In early February, Sotheby’s listed an exclusive pair of Nike Hyperdunk sneakers specially made for former US President Barack Obama. Listed at USD25,000 (S$33,000), the exclusive pair of kicks however was suddenly pulled from the auction.
Sneakerheads eager to bid for the pair now must wait for these highly coveted Nike Hyperdunk sneakers to go on sale again. How exclusive you say? Well apparently, only two pairs were made by Nike for the 44th President of the United States.
The Story Behind President Obama’s Nike Hyperdunk Sneakers
In 2009, Nike customised two pairs of size 12.5 Hyperdunk PEs exclusively for the Commander-in-Chief. The basketball shoes were based on the Team USA’s ‘United We Rise’ Hyperdunks worn at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
The footwear is crafted in red, white and blue with patriotic elements such as the Presidential Seal on the tongues. The forefoot features the number ‘44’ to pay homage to the 44th POTUS. The insoles on the other hand feature bald eagle graphics and ‘1776’ in tribute to the year of America’s founding.
President Obama’s Nike Hyperdunk Sneakers were initially going to be auctioned off during President’s Day Weekend. However, at the eleventh hour, the shoes were pulled by the consignor.
Despite being taken off the auction block, many eager buyers are waiting the day when these exclusive Hyperdunks appear again. After all, history has proven that there is serious money to be made in the market for ultra-rare kicks.
Here are four other sneakers that have been equally, if not, more sought-after.
1984 Jordan Game Worn Converse Fastbreak
Michael Jordan and Nikes are synonymously linked. However, before the iconic partnership, the Chicago Bulls legend relied on a pair of Converse shoes for his on-court escapades. In 2017, a rare pair of Converse Fastbreak basketball shoes worn and signed by Jordan went up for sale. It was special because it was one of the last pairs of the brand he would wear. It was also the ones that he used in the ’84 Olympics, where he led his team to the gold. A collector ultimately paid just over USD190,373 (S$251,000) for the shoes.
2016 ‘Nike Mags’
Forever immortalised for its role in Back to the Future Part II, the Nike Mags have achieved celebrity-type status. In 2016, a special-edition reboot of the self-lacing shoes sold for USD200,000 (S$264,000) at a charity auction. The money raised went towards the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s research. Two years later, an original shoe from the 1989 movie went on sale on Ebay. Despite being in a dilapidated state, the sneaker still fetched USD92,000 (S$121,000).
Nike “Moon Shoe”
More like an important artefact than a shoe, the Moon Shoe is a sheer embodiment of the Nike brand. The prototype running shoe was designed by Oregon University track-and-field coaching icon and Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman in 1972. The hand-cobbled shoes featured unique soles which Bowerman created using his wife’s waffle iron. It was dubbed the moon shoe because its prints resembled those left by the Apollo 11 astronauts on the moon. According to history, only a dozen pairs of these shoes were made. In 2019, one of these rare shoes went to auction eventually fetching USD437,000 (S$577,000).
The Air Jordan 1s
The early Air Jordans are considered the holy grail for sneakerheads. At the top of that list is undoubtedly the Air Jordan 1s. Last year two pairs of these game-worn shoes broke records at auction. In May, an ’85 pair of Air Jordan 1s worn and signed by “His Airness”, fetched USD560,000 (S$741,000) at auction. Months later, a similar pair worn by No.23 during a pre-season game in Italy bested that record. It was sold for USD615,000 (S$813,000), effectively making it the most expensive pair of sneakers sold at auction.