Eminem has had a long if not sparse relationship with Nike. From the Air Max Burst in 2003 to an Air Jordan 3 worn at this year’s Super Bowl, the rapper has partnered with the brand on several limited-edition sneakers on an irregular basis. One of the rarest of them all is now up for sale, and just in time for Air Max Day.
Cleanin’ out his (shoe) closet — A pair of Nike Air Max 97s created in 2006 as part of Eminem’s “Charity Series” has been listed on TheRealReal for $50,000. Seven other Air Max sneakers were made for the eBay auction and invoke distinct elements of his life — the Air Max 1, Air Max 90, Air Max 93, AirMax 180, Air Max 95, Air Max 360, and Air Max 2003. Only 64 pairs total from all eight styles were made available at auction, with some models made only as an edition of one.
The Air Max 97 saw seven pairs released and pays homage to Shady Records, the record label founded by ‘Em and his manager Paul Rosenberg in 1999. Brown and gold make up the shoes’ base with construction out of leather, suede, and other plush materials. Translucent blue appears on the Air sole unit to match blue striping, while orange decorates the heel tab, sidewall Swoosh panels, and insoles.
More personal detailing is found on the shoes’ toe boxes, where a Shady Records logo and a “D-12 and Big Proof 4 ever!” message were printed to look like they were written in sharpie. D-12 refers to the Detroit hip-hop group founded in 1995 by Eminem, Proof, Bizarre, D Ratt, B-Flat, Mr. Porter, and Eye Kyu. Proof, one of Eminem’s closest friends, was fatally shot in 2006, and inspired several details throughout the Nike “Charity Series.”
The RealReal Slim Shady — A men’s size 10 of the Air Max 97 is available now on The RealReal’s website with a fixed price of $50,000. Proceeds from the original “Charity Series” auction benefitted the Marshall Mathers Foundation, and some people who got ahold of pairs went on to sell them for upwards of $7,000. Years later, the price has only gone up — but surely one stan for the man who coined the term will be willing to shell out $50,000.