Rare Barack Obama-inspired pair of Nikes removed from auction site
The pair of white Nike Hyperdunk shoes, of which only two units were made, was set to auction for $25,000 at Sothebys
Luxury auctioneer Sotheby was scheduled Friday to sell an exclusive pair of Nike sneakers designed in honor of former President Barack Obama, but the shoes were withdrawn without explanation, according to news reports.
The pair of white Nike Hyperdunks, size 12.5, had a dark blue Nike “swoosh” emblem and the number “44,” signifying Obama’s presidency, with blue and red stitching was embroidered on the inner side of each shoe. On the tongue flap was the presidential logo. The insoles featured the number “1776” and a bald eagle.
According to Forbes, the design came from a special 2008 Nike Hyperdunk called “United We Rise” for the Beijing Summer Olympics. The shoes were made for that year’s U.S. Basketball team, dubbed “The Redeem Team,” who won gold that summer. The star-studded team featured LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwayne Wade and the late Kobe Byrant.
Sotheby stated that only two pairs of these special Nike Hyperdunks had been made. Obama was given the first pair in 2009, while the pair that was set for sale had never been worn. The shoes were slated to go sale late Friday afternoon with the asking price of $25,000.
The shoes were authenticated by Sotheby’s director of eCommerce development, Brahm Wachter, who stated he was confident that Nike produced the special sneakers.
However, the company that provided the shoes for sale at Sotheby had pulled them without explanation, CNN reports. The company has not been disclosed at this time. The removal of the shoes was disclosed by Derek Parsons, a Sotheby spokesperson.
“I can confirm the item was withdrawn from sale at the request of the consignor,” Parsons said.
Forbes reports that despite the pricey cost of the Obama Hyperdunks, it is still eclipsed by Michael Jordan’s Air Jordan 1’s, which sold at a 2020 auction for a record $615,000.
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