How much would you pay for a used pair of shoes? A few bucks, probably. What if they were owned by Steve Jobs? The amount you might be willing to put down surely goes up quite a bit. But would it go up to almost $220,000?
That’s what a pair of Birkenstocks owned by the Apple co-founder sold for over the weekend.
Never judge a man until you’ve paid ~$220,000 for his shoes
Steve Jobs passed away in 2011 after leading Apple for much of the previous three decades. He built up quite a following during that time as one of the most important figures of the computer age.
Items he’s owned come up for auction occasionally, and they typically fetch high prices. One of his business cards sold in 2021 for $12,905, for example. So when a pair of brown suede Birkenstock Arizona sandals that Jobs wore went up for auction, the estimated value fell between $60,000 and $80,000.
Not even close. The actual price the leather shoes fetched over the weekend was $218,750 at Julie’s Auction.
They’re in fairly good shape for items that are almost 50 years old.
“The sandals are well used, but still appear intact,” noted the auction house’s description. “Each sandal features its original Birkenstock adjustable buckles and Birkenstock stamping on the inner edge of the suede leather foot straps. The cork and jute footbed retains the imprint of Steve Jobs’ feet, which had been shaped after years of use.”
Iconic Steve Jobs memorabilia
After wearing the Birkenstocks in the 1970s and 1980s during the time he and Steve Wozniak founded Apple, Jobs gave the old shoes away with a bunch of other items … apparently as junk. Mark Sheff, Jobs’ house manager at the time, told Business Insider in 2016, “We kept some, shared some with the landscapers and friends and brought some to Goodwill.”
The sandals have had an exciting post-Jobs life. They have been on display at various times, most notably at the Birkenstock Headquarters in Rahms, Germany, in 2017, according to Julie’s Auction.