The sneaker industry will be a $128,110 million market and growing by 2027.
These days, sneakerheads are buying more than just the latest Nike or Adidas shoe; they’re investing in sneaker culture. Sneakers have been a part of pop culture for decades, but with the rise of social media influencers like Kourtney Kardashian and Kanye West, sneaker collecting has taken on a life of its own.
If you’re looking to start or expand your sneaker collection, here are six tips and tricks to help you get started.
1. Learn the Sneaker Culture Language
Like any other subculture, sneaker culture has its own terminology. You need to learn the lingo if you want to be taken seriously as a sneaker enthusiast. Here are some of the most common terms:
Sneakerhead: A person who collects and appreciates sneakers as a form of art or fashion.
Deadstock (DS): A sneaker still in its original, unopened box.
Retro: A sneaker originally released in a previous year or era.
Limited Edition (LE): A sneaker produced in limited quantities and typically not available for purchase after the initial release date.
Collab: A sneaker collaboration between two or more brands or designers.
Yeezy: A sneaker designed by Kanye West.
Jordans: A sneaker brand created by Michael Jordan.
Knowing the lingo will help you communicate with other sneakerheads and better understand their culture.
How do you learn this terminology? By reading sneaker blogs, watching sneaker videos on YouTube, and following sneaker-related social media accounts.
2. Focus On the Culture Over Money
When it comes to sneaker culture, money doesn’t matter. Some of the most valuable sneakers are the ones that are hardest to get your hands on.
Sneakerheads will do whatever it takes to get their hands on a rare or limited-edition sneaker, even if it means paying exorbitant prices. A pair of Nike Air Yeezys can sell for upwards of $2,000 on the resale market.
So don’t focus on how much you can make from a sneaker sale; focus on how much you love and appreciate the sneaker itself. The culture is about community, not competition.
You should not be in it for reselling business either. It is a quick way to lose sneakerhead friends and credibility.
Focus on investing in books, magazines, and documentaries about sneaker culture. Attend sneaker conventions and meetups to learn more about the people who love sneakers as much as you do.
When you focus on culture over money, you’ll appreciate sneakers for their design and history rather than what you can make from them.
3. Get to Know the Brands
There are dozens of sneaker brands on the market, but not all of them are worth your attention. Some sneaker brands only produce a few styles per year, while others release multiple new models every month.
Do your research before you start investing in sneakers. Learn about the different sneaker brands and their history.
Which ones have been around for decades? Which ones are collaborations between two or more designers?
Focus on the top sneaker brands, such as Nike, Adidas, New Balance, Asics, Puma, and Reebok. These brands have a rich history in sneaker culture and continue to produce some of today’s most popular models.
When you know which brands to focus on, you’ll be able to better understand the sneaker culture and what sneakers are worth your attention.
4. Stay Updated on Sneaker Releases
The sneaker industry is constantly changing. New models are released every month, and limited-edition sneakers are always in high demand.
If you want to be a successful sneakerhead, you must stay up-to-date on sneaker releases. This means subscribing to sneaker blogs and newsletters, following sneaker brands on social media, and watching sneaker videos on YouTube.
It also means being prepared to act fast when a new sneaker model is released. Many of the most popular sneakers sell out within minutes of being available online.
So how do you know which sneakers are released when?
One, you can download apps that track sneaker releases. There are apps for both iOS and Android devices. A good example is SNKRS from Nike.
Two, you can follow sneaker-related Twitter accounts that tweet about sneaker releases.
Three, you can visit websites that compile sneaker release dates in one place.
When you know when the newest sneakers are releasing, you’ll be able to get your hands on them before they sell out.
5. Who Do You Know
While you can easily know when a new release is happening, other things are required to get sneakers—something like connections.
To make sneaker purchasing a possibility, you need people who work in the industry or have access to things most people don’t.
Knowing people in the industry is key; whether it be befriending store employees, getting to know designers, or networking with other collectors.
If you don’t have any friends who work in the sneaker industry, try attending sneaker events and meetups. Meeting new people is always a good way to make connections.
You can also join social communities, like Reddit’s r/sneakers, where people share information about upcoming releases and connect with others who love sneakers.
When you have a network of people who can help you get sneakers, you’ll be able to increase your collection of sneakers significantly.
6. Be Aware of Fakes
As the popularity of sneakers has increased, so has the number of counterfeit sneakers. If you’re not careful, you may purchase a fake pair of sneakers instead of the real thing.
How can you tell if a sneaker is fake? There are several ways to tell if a sneaker is counterfeit.
One, compare the sneaker to images of the real thing online. Are they identical?
Two, check for poor craftsmanship. Are the materials and stitching sloppy?
Three, smell the sneaker. Fake sneakers often have an unpleasant odor.
Four, feel the weight of the sneaker. Counterfeit sneakers are often made from lightweight materials, unlike authentic sneakers which are made from heavier materials.
If you’re unsure about the authenticity of a sneaker, consider buying from reputable retailers or websites only. For example, you can find a genuine retro Jordan 10 here.
You’ll be less likely to get ripped off when you know how to spot a fake sneaker.
Start Building Your Sneaker Collection Like a Pro
Sneakerheads are a passionate bunch, and once you become one, it’s hard to go back. By following these tips and tricks, you’ll be on your way to building the ultimate sneaker collection.
Stay updated on sneaker releases, focus on the culture over money, and know the right people, and you’ll be on your way to sneakerhead domination. Remember to be aware of counterfeit sneakers, as they are becoming more and more common.
We hope these tips will help you build an amazing sneaker shoe collection. Be sure to read our other articles for more informative tips and guides.