When prices of sneakers goes up, as a reseller, it generally is a good thing and often times I can’t find a reason to be unhappy about it. However the sneakerhead in me is quite the opposite. I think it’s ok for sneakers to go up in value gradually over time due to inflation or even on the basis of basic supply and demand theory with there being less and less pairs on the market as time goes on, but when prices shoot through to the roof to mind blowing territories – that is when sneakers becomes annoying and less fun.
I can’t deny the power of demand and supply because if there are more people that want something and there are only so few of them in existence, prices really only has one way to go and that is up. But let’s take a step back and look at how sneaker culture was developed in the first place. 20 years ago we hardly talked about prices. In fact, most of us were just curious to see what was in your collection and what you wore on feet rather than how much your sneakers were worth. Honestly that’s what got me into sneaker culture in the first place. Sure money was a factor when it came to certain rare sneakers, but even the most sought after sneakers wouldn’t cost the price of a brand new C-Class (inflation adjusted). The purpose of sneakers has always been to wear on feet and having a nice pair or even a rare piece of sneaker that no one has AND wearing them on feet was part of the culture and what made it FUN. Sure of course, I fall victim to the scenario of…the more expensive the sneaker, the more careful I am with wearing them, BUT regardless I wore them!
The problem with sneakers now is the prices in my opinion are blown way out of proportion and for certain sneakers…knowing the price actually makes me NOT want to wear them. These Art Basel Nike Air Jordan 1 Igloo’s and Rust Pink is the best example. I bought these maybe 3 months after they released. At the time I thought they were a little expensive for a Jordan 1 at the time, but I genuinely loved the colour blocking they did on the sneaker so I bought them. I even purposely looked for a lightly worn pair instead of DS because I had every intention of wearing them. I paid about $750 USD each 2 years ago…and now the price of a DS Igloo is $8,000 USD. I maybe wore the Igloo’s like twice and never wore the Rust Pinks because the last time I checked they were $3-$4000, which I already thought they were very expensive then.
Here’s the problem…if I know my sneakers are worth $8k (they are nds, so let’s be conservative and say they are $6k)…do I still want to be wearing these? The sneakerhead mentality in me is sure I like to wear rare sneakers at time too, but when people now see these on my feet – am I getting respected as a sneakerhead for being able to go the distance and find rare gems that no one has OR am I just being judged for having deep pockets and being able to drop loads of money on a pair of sneaker. To me, I paid $750 which honestly is still a steep price even till today for a pair of sneakers, but I rather be living in a world where sneakers are super difficult to find, but still at an affordable price.
When I was heavy into sneakers in high school I was buying $400-$500 Nike Dunk Tiffany’s and Heineken’s. Back then $400 was a lot of money to me when I was still making $7.25/hour at my part time job, but for some reason sneakers was a lot more fun because I would actually wear the sneakers to school, ride the bike or even some casual sports…but I feel like that part of sneaker culture is dying if not already dead. A lot of people treat sneakers like they are a gem and constantly knowing a price tag on them to me is a cancer to the culture. The problem with rare and pricey sneakers today is that people aren’t even wearing the sneakers anymore. Of course I’m not the only one that thinks this way. As people are just stashing away their expensive sneakers treating them like art, which by the way I have no issues with…but what I’m saying the sad part is certain sneakers we will never see on feet again, but rather in display cases or stashed away in a vault. Unfortunately everything in the world is bound to change, but being able to live through the culture sneakers once was…I must say…I miss the old days.