Modern-day shoes have come a long way; the technology going into high-performance sneakers is pretty outstanding. Some of the latest running shoes weigh just a couple of ounces and provide shock resistance and stability like never before. This is not to mention the heart-stopping design and creativity pouring into the latest footwear. Shoe manufactures are at the top of their stride when it comes to delivering highly desirable kicks.
Shoe designers, jewelers, and luxury brands are collaborating like never before. Companies realize supply and demand laws, creating limited-edition designs with expensive materials and one-of-one pairs to drive interest and values to the moon. The list of the most expensive shoes on earth will surely change many times in the coming years. There’s never been a better time to be a sneaker-head, shoe addict, heel collector, or boot aficionado.
Whether it’s a pair of Nike Air Jordan 1s or a pair of solid gold dress shoes, there’s no stopping the trend of expensive pairs of sneakers and incredibly valuable luxury footwear.