The Sneaker Culture

Art comes in many forms. Art can be in the form of music, painting, drawing, or physically constructing something. The one form of art that is often overlooked and at times misunderstood is art coming in the form of sneakers.
Those who are true sneaker connoisseurs understand what it means to have a good quality sneaker. A sneaker connoisseur takes more into account than the look of a shoe before they purchase it. The material used to create the shoe, the textures of those materials, the durability, the stitching, and the availability of the shoe all play a part in what makes a good sneaker purchase. Some may argue that a lot of this stuff really doesn’t matter; well that’s why I used the term sneaker connoisseur. For those who care about their purchases, these things really do matter. Would a person who collects art buy a painting done on a napkin? Would a real estate investor buy a home made with cheap materials that wouldn’t last? I would think the answer to both of those questions would be no. It works the same way in the sneaker world. A good purchase can easily become an asset.
When sneakers are released there are people who buy the shoes for their love of shoes and others buy them to resell. Resellers buy a shoe at retail price, and then turnaround and sell that shoe for double, triple, and even five times the amount that they paid. The resell value of a sneaker is based on the availability and rarity of the shoe. For example, Adidas recently released a Kanye West signature shoe, the Adidas Yeezy 350 V2 Boost “Zebra”. The retail value of this shoe was about $350, but because of the scarcity of the shoe, this shoe is almost impossible to find for less than $1,500. I know what you are probably thinking, and yes people do spend that type of money on sneakers. In some cases $1,500 isn’t that bad. The Air Jordan 5 “Oregon Ducks” can be found online selling for $8,000. The right shoes can bring in a lot of money. According to solecolelctor.com, a man in China sold his collection of 283 pairs of sneakers for $160,000. He then used the money to buy an apartment in Beijing. If done correctly there is a lot of many to be made, so be mindful of that when you throw out your old dusty shoes. They could be worth a lot of money to the right person.
Growing up I always wanted the latest shoes especially Jordan’s signature brand shoes. Besides MJ being my favorite player of all time, his shoes were a fashion statement, and could be seen on the feet of many A list celebs. If you watch reruns of “Fresh Prince of Belaire” you would see Will Smith routinely wearing the latest Jordans at the time. Same thing if you watch “Martin”, Martin Lawrence also wore the latest Js. As a child my parents couldn’t afford to buy every shoe I wanted so I went about it another way. I figured I would become the best basketball player I could possibly be and then major shoe companies would give their shoes and products to me for free. As my game improved so did my collection of sneakers from attending the different All American camps as a high school athlete. Then, I was blessed with a full scholarship to attend UNC at Chapel. Being that it is the same school “His Airness” attended and a Jordan Brand program I knew my shoe game would be official. Years later I was blessed to able to sign my first endorsement deal with Nike and made up for the shoes I missed growing up.
The sneaker game is not the same anymore, what used to be a fun, “look what I got” type of sport turned ugly. You have people who are making high end or “grade A” fake shoes and then selling them to unknowing customers. These types of fakes look so real, that only someone who has a trained eye and pays close attention to every little detail could spot them. While I still have my collection, I am for the most part out of the sneaker game, but I still pay attention to what’s going on. The re releasing of sneakers are causing the value of sneakers to drop. What’s really crazy is that the re releases are being released being made with cheaper materials and being sold at a higher cost. I guess you can blame that on inflation.
One of the main reason I left the sneaker game alone is because it got dangerous. People were being robbed and even murdered for $150 shoes. Every summer I would go through my collection and give shoes to younger kids whose parents probably couldn’t afford to buy them the high-end shoes. Then I slowed that down because last thing I wanted was a kid I gave shoes to be attacked simply because of what was on his feet. No shoe is worth that! So if you are, or plan to be in the sneaker game just be mindful of what could possibly come with it. It’s a fun hobby especially when you get your hands on something rare. Happy hunting!

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