In the autumn of 1985, Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls suffered a career-pausing broken bone in his left ankle in the middle of one of the Bulls' signature winning streaks. Before coming back to the court in November of that year, a special, customized pair of Nike Air Jordan 1 sneakers was commissioned to provide MJ the additional support his healing ankle needed while he played, with support features made out of aluminum and nylon added to the sneakers. Thanks to those unique customized features as well as their obvious historical importance, the sneakers in question are the crown jewel in the rare assortment of shoes authenticated to have been worn by Jordan during his storied basketball career. That explains why they were recently auctioned off for a princely $55,000 over the course of four days of bidding in Dallas, Texas overseen by Heritage Auctions. Heritage's director of sports collectibles Chris Ivy had this to say about the shoes in a press statement:
"For a global audience of Jordan collectors, this is as good as it gets. Only a tiny handful of game worn Jordan I's are known to exist, and this unique pair is by far the rarest and most desirable of that breed, as our result would confirm."
$55,000 is the most ever paid for a pair of sneakers in this style, but the buyer is apparently uninterested in soaking up any publicity from breaking that record, as he or she has chosen to remain anonymous.
The sneakers themselves have long been highly sought by collectors, and feature Jordan's own inscription on the tongue of one of the shoes.