By: Joseph "Tre"
Some people see shoes as just another part of an outfit but to many it’s a form of expression and an art form. Over the years sneaker heads or sneaker enthusiast have started their own culture by buying, selling, and trading sneakers. Some sneakers re sale value can reach amounts over a thousand dollars for just one pair. Many people don’t see the logic in paying such crazy resale prices, but the importance of having the most exclusive shoes to those in the culture bears no price tag.
Sneakers have come a long way from when they first started. In the beginning there was only converse, that came only in a high or low style. Since then Nike and Adidas have added a lot of variety to the market. Some would say The Michael Jordan sneaker by Nike which is still relevant today was the biggest influence in the sneaker culture.
In the past sneaker heads had no way of knowing when a shoe might drop or where it could be purchased. People had to physically go from store to store to hunt down the classics. Sneaker culture reached a point where people would literally camp out for days in front of a store to buy a pair of sneakers. True sneaker heads often buy 3 plus pair: one to wear, sell and one for display.
New age sneaker heads now have the power of the Internet. Not only can they see when shoes are releasing but they can now also buy the shoes online. It may sound like the sneaker game got a lot easier with the internet but some argue it has heighted the playing field. With shoes such as the oxford Adidas Yeezy, companies release limited quantities of highly anticipated shoes to ensure that they remain rare finds. If the Yeezy is released online at 7:00 am it will be sold out by 7:05 am. Within the next five minutes, the sneakers will be on popular resale sights for a much higher mark up price.
There is a lot of money involved when it comes to the business of sneakers. Recently there has been a lot of sites forming to help the resale process like nicekicks.com as well as flightclub.com or the always popular eBay.
Outside of the Internet one of the best places to find nice sneakers is 7.stiches which is located in downtown Lafayette. It’s a boutique that focuses on sneakers but sells street wear clothes as well. They stay up to date with their merchandise and constantly put new things on their sell floor making it a different experience every time you go to shop.
Sneaker heads come from all walks of life and the culture does not cater to one type of person. It doesn’t matter if you are spending a thousand dollars on a pair of Yeezys or you are spending 80 dollars on a pair of converse the only thing that matters is the meaning of the shoe to the buyer. A purchasing culture once reserved to the underground insiders has now become full blown mainstream thanks to the efforts of the Internet.