If you’re a sneakerhead, you’d know how difficult it is to get your hands on a pair of limited edition sneaker. It’s not uncommon for people to queue overnight (or more than one night) just to buy a pair of Yeezys. But why go to all the trouble?
Firstly, it’s about owning a pair of limited editions, of course. Secondly, the sneakers have high resale value. In fact, the Kanye West x Louis Vuitton sneakers are currently valued at $38,386—a 2,532% appreciation since its release in 2009.
The Nike SB What The Dunk model, which originally retailed for $153, is now valued at $6,396—a 4,067% increase.
Scroll through the gallery to see the Top 10 most valuable sneakers in the world right now. PS: It’ll make you want to buy the next limited edition sneakers that are dropped.
Air Jordan 5 Retro T23 Tokyo
Since the debut of the Air Jordan V model in 1990, there have been multiple designs based on this iconic sneaker. Part of the collection, this Air Jordan 5 Retro T23 Tokyo pair was released exclusively in Japan in 2011. Now worth $6,718, they have increased in value by 2449% since their release.
Nike Lunar Flyknit HTM Milano
An addition to the HTM line, these sneakers feature Flyknit and Lunarlon technology and were exclusively released in Milan and London in 2012. After an appreciation in value of 3800%, the pair is now worth $7,485.
Off-White x Air Jordan 1 Chicago
This highly sought-after sneaker is part of The Ten, the Nike x Off-White collection of revamped classics. Released in the iconic red and black Chicago colourway with additional Off-White detailing, this pair is now worth $7,678 after a 3058% appreciation in value.
Nike Air Yeezy 2 Platinum
This Platinum colourway was one of two iterations (the other being Solar Red) that was released in 2012 as part of the Air Yeezy 2 collection – the final collaborative effort between Nike and Kanye West. Originally priced at £190, this ultra rare sneaker has appreciated in value by 2300% and is now worth $7,678.
Nike Air Yeezy Blink
Nike Air Yeezy was the first collaboration between the sportswear giant and Kanye West, which launched in 2009. Released in three colourways, the black and shocking pink Blink version is the most coveted. This pair is now worth $7,678, has appreciated in value by 2300% and is the fourth most valuable Nike sneaker on our list – it shares the spot with the Air Yeezy Platinum.
Nike Air Yeezy 2 Solar Red
The Air Yeezy 2 collection was Kanye West’s second collaboration with Nike. Released in 2012, this Solar Red colourway is now one of the most sought-after versions. The pair retailed at £171, but after a 3456% appreciation in value is now worth $10,236.
Nike Air Yeezy 2 Red October
This shocking red colourway was released as a surprise addition to the Air Yeezy 2 collection two years after the line’s initial debut. Sold out within minutes, this highly sought-after model has increased in value by 3633% since 2014 and is now worth $10,748.
Chanel x Pharrell x adidas NMD Hu
This rare sneaker was a partnership between adidas, Chanel and the influential French boutique Colette. Created as part of Pharrell Williams’ NMD Hu line, only 500 pairs of this design were released, which is perhaps why it’s leapt in value by 1106%. The model is now worth $17,907.
Nike Air Mag
The Air Mag model is the most valuable Nike design on the market. Created in 2011 and limited to only 1,500 pairs, these sneakers are a replica of the iconic self-lacing shoe from the 1989 film ‘Back to the Future Part II’. They’re now worth $19,192 after a 400% appreciation in value.
Louis Vuitton Kanye West x Louis Vuitton
The high-top Jasper sneaker from the Kanye West x Louis Vuitton line was available in three colourways, and this Patchwork grey and pink iteration is the most coveted. These sneakers have appreciated in value by 2532% and are now worth a staggering $38,386 – the highest value of any other pair on our list.
Now that you know whether your limited edition sneaker will earn you money, here comes the question: what makes sneakers so collectable?
Mathieu Le Maux is a French sneaker expert and the author of 1000 Sneakers, opines that some people collect sneakers “to create an ‘emotional heritage’ linked to memories from the past.” He also cited three reasons why sneakers are collectable:
The first one is the “Proust Madeleine effect” (objects taking you back to your childhood).
The second one is the appeal of highly aesthetic objects (such as modern art).
The third one is the allure of investing in something concrete – there is more appeal to investing in beautiful shoes than there is to a completely immaterial stock portfolio that doesn’t inspire any emotions.
Read on for a Q&A with the sneaker expert so you know what sneakers to buy and how to keep them in good condition to increase their resale value.
Does sneaker size affect value? If so, how?
Yes, it’s a possibility. A model in men’s size 42 to 44 (8 to 10 – UK, 9 to 11 – US) will be way more popular because a majority of men are wearing shoes in this range of sizes. It will probably be more expensive to find sneakers in these sizes than for bigger or smaller sizes.
What other factors determine sneaker value?
Its rarity, its condition, the prestige of the designers at that time, and the quality of the material used to create it.
How can you spot counterfeit sneakers?
The best way to spot a counterfeit is to find images beforehand so you can compare it with the model that you want to buy. And to be 100% certain, I recommend to only buy sneakers on referenced websites that are well known for their reliability.
How do you know which sneakers will be good investments?
It’s difficult to know for certain whether a sneaker will appreciate in value. However, there are a few signals that would allow you to “bet” on it. If it’s a limited edition of an iconic model that is revisited by a famous designer or an world-famous artist, it is very likely that its value will increase.
Is it worth selling now or holding onto them?
Here again, there is no absolute truth. It’s just like on the stock market: you need a bit of intuition, some experience and some research on the current trends and upcoming release. Often, if you want to do a nice swing, it’s worth buying the much-anticipated limited editions of famous sneakers as soon as they come out and then selling them right after for more money.
Any tips for keeping sneakers in good condition?
Adapt the sneakers you’re wearing to the occasion or the place you’re going to. For example, don’t wear a model that is precious to you to a party or a concert. You also have to take care of it on a daily basis (use water and soap, avoid any toxic products that can damage the fabric). Recently, “sneakers clinics” have started to appear in which specialists try and save your favourite pair. They are the shoemakers of modern times!
Information and Q&A from Farfetch.