Here’s Why These Ultra-Rare Eminem Nike Air Max 97s Cost $50,000 (Photos)

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Topline

A pair of limited edition Nike Air Max 97s created as part of a collaboration with rapper Eminem have been put up for sale for $50,000 in a rare market appearance.

Key Facts

The rare low top Nike Eminem Air Max 97 ‘Shady Records’ are a men’s US size 10 and feature a brown, orange and blue color scheme with a rounded toe and leather details, and were listed Tuesday on The RealReal.

A message along the shoe’s toe box – printed to look like a marker scrawl – reads “D-12 and Big Proof 4 ever!” a nod to the Detroit hip-hop group Emininem co-founded in 1995 and DeShaun Dupree Holton, Eminem’s childhood friend and fellow rapper who was fatally shot the year the sneakers came out.

Only eight pairs of the Eminem Nike Air Max 97s were created in 2006, as part of a charity series the rapper produced with Nike, his lifelong favorite shoe brand.

Proceeds from the original sales of the sneakers went to the Marshall Mathers Foundation, created to help disadvantaged youth in the Detroit area, and the United Nations campaign to aid refugee children.

Another pair of the shoes, a men’s US size 9, appeared for sale in 2017 from a Parisian seller who listed the shoes for about $7,000.

The RealReal notes in the listing that the shoes are « unwearable » due to their age and are meant for collecting, but a new pair of plain white Nike Air Max 97s retail for just $175 on Nike’s website.

Crucial Quote

“This pair of Slim Shady’s is unique because it was one of the earliest examples of a celebrity collaboration, before it was a widely-used concept,” The RealReal’s sneaker and streetwear expert Sean Conway told Forbes in a statement. « Nowadays, celebrity influence and the rise of social media play huge parts in a sneaker’s success, so we’re excited to shed light on such a throwback piece. »

Tangent

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Nike Air Max 97’s first release. Since then, the shoes have been a mainstay and were recently even incorporated into a high-fashion Comme des Garçons Homme Plus runway show. The late designer Virgil Abloh put his own spin on the silhouette as part of his brand Off-White’s collaborations with Nike.

Key Background

Eminem has collaborated with Nike on more than a dozen shoe drops since their first partnership in 2003, eight of which were a part of the charity series. “If people want to pay a ridiculous amount of money for shoes … we’ll just give it to charity,” Eminem said during a 2017 appearance of Complex‘s online “Sneaker Shopping” series. More recently, Eminem partnered with Nike for the custom ‘Air Shady’ Air Jordan 3 PEs worn by the rapper during his February Super Bowl halftime show. The Nike Eminem Air Max 97 ‘Shady Records’ were listed on the RealReal Tuesday alongside more than 100 other pairs of high-end Nike sneakers for resale to mark Air Max Day, a Nike-constructed holiday to celebrate the shoe later this week. Nike was the luxury consignment firm’s top resale brand in 2021, and realized more than double the resale value gain of any other brand, the RealReal told Forbes.

Further reading

An Extremely Rare Pair of Nikes Is Currently on Ebay (Sole Collector)

Kanye West’s First Pair Of Yeezys Sell For A Record-Breaking $1.8 Million (Forbes)

Record-Breaking Sneakers: Michael Jordan’s Shoes Sell For $615,000 (Forbes)

Air Force 1 Sneakers Inspired By ‘Entourage’ Episode Fetch $113,400 At Auction (Forbes)

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