- The sneaker industry thrived in 2020.
- Hyped collaborations and a surge in demand for the Air Jordan brand helped keep the sneaker resale market hot.
- Luxury consignment platform The RealReal shared a roundup of the most expensive sneakers to sell on the platform in 2020.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
2020 was a fantastic year for sneakers, pandemic notwithstanding.
While lockdowns and store closures initially hurt production, the industry quickly bounced back, thanks to a variety of factors that helped ignite demand for certain pairs.
Across all sneakers available on resale platforms, Air Jordan soared above the rest in 2020, in part, thanks to the launch of ESPN's Michael Jordan docuseries "The Last Dance."
Read more: In the 'year of Jordan,' GOAT CEO says demand for the retro sneakers has skyrocketed for reasons other than the 'Last Dance' documentary
Beyond Air Jordan, a slew of interesting new releases this year also fueled the hype.
The controversial Ben & Jerry's-themed "Chunky Dunkys" and the Grateful Dead SBs are still fetching more than $1,100 and $700 on StockX, respectively.
Thus far, the $2 billion sneaker resale market has proven to be somewhat pandemic-proof. GOAT, a leading sneaker resale platform, saw a surge of new sellers joining the app at the start of pandemic. StockX, another leading sneaker resale platform, announced in a July report that it had surpassed 10 million lifetime sales and had its two biggest sales months ever during the months of May and June.
As 2020 draws to a close, Luxury consignment retailer The RealReal shared a roundup of the most expensive sneakers to sell on its platform in 2020. From the always popular "Back to the Future" themed Nikes to the Tom Sachs Mars Yard, here were the top sellers:
10. Nike Air Force 1 Low Scarr's Pizza
Sold for: $5,000
These sneakers were a result of a collaboration between Nike and Scarr's Pizza, a New York City restaurant. The shoes were released for friends and family in August of 2019 and were inspired by the restaurant's retro look.
9. Nike SB Dunk Low "Reese Forbes Denim"
Sold for: $5,250
Released in 2002, this sneaker marked skateboarding legend Reese Forbes' second Dunk collaboration. The denim-on-denim silhouette has made this pair iconic.
8. Nike x Tom Sachs Mars Yard Shoe 1.0
Sold for: $5,300
Designer Tom Sachs collaborated with Nike to launch this sneaker that was inspired by his experiences with NASA scientists. The sneaker initially launched in May of 2012 and was re-released in 2017.
7. Jordan 1 Retro Legends of Summer Red Glitter
Sold for: $6,500
These glittered sneakers launched during Justin Timberlake's and Jay-Z's fall 2013 "Legends of Summer" tour. At the time of the release, only a few pairs were given to fans.
6. Nike Air Force 1 Low G Dragon Peaceminusone Para Noise
Sold for: $8,000
This low-top sneaker features a yellow leather Nike swoosh and daisy embroidery on the tongue.
5. Jordan 1 Retro Legends Of Summer
Sold for: $8,000
These limited edition Jordan 1s are were also from Justin Timberlake's and Jay-Z's fall 2013 "Legends of Summer" tour. This pair only surfaced on the resale market about a year after it dropped at the concert.
4. Nike MAG "Back To The Future"
Sold for: $9,995
The shoes inspired by the ones Michael J. Fox's character Marty McFly wears in"Back to the Future Part II" was released in 2011. A product description on the Stadium Goods website describes the shoe as "perhaps the most sought-after sneaker of all time."
3. Jordan 3/8 Retro 'Kobe Bryant' PE Pack
Sold for: $11,875
The Jordan brand released these special-edition Jordans on February 14, 2016, to celebrate basketball legend Kobe Bryant. These sneakers are a tribute to Bryant's 20 years in the NBA and feature the colors of the Los Angeles Lakers.
According to Amir Azarcon, The RealReal's sneaker and streetwear expert, this limited edition pack became even more popular after the sudden death of Kobe Bryant in January.
2. Air Jordan 1 High OG Dior
Sold for: $16,500
Designer Kim Jones collaborated with the Jordan brand for this iconic Dior sneaker, which Azarcon described as the sneaker of the year. Launched in April of 2020, this pair represents a successful cross between sneaker culture and the luxury fashion space.
1. 2005 Parra x Nike Air Max 1 Hyperstrike Albert Heijn Amsterdam
Price sold for: $20,000
These sneakers were one of two pairs designed by Dutch artist Pieter Jansen (Parra Patta) that were inspired by his hometown of Amsterdam. The colors on this pair represent Albert Heijn, a Dutch supermarket chain.
"This is one of the most coveted Air Max's in the world, and this pair sold in less than 24 hours on our site," said Azarcon.
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