Nike has created some of the world’s most expensive and unique shoes and sneakers since it was founded in 1964. With sneakers made in collaboration with incredible artists, for great causes, and for tremendous sports influences, there are more colourways and options than you can fathom.
With thousands of sneakers, here are the 25 most unique Nike shoes globally. Fair warning, though, if you set your sights on some of these sneakers, you might need to cough up a pretty penny to get your hands on them.
1. Air Yeezy 2 SP “Red October”
While it has two companion colourways, “Red October” is especially famous for its monochromatic scarlet shade, beautifully contrasted by metallic gold lace tips. There are also plenty of exciting design elements to the sneakers, like different textures and patterns, like the wall of triangular studs near the heel.
The sneakers are made particularly famous because they were designed as a part of Kanye West’s short-lived collaboration with Nike and released after the contract had ended. Because of this, and a limited release, the sneakers are highly sought-after and expensive. As a result, you can find prices for these sneakers between $7,640 and $50,004.
2. Air Max 1 Golf NRG “Grass”
These sneakers are designed specifically for the golf course if the inspiration needs to be more straightforward. Originally a lifestyle running sneaker, this model was explicitly repurposed for golfers, with functional and whimsical changes for that purpose.
The tufty material of the upper is clearly inspired by the green turf of the golf range, while the usually smooth sole of the sneakers was adapted with a new traction formula to be perfect for the green.
These sneakers can range from anywhere between $755 to $2,002, or more, depending on the size and where you are looking to buy them from. There’s one thing for certain, these are the most unique Nike shoes we’ve ever seen.
3. Nike Adapt BB “Black”
Inspired by the auto-lacing feature of the next sneaker on the list, Nike decided to bring technology into the world of sneakers, and far beyond just lights, in a wide variety of colourways (including one inspired by its predecessor, the Nike Mag).
The technology of the sneaker has been dubbed FitAdapt, which allows you to control the lacing, the pressure and fit of the sneakers, and the lights, all using the Nike Adapt app. All these features are controlled by a processing unit with a motor in the midsole (complete with Bluetooth, by the way) that can tighten or loosen the laces, adapt the Flyknit upper to perfectly fit the contours of the foot, and change the colours of the lights on the sneakers.
While the sneakers can be expensive depending on which market you are searching, you can find pairs for as little as $175 to $605 if you know where to look.
4. Nike Mag (Back to the Future)
First envisioned in the 1989 film Back to the Future II, the Nike Mag started as a concept brought to life through special effects in Hollywood. However, the movie was set in 2015, and the Nike brand decided to make it their mission to bring the sci-fi sneaker to life before then.
The sneakers aren’t exactly the same as what you might have seen in the film; although they did have a control to tighten the straps, they were still a visual match to the film’s sneakers, with electroluminescent Nike Swoosh logos, battery-powered glowing LEDs, and the classic ‘moon boot’ appearance.
The sneakers saw a limited release of only 1500 pairs sold through an auction where 100% of the proceeds went directly to Michael J. Fox’s Foundation, which funded research on Parkinson’s Disease.
These days, depending on where you are looking, you can expect to pay anywhere between $11,095 to $49,955 for these sneakers.
5. Nathan Bell x Zoom Fly SP “Doodles”
A designer and artist of pop art in LA, Nathan Bell, brought us these adorable sneakers with playful illustrations that he designed.
Released on Valentine’s Day in 2019, it’s no wonder that the exterior is a light pink that almost seems white unless you compare it against a white backdrop. The designs that cover the upper are motivational doodles, inspiring users with messages about bringing the running life into your own life like ‘Try & Stop Me’ and ‘Soul vs. Sole’.
While you might think these are mostly lifestyle sneakers because of how adorable they are, they are actually functioning running sneakers with a stretch-woven upper and Flywire technology, which are supported by a microsuede arch and Lunarlon foam cushioning to help you maintain momentum and ease while running.
If you know where to look, these sneakers can be found on the market for anywhere between $292 and $755.
6. Waffle Racing Flat “Moon Shoe”
These Nike shoes are unique and incredibly rare, as only 12 pairs of sneakers were ever made, and by hand at that. The handmade feature made every pair unique, unable to be replicated perfectly each time.
The sneakers were made by Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman, who was also famous for being a legendary Oregon University track coach. The story goes that he got the idea for the waffle pattern of the sole from playing around with his wife’s waffle iron.
It is virtually improbable that you will get a pair of these sneakers, but possible. In 2019, a pair of unworn Nike Waffle Racing Flat “Moon Shoe” sneakers was sold for $437,500 at auction.
7. Custom “Space Jam” Retro Jordan 12 by Sierato
This is truly a one-of-a-kind sneaker that brought custom sneaker creation into the public eye and made it a sought-after commodity in the sneakerhead community.
Inspired by the 1996 film of the same name, starring Michael Jordan as himself, it’s a no-brainer that the sneakers usually connected to his name were designed in his honour.
You can watch Sierato’s full video as he designs the custom sneakers from start to finish and changes some plain sneakers into an art piece.
8. Air Jordan 4 “SNES US” Customs
Another pair of custom sneakers, these Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) inspired sneakers, were created by FreakerSNEAKS and were sold in a minimal release on their website. Only 10 Sneakers were made and sold at $1,250 a pair.
These sneakers’ grey and purple colourway was inspired by the US edition of the SNES console and had a few design elements that paid homage to the retro console. The features include screenshots of the legendary arcade sports game NBA Jam on the tongue, working buttons installed on the heel in the shape of the controller’s D-pad and the four-button layout.
Finding a pair of these sneakers out in the wild is challenging.
9. Air Jordan 4 “NES” Customs
Before the Air Jordan 4 “SNES US” custom sneakers came into being, FreakerSNEAKS released the Air Jordan 4 “NES” customs with a similar theme, paying homage to the classic Nintendo Entertainment System this time.
Using the classic gaming system colours of off-white, red and black, these sneakers honoured classic titles like Super Mario Bros. and the shooter Duck Hunt on the tongues this time. Other elements, like the pressable D-pad and the A/B buttons built into the heel, were similar. They also had a custom cartridge hangtag to pay homage to the retro format of the games.
These sneakers were also released in a highly-limited batch of 10 and are extremely difficult to find. Hence the reason why they’re on our Most Unique Nike Shoes list.
10. Glass Sneakers
This glass pair of Nike Air Max 1s seem too good to be true, and that is because they are. Being completely clear, with gold for the laces and the Nike Swoosh, looking for them will bring you to plenty of Pinterest pages where other people are looking for them. You might find some scam sites as well.
As far as we can tell, these are artificially generated sneakers. The closest we can get to the illusion of having Cinderella’s sneakers, for now, is the Nike Air Force 1 Upstep Hi LX “Glass Slipper”, fully adorned with sequins in the colours of Cinderella’s slippers.
If you manage to find the glass sneakers, let us know! They are certainly amongst the most unique Nike shoes of all time.
11. Nike Air Force 1 Low 1WORLD CLOT (Special Box)
Entirely inspired by the Chinese New Year and designed by Hong Kong Clothing Brand CLOT, these sneakers are a masterpiece. Inspired by the tradition of giving sweet goods to loved ones to ensure a sweet year, the sneakers come in a beautiful hexagonal box inspired by the traditional sweet box. The bottom of the box is where you can find the sneakers, while the top has a tray for multiple lace variations.
The sneakers are also beautiful, with the classic Nike Air Force 1 Low silhouette. At the same time, the upper is made of patterned red silk, with traditional symbols of elements and decorations that you would find at a Chinese New Year’s Festival or celebration.
These stunning sneakers can be found on auction sites for as much as $9,392 on StockX.
12. Air Yeezy (Grammy Prototype)
Yet another creation during the collaboration between Kanye West and Nike, these sneakers were unveiled in a prototype by Ye himself when he wore them to the Grammys. The pair worn at the tie is available for viewing and private sale on the Sotheby’s auction website. However, there has yet to be a current estimate on what they expect it to sell for.
The sneakers’ construction itself includes a high-top design dominated by black leather, including perforated panels for the vamp and the tongue.
Some exciting design elements include a glow-in-the-dark outsole and a translucent red lace lock. Almost inspired by the Air Jordan 16’s magnetic shroud, there is also a midfoot strap to ensure a locked-in fit for extra security.
13. Nike Air Max 1 “Tokyo Maze”
Designed by Tokyo native Yuta Takuman, who won the On-Air contest, the designer had the chance to create her very own pair of Nike Air Max sneakers inspired by the city she calls home.
The monochromatic “Tokyo Maze” sneakers pay homage to the labyrinth that is Tokyo’s intricate subway system. At the same time, a visible red Max Air unit is installed as a nod to the iconic Tokyo Tower.
If you look closely at the sneakers, one appears darker than the other, an eye-catching design element. You will definitely be turning heads in these sneakers. These Nike shoes are relatively easy to come by, but they are definitely one of the most unique.
14. Air Jordan 1 Retro High “Craig Sager” Sample
These stunning, pattern-blocking sneakers were made to honour the career of legendary sports reporter Craig Sager. Famous for wearing his extravagant suits courtside and always having a cheerful attitude, he was a loved figure in the NBA community.
The sneakers themselves were designed with many of the suits that he would wear in mind, including elements of monochromatic hound’s tooth patterning, multicolour pinstripes, and red and black plaid, as well as different colour outsoles, yellow for the one and blue for the other.
Only two pairs of sneakers were ever made, and one was given to Craig Sager during his battle with Leukaemia, while the other is reportedly owned by DJ Khalid, an avid sneakerhead himself.
15. Air Force 1 “Paint Splatter”
This fun sneaker design was first thought into being by Bruce Kilgore and includes paint splatters, speckling, drips, and painterly mess in any shape and form you can think of, at random, but still looking cohesive.
This Nike shoe design was released in April 2021, and while it might be easy to get your hands on a pair of these, they are unique. In addition, buyers have said that no two are alike because of the exciting paint job.
16. Macklemore x Air Jordan 6 “Cactus” Sample
It’s no secret that Nike works with notable rappers worldwide. Still, one of their most expensive collaborations is with the American rapper Macklemore.
The rapper had 23 pairs of sneakers made in flooded suede in two different colourways that he lovingly dubbed “Cactus” and “Clay”, which were handed out to friends and family of the rapper. Unfortunately, this pair hasn’t seen that treatment, unlike other rapper samples eventually released on the public market.
Bidding on a pair of these “Cactus” sneakers usually costs around $4,266, but a pair has sold for as much as $25,000.
17. Air Jordan 16 “Light Ginger”
When the “Light Ginger” colourway of the famously more business-like Air Jordan 16 first dropped, it wasn’t a favourite. However, since then, the sneakers have become highly sought after because there are so few available, and the colour is reminiscent of the famous fashion statement, Timberland boots.
The Air Jordan 16 line was inspired by dress shoes and shoes worn with spats, or the Air Jordan 16 “shroud”. The magnetic covering covers the main sneaker underneath, making it look more formal and providing extra support.
Luckily for those looking for these sneakers, they are relatively easy to find and have certificates of authenticity.
18. SB Dunk Low “Freddy Krueger”
Most people have never even heard of these sneakers before, let alone seen a pair in real life. The sneakers were designed to honour the horror legend Freddy Krueger from Nightmare on Elm Street.
Every single element of the sneakers is designed by the nightmare walker, from the leather with splatters that emulate slasher effects, the upper that looks like the black and red jersey that the character wears, and even the metallic silver Nike Swoosh that is modelled after the blades of the glove that he wears.
Unfortunately, only a handful of samples for these sneakers were made. They were never released to the public because Nike received a cease-and-desist letter from the creators of Nightmare on Elm Street.
A pair of these sneakers recently sold for a whopping $29,000, so if you are a massive horror movie fan that also loves sneakers, be prepared to get your hands on one of the 30 rumoured pairs of sneakers to exist.
19. Dunk High “Wu-Tang”
In celebration of one of the most prolific free-style rap solo and rap groups in American history, Nike created the Nike Dunk High “Wu-Tang” in 1999.
The “Black” and “Goldenrod” colourway was created as part of the special “Be True” release that complemented the 1998 album The Swarm by the Wu-Tang Killa Beez. However, only 36 pairs of these sneakers were ever made, and initially, they were exclusively for friends and family.
The colourway is complemented by the signature Wu-Tang W emblem on the back, an easy way to know whether your pair is the real deal.
While pairs of these sneakers have sold for as much as $18,954 at auction before, a pair is sold by a luxury consigner for $50,000. Yet another unique pair of Nike shoes you will pay an arm and a leg to get your hands on.
20. Hyperfr3Sh QS “Palm Trees”
Bringing this list back into the reality of what is realistic for most sneakerheads, these Nike Hyperfr3SH QS “Palm Trees” get us back to earth with their sleek, colourful, and functional design.
These sneakers were made after the Air Zoom Gaiadome style, adapted for lifestyle and running to maximise comfort and functionality without weighing you down.
The sneakers come in a ton of different colourways. Still, some of the more popular colourways are the monochromatic “Black/White” colourway and the colourful “Blue Lagoon/Pink Blast” colourway, both of which give you the illusion of palm silhouettes on your sneakers, the latter being at a beautiful sunset.
These sneakers are definitely more affordable, with resale prices being as manageable as $100 for a pair, depending on the size you are looking for.
21. Travis Scott x Air Jordan 4 Retro “Purple Suede”
Travis Scott is famously known for working with Nike and the Jordan brands, but this sneaker wasn’t created for selling. Instead, these sneakers were exclusively made for friends and family in 2019. Scott could be seen wearing them at several events.
Dominated by the namesake purple suede and complemented with black grid mesh, matte lacewings, and semi-translucent eye stays, the sneakers also come complete with the Cactus Jack branding that you will find on a Travis Scott pair of sneakers.
Being a trendy design, you are more likely to find customs of these sneakers than resales, as skilled sneaker artists have put the pedal to the metal, using leather and suede scraps to recreate these signature sneakers.
That being said, a pair was sold on Sotheby’s auction website for an estimated $28,000-$35,000.
22. Eminem x Carhartt x Air Jordan 4 “Black Chrome”
These limited edition “Carhartt” Air Jordan 4 sneakers are one of Eminem’s most coveted collaborations with Nike, made exclusively for select family and friends in 2015.
10 additional pairs were made for auction on eBay, with the proceeds from the money going to support Michigan State University’s Community Music School’s efforts, and raised $227,000 for the cause.
One feature that makes these Nike shoes unique is the black Carhartt twill upper, complemented by metallic silver lace tabs and a contrasting white midsole. The signature Eminem elements are also visible on the heel, with a backwards “E” for the rapper and a Jason Voorhees mask from Friday the 13th.
If you want to add these sneakers to your collection, you can expect to fork out about $22,500-$30,005.
23. SB Dunk Low London
These Nike SB Dunk Low London sneakers were created as part of the 2003 exhibit for London’s White Dunk: Evolution of an Icon event that was eventually cancelled.
Only 202 pairs of sneakers were reportedly made, making their rarity one of the attractions of the sneakers.
Featuring a relatively simple and monochromatic “Soft-Grey/Magnet” colourway, the sneakers are elegant and sophisticated, with an embroidered representation of the River Thames on the side heel panel. The sneakers are a perfect ensemble of light and dark grey, with the light on the toe, Swoosh near the heel, and dark on the other lurkers.
While there are only so many pairs of these sneakers worldwide, some pairs have sold for as much as $17,334 at auction.
24. SB Dunk Low Pro Reese Forbes “Denim”
Famous for being Reese Forbes’ second-ever collaboration with Nike SB and being designed in partnership with skateboarder Natas Kaupas, these sneakers are sought after for the names attached and the look.
The design features two shades of indigo Denim with frayed detailing at the ends of each panel for an already-worn-in look. At the same time, the combination of denim and red was chosen to resemble an Americana look and was released in 2002.
These sneakers can sell for anywhere from $9,999 to $14,516 on bidding sites and $16,700 on Sotheby’s with guaranteed authenticity.
25. SB Dunk Low “Yellow Lobster”
You might be wondering why these sneakers were named this way, and you have every right to because it’s rather strange. According to the story, the chances of finding a yellow lobster in a lobster trap are roughly one in 40 million, and the rarity is where these sneakers really got their namesake from.
These “Golden Ochre/Terra Brown” sneakers were created for friends, and Nike SB employees only and never made it to the retail market. The colours that these sneakers came in also include red, blue, green and purple.
Sales of these limited-release sneakers start anywhere from $29,000 to $42,634 and can be found on sites like StockX and Sotheby’s website.