The World’s Most Expensive Sneakers Are For Sale

These Kanye West-designed Nike Air Yeezys sold for a whopping $1.8 million in 2021.


Christie’s is christening its new Department X division dedicated to luxury streetwear and sports collectibles by hosting the private sale of the world’s most expensive sneakers.

Kanye West sent sneakerheads into a frenzy when he debuted these Nike Air Yeezy 1 Prototypes during his award-winning appearance at the Grammy Awards way back in 2008. Eagle-eyed hypebeasts frantically tried to identify the silhouette, which sported a translucent red “Y” shaped lace lock and soft premium leather material—features that are now hallmarks of Nike Yeezys.

Nike creative director Mark Smith and designer Tiffany Beers crafted the shoes especially for the rapper’s watershed moment, incorporating the Air Tech Challenge II’s midfoot strap and Air Jordan 3’s midsole.

In 2021, the Nike Air Yeezy 1 Prototypes sold for $1.8 million via a private Sotheby’s transaction with investment platform Rares, which specializes in dealing fractional ownerships of high-end sneakers.


If that’s a little too rich, Christie’s is also offering the Nike Donda West Air Jordan VI, featuring a rosy pattern, lyrics from West’s song “Roses,” and his mother’s name “Donda” on the sockliner. A handful were produced for West and his closest friends/family, and only 4-6 official pairs are known to exist.

As Artnet notes, the formation of Department X is Christie’s attempt at capitalizing on the growing hip-hop memorabilia, streetwear and sports collectible markets, which collectively saw a sharp uptick in 2020 following the infusion of Covid stimulus package money. Between 2019 and 2021, the sports collectible market grew from $1 to $10 billion, reports specialist house Goldin Auctions.

Prices for the Kanye West kicks on sale at Christie’s are available upon inquiry here and here.