Spike Lee’s Gold Air Jordan Sneakers Sell For $50,000 At Auction

Spike Lee’s gold Air Jordans landed at an Oregon shelter before getting auctioned with estimates between $15,000 to $20,000.

Who would have thought that a pair of shiny, gold Nike sneakers would make its way into a donation pile at an Oregon shelter? The gold Air Jordan 3 belonged to filmmaker Spike Lee that came in a 12 ½ size. 

Sotheby’s enlisted the sneakers for auction, which reached a cost estimate of around $15,000 to $20,000. They sold for $50,800 as per the auction company’s website. The shoes landed at the Portland Rescue Mission in the spring. 

READ ALSO: Dazzling In White: The 2015 Porsche 918 ‘Weissach’ Spyder Sells For $3.9 Million At Car Auction

Found at a donation chute

The Associated Press reported that the shoes were anonymously left at the Portland Rescue Mission’s donation chute. 

A former homeless man who is in the shelter’s long term program found them while looking through the donations. He alerted the staff of what he found, which was a bright pair of gold Air Jordan sneakers in the bottom of the bins. Portland Rescue Mission’s blog narrated that the man set the shoes aside as they were in good condition.

Spike Lee’s Gold Air Jordan 3
Spike Lee’s Gold Air Jordan 3/Photo from Sotheby’s website

“We could tell they looked identical to a custom pair of Air Jordans made by Nike designer Tinker Hatfield for Spike Lee to wear on the red carpet for the 2019 Academy Awards,” the blog narrated. Lee won his first Oscar during the same year.

Filmmaker Spike Lee, who formerly owned the gold Air Jordan 3
Filmmaker Spike Lee, who formerly owned the gold Air Jordan 3/Photo via Instagram @goodregent

Early offer of $10,000 for the gold Air Jordan

Portland Rescue Mission’s blog continued on, saying the shoes may be fakes because why else would real ones end up getting donated? 

The shelter performed their due diligence through reaching out to various sneaker experts on what to do with them. They asked a sneaker shop (its name undisclosed) on how to identify fakes while having the shoes checked and the clerk went to ask the shop owner for help. 

The owner went back to face the shelter representative and offered to buy the shoes on the spot for $10,000 or to “consign them in his store for a potentially larger return.”

The pair of gold Air Jordan 3 was found in an Oregon shelter’s donation chute
The pair of gold Air Jordan 3 was found in an Oregon shelter’s donation chute/Photo from Portland Rescue Mission’s website

The owner explained that the sneakers were produced by Nike for Lee, and that they are some of the most rare and collectible shoes on the market. They added that these were not Lee’s personal pair but they are one of the four or five pairs which was created for them.

Happy ending to a great project

The shelter reached out to both Sotheby’s and creator Hatfield instead. The blog remarked that the auction company had at least one pair of the shoes that sold in 2021. According to the shelter, Sotheby’s expressed excitement upon acquiring the shoes to include on its luxury sneaker auction this 2023. 

Sotheby’s said that Hatfield quickly authenticated the pair of shoes. He expressed relief that it ended up with the shelter and was a happy ending to a really great project.

Tinker Hatfield with the gold Nike Air Jordan 3
Tinker Hatfield with the gold Nike Air Jordan 3/Photo from Sotheby’s website

Hatfield expressed enthusiasm as well and agreed to donate a previously unpublished design concept board. This contained the design process of Hatfield with Lee before the sneakers were produced. He included a box for the shoes and agreed to autograph all the memorabilia to increase the auction value.

Tinker Hatfield signs the memorabilia that came with the gold Air Jordan 3
Tinker Hatfield signs the memorabilia that came with the gold Air Jordan 3/Photo from Sotheby’s website

“We hope the buyer will treasure them for its distinctive design,” Portland Rescue Mission’s director of staff ministries Erin W. Holcomb said in the Nike Jordan 3’s letter of provenance

Banner photo from Sotheby’s website.

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