Do you remember the debut of the first pair of Nike Air Jordan Sneakers in 1985?
Nike teamed up with Michael Jordan who was named Rookie of the Year the same year to create an iconic black and red sneaker. The National Basketball Association (NBA) initially banned the Air Jordan 1 shoes, citing the NBA sneaker guidelines that said all sneakers had to be mostly white and share the team’s uniform colors.
In fact, the NBA went as far as fining Jordan $5,000 every game he wore the shoes. Nike, however, sensed an opportunity to create recognition for the shoes and volunteered to pay Jordan’s fines for him.
I’d say paying the fine was worth the investment. When the shoes were first introduced, Nike reportedly hoped to make $3 million within the first four years of the sneaker’s release. Today, the brand makes about $3 million every five hours selling Air Jordan shoes.
For his part, Jordan reportedly earns 5% royalties from every new pair of Air Jordan shoes sold, totaling roughly $130 million to $150 million per year.
For most of the rest of us, our first pair of the popular Air Jordan shoes was simply about looking cool. But the sneakers also served as a gateway into sneakerhead culture and collecting shoes.
Auction houses have seen demand jump for all styles of Air Jordan Sneakers recently. In fact, we sold a pair of used condition Nike Air Jordan 4 Retro Sneakers for $120 in August. I don’t know about you, but I definitely wish I had a few pairs of used shoes in my closet that I could sell for more than $100 each.
Air Jordan sneakers retain their value because they’re made from high-quality materials, like premium leather, and they’re in demand.
If you are interested in collecting sneakers, there are a few important terms you should know before you start.
Colorway – this is the color of the sneakers you’re purchasing, and it can make a big impact on the price. According to StockX.com, the Bred colorway, which is a combination of black and red, can add up to a 35% premium to the value of a pair of Air Jordan shoes. If you’re researching potential values, be sure to include the color in your search terms.
Retro – a retro Air Jordan is a re-release of an original Air Jordan shoe. Many times the re-release will include different color options or colorways. For instance, the Air Jordan 1 originally debuted in 1985. The first retro versions of that particular sneaker were released in 1994. Original first runs of the shoes are often referred to as OG.
Deadstock – sometimes abbreviated DS, deadstock means the sneakers are brand new. Once a pair has been worn, or even just tried on, it’s technically no longer considered deadstock. Other common abbreviations are VNDS, which stands for Very Near Deadstock, and PADS, which means a pair of shoes can Pass As Deadstock.
Do you have a pair of Air Jordan sneakers collecting dust in your closet? If you think they could be valuable, consider having them appraised by a certified appraiser at one of the free appraisal fairs hosted throughout the Valley.