Sneakers to stilettos: The most expensive shoes in the world
A tastefully curated outfit can always be elevated by the perfect pair of shoes. From high-performance sneakers to classic formal pairs, expensive shoes are the new status symbols. Hence, the most expensive shoes in the world are considered some of the best investments.
Encrusted with diamonds and white gold, crafted with exotic leather or made iconic by celebrities, these exquisite shoes cost a fortune, and rightfully, occupy a niche segment in the fashion industry. Such is the demand of this market that in April 2023, the Nike Air Jordan 13 sneakers which Michael Jordan wore at the 1998 NBA Finals became the most expensive sneakers to be ever sold. Auctioned by Sotheby’s, the pair went under the hammer for a whopping USD 2.2 million.
Wondering what makes certain shoes so valuable? Our list of the most expensive shoes in the world will tell you why.
These are some of the most expensive shoes in the world
Moon Star shoes
Price: USD 19.9 million
Unveiled in 2019 in a luxury yacht in Dubai Marina, the Moon Star shoes occupy the top spot among the most expensive shoes in the world. The coveted pair features solid gold heels and 30 carats of diamonds.
Created as a part of the Made in Italy, Designed in Emirates (MIDE) Fashion Week, the Antonio Vietri pair is a sight to behold. This iconic shoe is as celestial as its name suggests. This is because it incorporates a piece of a fallen meteorite discovered in Argentina in 1576.
Passion diamond shoes
Price: USD 17 million
These diamond shoes take the concept of luxury shoes to a whole new level. One of the most expensive stiletto heel pumps in the world, this pair is the brainchild of Jada Dubai and Passion Jeweller. The shoes feature two sizeable 15-carat diamonds and hundreds of rare stones.
With a pure gold construct and a lace of precious diamonds, the Passion diamond shoes dethroned the Debbie Wingham high heels as the most expensive shoe in 2018. It was unveiled at the Burj Al Arab Hotel in Dubai.
Debbie Wingham high heels
Price: USD 15.1 million
Touted as one of the most expensive shoes in the world, this pair was made by British fashion designer and cake maker Debbie Wingham along with contemporary artist Chris Campbell. It was commissioned by an anonymous UK client with a diamond portfolio.
The leather stiletto is brushed with 24-karat gold paint. Meant to replicate a cake, the decadent design features rare large pink and blue diamonds worth nearly USD 13 million. Besides these, there are four flawless three-carat white diamonds, 1,000 pointer diamonds lining the icing-on-the-cake-like detailing and a leather Iranian jasmine flower on each shoe. All these stones are inlaid in platinum while the zippers and plaque beneath the shoes are made of solid gold.
Harry Winston ruby slippers
Price: USD 3 million
The original ruby slippers gained iconic status in the history of filmmaking after they became the main accessory of the Wizard of Oz (1939) protagonist, Dorothy Gale (Judy Garland). Marking the 50th anniversary of the movie, renowned jewellery house Harry Winston made a tribute version of the shoes in 1989. A two-month-long creative endeavour resulted in the pair studded with 4,600 rubies and 50 carats worth of diamonds.
The expensive pair is a dazzling specimen of master craftsmanship and artistry that the house is known for.
Stuart Weitzman Rita Hayworth Heels
Price: USD 3 million
Luxury shoe brand Stuart Weitzman has created many iconic pairs and this expensive piece is no exception. Made for actress Rita Hayworth, the open-toe stilettos flaunt sapphires, diamonds, and rubies. The sienna satin pair proves that over-the-top footwear doesn’t need to have flashy colours to outshine other dazzling pieces.
One of the most iconic and expensive shoes by the brand, these are not up for sale. They belong to Hayworth’s daughter, Princess Yasmin Aga Khan.
Stuart Weitzman Cinderella slippers
Price: USD 2 million
In 2004, singer Alison Krauss performed two songs from Cold Mountain (2003) at the Academy Awards. What turned heads, besides her beautiful performance, that night was the gorgeous Stuart Weitzman shoes she donned. The country and bluegrass singer looked like Cinderella herself in the nearly 11.5 cm heeled Italian leather stiletto. The pair was studded with 565 Kwiat diamonds.
Stuart Weitzman tanzanite heels
Price: USD 2 million
Another one of Stuart Weitzman’s greatest hits, these expensive shoes are what dreams are made of. A collaborative product of Weitzman and jewellery designer Eddie LeVian in 2006, these strappy heels of 11.5 cm support a silver footbed. The pair comprises 185 carats of tanzanites and 28 carats of diamonds — a departure from other Stuart Weitzman creations which use only one kind of gem.
Additionally, it has a teardrop tanzanite hanging from the ankle strap and several oval and pear-shaped ones studded all over. The pair made its debut in 2007 at the New York public library.
Tom Ford custom loafers
Price: USD 2 million
America’s Got Talent host Nick Cannon made a luxury statement when he appeared at the season finale in 2014 wearing one of the most expensive shoes in the world. The custom Tom Ford shoes were worth the whopping price for their sheer opulence. According to Women’s Wear Daily, 14,000 full-cut round white diamonds are set on white gold, weighing a total of 340 carats, in the loafers.
It took 2,000 hours and nearly a year to complete the stunning piece commissioned by jeweller Jason Arasheben of the brand Jason of Beverly Hills.
Stuart Weitzman Diamond Dream Stilettos
Price: USD 500,000
The mastery of Stuart Weitzman is unmissable in this stunning pair which finds itself on the list of one of the most expensive shoes in the world. Created for Dreamgirls (2006) actress, Anika Noni Rose’s 2007 Academy Awards appearance, it features platinum toe straps and 1,420 diamonds. The stones are set in two platinum bands on top of the foot, with each shoe carrying 30 carats of diamonds.
Nizam Sikandar Jah’s shoes
Price: USD 160,000
A pair of expensive shoes with a regal history — the Nizam Sikandar Jah’s shoes are one of the most precious artefacts displayed at the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto, Canada. Worn by the Nizam of Hyderabad (India) in the 1790s, the shoes are hand embroidered with gold thread and feature rubies, diamonds, emeralds and other gemstones.
According to a Times of India report, the shoes were stolen from the museum but later found in a nearby church. The pair was then insured for the aforementioned amount and became an illustrious item at the museum.
Nike air mag
Price: USD 100,000
While the Nike Air Mag was first launched for public sale in 2011, it was not until 2016 that the popular patented auto-lacing technology was added to the upgrades. On being released, about 100 pieces were sold in support of the Michael J. Fox Foundation, of which one pair fetched the above-mentioned price.
However, these shoes retail for an average of USD 26,000. The kicks reportedly have LED panels that can glow for five hours with the help of the built-in battery. Additionally, these become the first rechargeable sneakers from Nike.
Air Jordan silver shoes
Price: USD 60,000
Although this pair of Air Jordans is a comparatively easy buy, it is clad in rich Michael Jordan history. Extremely comfortable to wear, these basketball shoes have silver detailing and are autographed by the legend himself. Reportedly, the sporting legend’s wife gifted him the sneakers on his 32nd birthday, and since then only 10 pairs were released, which are owned by private collectors.
(Main and feature image credit: Image credit: Debbie Wingham/ @debbie_wingham/Instagram)
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