The trainer has come a long way, from the humble ‘gutties’ that our parents would inflict on us for PE (and PE only) to becoming one of the most desired pieces of footwear available, even infiltrating the world of high fashion. Sneaker freaks are now cool, and belie the notion that women are more obsessed with shoes than men – there are sneaker freaks out there who make Imelda Marcos’s pursuit of footwear look positively restrained.
People now pay serious, serious money for rare and vintage trainers, whether an original pair of Air Jordans worn by the man himself, or one of the super exclusive collaborations between Nike and Supreme, one of which caused at a mini riot at Supreme’s New York store at the product drop.
Nike x Supreme -obvz
With all the fluctuations in the financial market recently, and the massive economic uncertainty caused by Brexit, many may have been thinking of hiding their money in shoe boxes. But a better way of saving cash and generating income might be investing in the content of those shoe boxes, and investing in some trainers for resale – or deadstock, the technical term for pristine, unworn shoes.
In the wake of the financial crisis, “alternative investment” – in such products as fine wine, whisky and art –has been enjoying increasing popularity, as well-to-do investors sought places where they could invest their cash in items that wouldn’t lose their value.
This new sneaker craze can be seen as a more youthful, less opulent version of this phenomenon, with a focus for the activity being the website StockX, one of whose founders was the real Slim Shady, Marshall Mathers. This functions like a hipper, more expensive eBay, where rare editions of trainers can go for sometimes eyewatering prices. For instance, a pair of Eminem-branded Nike Air Jordans sold for almost $17,000, although the biggest sellers on the site are probably Yeezys, from the slightly deranged design mind of one of today’s top rappers, Kanye West.
Classic retro trainers can also attract well above their original value, so it might be time to have a look in those old cupboards. Or next time, you buy a pair of trainers, buy two pairs – you never know what could become a classic in the future!