rare air jordans

8 Of The Most Rare Air Jordans

When it comes to rare sneakers, they don't come more exclusive than some of the most hard-to-cop Air Jordans.

Over the years, the Jordan Brand has continued to redefine the sneaker space, with unique designs and out-of-the-box collabs ensuring sneakerheads will pay crazy prices to land their dream kicks.

With 2024 already shaping up to be another monumental year for the Nike offshoot, we decided to take a look at eight of the most rare and exclusive Air Jordans from down the years. 

Eminem X Carhartt

First is the super-rare collab by Eminem and Carhartt, which saw the rapper and the utility clothing brand come together for a milestone celebration.

Just ten pairs of these trainers were produced, exclusively for Eminem and his inner circle nearly six years ago. The renowned rapper commissioned the kicks in 2015 to commemorate the fifteenth anniversary of his Marshall Mathers LP, with proceeds benefiting his foundation aiding young people in the United States.

However, last year, Eminem decided to auction his pair during the global pandemic as part of StockX’s World Health Organization campaign. To participate, individuals simply needed to contribute ten dollars for a chance to win in a raffle. 

Incredibly, according to StockX, some pairs have fetched as much as 30,000 dollars, so who knows how much the rapper’s very own pair is worth? All we know is someone nabbed a real bargain with that ten dollars!

Air Jordan x Grimm

Crafted by the legendary Tinker Hatfield, who was the mastermind behind many of the most iconic Air Jordans over the years, Nike collaborated with the NBC drama 'Grimm', to produce a limited run of just ten exclusive trainers to raise money for charity.

Among these were four pairs of women's shoes in pristine white, adorned with plush fur collars, alongside an additional four pairs for men that are sporting sleek black designs with herringbone detailing. 

Adding to their allure, two pairs were autographed by both Hatfield and Jordan, which only served to drive up the price and raise additional money for the good cause.

Auctioned on eBay, the initiative raised over £16,000 in support of the OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. It’s safe to say that on the resale market, these will fetch a handsome sum these days!

Air Jordan 1 x Dave White - ‘Wings for the Future’

Another pair of Air Jordan kicks that’s sure to command an eye-watering price is the ‘Wings for the Future’ collab with Dave White.

These attention-grabbing kicks are often considered one of the most striking iterations of the iconic shoe to date, and it’s easy to see why! Resembling futuristic space boots, these were brought to life by artist Dave White who settled on a dazzling gold rendition of the original design, accented with vibrant red, black and white colour palettes.

Initially commissioned to design the kicks in 2008, only 23 pairs were crafted and made available three years later, fetching upwards of 1,000 dollars each at the NBA All-Star game in 2011. All proceeds from the sales were generously donated to WINGS for the Future of LA’s Inglewood High School. 

Although Nike later released a limited number of additional pairs for eager fans, acquiring a pair now proves to be a tough task and anyone wishing to cop a pair should expect to pay mega bucks for them!

Nike Air Jordan 1 Retro High ‘Colette Au Revoir’

This exclusive collaboration between Air Jordan 1 High and the groundbreaking Parisian boutique Colette pays homage to the store’s closure in 2017. 

Renowned for its trailblazing influence in high fashion, streetwear and accessories in the French capital and beyond, Colette earned global acclaim for its innovation. 

Adorned in Colette's signature white and blue hues, with the iconic double dot logo adorning the design throughout, these limited edition Air Jordan 1s were made for the collector!

The heels are embellished with the years the boutique’s doors were open (1997 - 2017), while the soles feature the words "Bonjour" ("Hello") and "Au Revoir" ("Goodbye").

The Colette Air Jordan 1 was initially crafted exclusively for store employees and never officially released for retail. However, that didn't stop some of those gifted a pair from selling theirs, and with this being one of the rarest Nike Air Jordan colourways ever produced, it’s no surprise to see them fetching upwards of £15,000.

Air Jordan 2 OG "Chicago"

Although the Air Jordan 2 may not be everyone's top choice among the Jordan lineup, there’s no denying the silhouette boasts a rich heritage. 

Originally introduced in 1986 in the iconic "Chicago" colour scheme, only three additional original colour variations were unveiled the following year with each pair crafted in Italy. 

According to some credible sources, legend has it that the original mould for the AJ2 was destroyed after the production of these initial pairs, leading to later retros failing to replicate the exact shape of the original sneaker. 

Perhaps this explains why an authentic pair of Air Jordan 2s on eBay fetched a staggering $31,000, highlighting just how sought-after this model is.

Air Jordan 3 x Spike Lee "Oscars"

If that wasn't expensive enough for you, the Air Jordan collab with Spike Lee fetched almost $20k more with its “Oscars” colourway. 

For those who don't already know, the Air Jordan 3 silhouette is largely credited for keeping Michael Jordan at Nike after the departure of footwear designer Peter Moore, which resulted in Jordan and Tinker Hatfield collaborating closely in order to convince the star to stay. 

The resulting AJ3 was more modern and lightweight, as well as being the first to feature a visible Air unit in the sole. This was also the first to be graced by the Jumpman logo which was featured on the tongue. 

The model also saw the introduction of the famous “Spike and Mike” Jordan ads featuring Spike Lee, and sure enough, the Spike Lee AJ3 “Oscar” eventually made its in-foot debut at the Academy Awards in 2019. Few models were made, but one pair did sell at Sotheby's, fetching a cool $50,000 when the auction closed in 2023.

Nike Air Jordan 3 Retro x ‘Nipsey Hussle Victory Lap’ 

Sticking with the AJ3 silhouette, another colourway that's generated much fanfare since its release is the ‘Nipsey Hussle Victory Lap’ colourway.

This promotional sample of the retro Jordan 3 pays tribute to the 2018 release of the debut studio album by the late rapper Nipsey Hussle, "Victory Lap." 

Despite the tragic loss of the acclaimed artist, his album "Victory Lap" earned a Grammy nomination in 2019 and achieved a significant feat in 2021 by spending 100 weeks on the Billboard 200 list. 

Inspired by the iconic "Black Cement" Jordan 3 design, the Nipsey Hussle Jordan 3 Retro sneakers are dressed in predominantly black leather, adorned with the classic Jordan 3 elephant print at the heel and toe, with Nike Air branding on the heel. 

The medial collar of each shoe features the Victory Lap "VL" logo, while the translucent outsoles proudly display red "VL" branding to pay homage to the album and its creator.

Air Jordan 13 “The Last Dance”

If you thought some of the other kicks on this list were fetching crazy prices, wait until you see how much these went for!

Even in 2023, the allure of Jordan memorabilia remains stronger than ever. Worn during game 2 of Jordan's legendary 1998 "Last Dance" season finals, the Air Jordan 13 earned itself a special place in sporting history as one of the most iconic shoes of all time. 

After it was recently auctioned at Sotheby’s, this particular pair fetched an astonishing $2.2 million, which makes it the most expensive Air Jordans ever sold. 

Having said that, in the ever-evolving world of sneaker culture, records are being broken all the time, so don't be surprised to see it surpassed sometime soon. With the sneaker market booming and these historic shoes being increasingly coveted, it's likely we’ll see a new record sometime soon.

So those are eight of the most rare Air Jordans sneakerheads can cop – if they’re lucky, that is! In truth, you’ll either need to get very lucky or spend some serious cash to get your hands on some, but we can dream at least!

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