Did Michael Johnson’s Iconic Gold Nike Shoes Have Real Gold? How Much Are They Worth Today?

Published 12/03/2021, 10:00 AM EST

Ever since Michael Johnson started running, fans knew he would get gold. Not only did he win medals, but his incredible running style was also a treat to watch as he broke many world records during the 1990s. A fashion icon on the track, Johnson donned a neat pair of gold shoes during the Olympic Games.

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Significantly, these gold-made shoes have been in the limelight for a long time. Nike designed them for Johnson as it became a mainstay for the athlete in many Olympic events. Hence, these shoes are now selected to be kept at the Museum of World Athletics. So how costly were these shoes?

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Shoes made of gold for Michael Johnson

The athletics legend spoke about those shoes in a press conference. He loved those shoes for the authenticity they provided while loving all the recognition he got during that time. He has three golden shoes, as he reveals the most special ones in his career.

“Although the 2000 shoe is made with actual 14 carat gold in the material, thus making them shinier, the 1996 shoe is my favourite because these Gold Shoes were an actual media phenomenon! The amount of secrecy involved with the shoes’ clandestine development and historical Olympic debut created one of the strongest identities an athlete has ever had with his or her footwear,” said Johnson.

The shoe is a part of the World Athletics Heritage Collection as the creation of the shoes owes to the thermoplastic-Zytel. The shoes’ estimated worth comes up to an estimated $30,000- $50,000. Moreover, he earned the nickname, ‘The Man with the Golden Shoes’. Out of those three shoes, the 1996 Atlanta Olympics saw the debut of the first pair of golden shoes. He became the first man to win both the 200 and 400-meters race competitions. Likewise, the 2000 Sydney Olympics saw him wearing the next pair; while the third one got worn in 2001, during his last race. Hence, these three golden shoes are iconic.

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Engineered to perfection

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If social media existed in those days, these shoes would have been on everyone’s wishlist. Nike engineered them to perfection with smooth designs and catchy looks. The unique style, crafted for Johnson, was lightweight while helping him to run comfortably. They are asymmetrical while having mismatched soles. The attention to detail is spellbinding with the curves of the track taken into complete consideration.

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They also created spike plates that matched his exact running style while running between curves. They clocked a speed of 20 miles per hour during a test for those shoes. As Michael Johnson wanted these shoes to be created to perfection, Nike sat day and night to give him the best shoes possible. Hence, these gold shoes are a slice of history.

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Jacob Gijy

1240 articles

Jacob Gijy is a US Sports and NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Gijy finished his Masters in Counselling Psychology and worked in a hospital for 2 years before his passion for sports compelled him to find his way to sports journalism. A fan of the great Tim Duncan, he is always ready to pick up a debate with anyone who does not offer the center the respect he deserves.

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