Kicks for Kings in 2021

Running could save your life.

Aamna I. Rizvi
ILLUMINATION-Curated
4 min readJan 13, 2022

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Photo by Ficky on pexels

Whether you’re being chased by a rabid dog whose owner is hellbent that it’s a “gentle giant” or you’re teetering at the edge of 40s with a strong family history for cholesterol — running simply helps you live longer.

It wouldn’t then be an exaggeration to say a sweet pair of kicks is just as much of an essential purchase as it is a style statement. A trusty pair of sneakers needs to check many boxes; style, adjustability, durability, foot-support, and traction are a few that ensure that you get the most of out of your sneakers.

Keep reading to find out which sneakers broke the bank as collectors’ items by being the most expensive sneakers of 2021!

Kanye West’s Nike Air Yeezy 1 “Prototype”

Ladies and gentlemen, the most expensive shoe ever auctioned in the history of sneakers was named “Prototype” meaning ‘first draft’.

If there was ever a sign telling you to believe in your first drafts, this is it.

Sold at Sothesby’s private sale at $1.8 million, Yeezy 1 “Prototype” broke the record three times over of the grand 1985 Air Jordans worn by Michael Jordan that sold in 2020. Not only was this the peak moment for Kanye’s collaboration with Nike, but it also beat his previous collaboration with LV and launched Kanye’s personal Yeezy apparel business into the soaring heights of success.

Jordan 1 Retro High Trophy Room Chicago

A collector’s item now reselling at a record shattering $3,714, the Jordan’s can be just as disputed and surprising as Michael Jordan the man himself. Every year there’s one insanely hyped, limited edition of Jordans that takes the prize, and this year was no different.

The pair comes with an all-star game ticket back from the 1985 when Jordan made one of his first appearance in the NBA. The shoe itself wasn’t loved for its aesthetics initially but is sprinkled with special accents such as MJ’s signature on the heel, an air Jordan trophy logo embroidered on the insole and lastly, my personal favorite, the date of the all-star NBA match in which MJ’s team players blackballed him. The sneaker was planned to release on 10th Feb, the same date as the match date back in 1985.

Supreme x Nike SB Dunk Low Mean Green

If you’re not a fan of the alligator print, gold stars or basically anything “Mean Green” then this pair might not be for you. It is however one of the best colors out of the 4 colorway ranges debuted for this sneaker. Black, blue and burgundy models were criticized widely for the lowkey appearance while sneaker heads justified the price for this pair with its striking luxuriously ragged appearance.

Priced notoriously at a resell value of $1,932, this SB Dunk is one of the finest examples of fashion capitalism.

Nike SB Dunk Low ‘What The P-Rod’

With this sneaker, Paul Rodrigeuz now has 10 single signature shoes in his name to commemorate his lineage. This shoe has a special place for me personally because it is a visual experience before it is a sole-mate.

The shoe celebrates the vibrant colors, array of graphics and materials used for P-Rod’s run with Nike. It has a little relic or design from every P. Rod created so far. The mismatched shoelaces take it that much higher.

While many argue that this is not the most stylish shoe but more of a child’s primary color fever dream — the amalgamation of textures and embroidery hint towards a every shoe we ever had in this line, and that make this pair a collector’s item.

MSCHF x Lil Nas X ‘Satan Shoes’

Brooklyn based MSCHF and Lil Nas’s ‘Satan Shoes’ are the shoes that officially broke the internet and sold out within 1 minute of their release.

Featuring a bronze pentagram, an inverted cross, releasing specifically in 666 pairs and carrying 1 drop of human blood in the air-bubble sole — this pair of sneakers had everybody and their local priest’s attention. The initial price was $1018 referring to a bible passage about you know who. Don’t believe me? Peek the details in the video below.

More eyebrows were lifted when the MSCHF spokesperson mentioned the blood had been collected from members of art collective who “love to sacrifice for their art”.

Now reselling upwards of $2000, the shoe is only expected to climb in price due to its unique composition of blood, sweat and angel tears.

It all comes down to the ONE final question; how much would you be willing to spend on a pair of sneakers? Would you be willing to take any of these babies for a run or are they best parked in millionaire walk-in closets for now.

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Aamna I. Rizvi
ILLUMINATION-Curated

Student physician. Storyteller. Artist. Unraveling the inner workings of personal development,relationships & wellness. Join me in my pursuit for answers!