The Art of Collecting Sneakers

The Art of Collecting Sneakers

Did you know that collecting sneakers has turned into a billion-dollar business?  How did this come about?  What’s the fascination?

Collecting and displaying sneakers has turned into an art form. for many.  Rare sneakers have sold at auction for over $1 million.  A collection of Michael Jordan’s game-worn shoes sold for a whopping $8 million in Sept 2022.


Two big influences are behind the trend.  The emergence of Michael Jordan as a basketball superstar, and the growth of hip-hop music.

Jordan introduced the world to Air Jordan’s in 1984.  Over the next 15 years, Jordan took the basketball world by storm, winning countless awards, championships and accolades.  At the same time hip hop music had become the most dominant cultural force in the world.

By the end of the 1980s, sneaker culture was global.  It’s not just urban youth and skateboarders.  There are cult followings in Asia, most notably Japan.

Popular Brands

Nike Air Jordan’s are the brand that started it all.  The Jordan 1 was released in 1985 for a price of $65.  Air Jordan’s have dominated sneaker culture for over three decades.

Four factors that maintain their popularity, long after Michael Jordan retired.

Innovation – Nike consistently incorporates the latest technology

Scarcity – Nike produces limited runs and collaboration

Prestige – The logo symbolises excellence.

Nostalgia – the shoes celebrate Jordan’s legacy and vintage appeal.

It is estimated that over 150 million Air Jordan sneakers are sold annually, due in large part to the passion for the brand.

Addidas is another popular brand for collectors. The brand started in pre-war Germany in 1924.  From creating track spikes for Jesse Owens to its popular basketball shoe the Superstar in 1969, Addidas has been producing top-quality athletic shoes for generations.

The hop ho- group, Run D.M.C. put Adidas on the cultural map. More recently Adidas has combined with sports star Kobe Bryant, and entertainers Kanye West and Pharrell Williams

While not as coveted as Jordan’s, a top Addidas collectable can set you back 12 thousand dollars.

Puma is another well-known and coveted sneaker brand.  Puma’s unique styling sets them apart.  Puma focuses on producing comfortable shoes that can be worn during casual situations and still perform well during athletic activities.

The Puma Clyde was among the first sneakers to gain widespread popularity.  Pumas are not as expensive as others, but Rihanna just partnered with the brand to release a new limited-edition shoe that immediately sold out.  The shoes are now selling at auctions for over $250.

Other brands of sought-after collectable shoes include Balenciaga, Gucci, and Prada.

Investing In Sneakers

If you plan to make money collecting sneakers you have to keep up with changing tastes and trends.

Limited edition sneakers tend to have a higher resale value than general release sneakers.

Collaborations between brands and celebrities or designers can increase the value of the shoes.

Retro sneakers from the 80s and 90s are in high demand and their value is increasing.

Websites like StockX and GOAT can help you stay current with changing market conditions and the current value of shoes.

Collecting sneakers can be a fun and rewarding hobby.


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