The Most Expensive Sneakers of 2020 (So Far)

The year 2020 has been tumultuous to say that least. However, despite massive disruptions to the industry and the globe at large, the hype train has showed no signs of slowing down. Nay, it has reached perhaps previously unseen heights!

Delays hit releases hard, and brands have scaled back their product rollouts. Yet still, the heavy-hitting drops made a splash and saw resell prices buck the belt-tightening we’ve seen in other areas of the industry. Whether fans were whipped into a frenzy by a sweet SB treat, or piled on debt to fund high-fashion flyers, it’s been a hell of a six months for the sneakersphere (and our wallets).

Here’s a look at the sneakers that fetched the big bucks in the first half 2020.

WTAPS x New Balance 992

Average resale price: $1400 (R23 277,66)

New Balance deserves all the credit right now. The brand is heating up its archival styles with well-timed retros, creating excitement around brand new models, and shifting its collaboration strategy to focus on a more diverse set of partners. This time it brought in stalwart Harajuku streetwear label WTAPS to rework the 992, a shoe enjoying the cresting wave of excitement around its chunky 99X series of runners. It also made sure that people could only find the shoes where they could find WTAPS—only retailers carrying the brand got allotments. That tight distribution resulted in one of the most resellable New Balance projects in years.

Travis Scott x Nike SB Dunk Low

Average resale price: $8400 (R139 665,96)

A lot of people are upset that this sneaker exists, and that really doesn’t make any sense to us. Sure, SB Dunks have been around for a whole lot longer than Travis Scott, and the “golden era” of Dunks has nothing to do with the rapper. But, the current era of SB that we are in and the line’s increasing popularity has a lot to do with La Flame wearing what feels like a new pair of mid-2000 era Dunks everyday and driving the resale price up each time. So, the next logical step was for Nike to give one of its top collaborators an SB Dunk of its own. Tear-away uppers, a wearable colorway, and another Nike SNKRS fiasco combined with everything mentioned lends to this shoe being Scott’s most valuable sneaker collaboration to date.

Air Jordan ‘New Beginnings’ Pack

Average resale price: $2300 (R38 241,87)

For the past couple of years the equation went like this:

Release Air Jordan 1 = licence to print money

We’ve seen that trend continue throughout 2020, of course, but the Jordan ‘New Beginnings’ Pack upped the ante even further. Coupling the Swoosh’s first-ever retro of the Air Ship with a crisp red and white Air Jordan 1, it made for a good thwack of early MJ nostalgia… And a good thwack to the wallet for anyone looking to pick up the historic release on the aftermarket.

Ben & Jerry’s x Nike SB Dunk Low ‘Chunky Dunky’

Average resale price: $2000 (R33 253,80)

Back in May, Ben & Jerry’s and Nike served up a sweet treat that had the whole sneakersphere salivating. The craziest Dunk in a year of crazy Dunks, the colab’s polarising aesthetic didn’t stop people chomping at the desert spoon to get a pair.

Special packaging was gifted to a special few, that now fetches upwards of an icecream-headache-inducing 4K on resell. For those who can’t stand that much pain, you’ll still have to scoop out $2300 for the normal release. Still very ouch.

Dior x Air Jordan 1 ‘Air Dior’

Average resale price: $15,500 (R257 716,95)

Annnnnnd, this comes as no surprise at all. Considering the Dior x Air Jordan 1 ‘Air Dior’ retailed for $1800, this was a shoe-in to take out top spot in the resell stakes.

It released in relative scarcity, and its sky-high retail price has resulted, unsurprisingly, in an eye-watering aftermarket price. Judging by the amount of sales on StockX, people are willing to hand over the stacks – currently they’re asking over 15K.