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The Ultimate Guide On How To Become A Sneakerhead

If you’re looking into a new hobby that can be engaging and lucrative, with a large community you can interact with, it doesn’t get better than collecting sneakers. Sneakers hold a $127 billion value in the United States today.

You can find the perfect footwear that you’ll fall in love with, and it’s a hobby that will teach you more about fashion, sports, and more.

Here’s how to become a sneakerhead so that you can embrace this hobby to the fullest.

Understand The Characteristics That Sneakerheads Value:

There are always some characteristics you should understand about sneakers if you’re trying to get into the hobby. Knowing these characteristics will help you know what kind of value you can expect these shoes to hold over the years while also knowing what drives up the price.

Here are some characteristics that make a difference:

1. The Sports Value and Significance

Sneakers and sports have been synonymous for years. In fact, depending on where you live, people might habitually refer to them as “tennis shoes” even if they have nothing to do with tennis.

Sneakers grow in popularity when they have some sort of tie to an athlete. This is one of the first endorsements that pros get when they sign their first contract with a team.

Among sneakerheads, shoes gain significance when they’re tied to a particular historical sports moment.

For instance, you might choose to wear the shoes Michael Jordan wore during the legendary “Flu Game,” or those that Randy Moss wore during his rookie year in Minnesota’s Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome as a Jordan brand-sponsored rookie.

When you wear the same shoes that the pros wear, it can become a sense of pride either as a fan of that athlete, the team, or sports as a whole.

2. Color, Style, and Fashion

Sneakers also become more sought-after based on fashion characteristics. Designers today earn substantial salaries coming up with styles and patterns that resonate with people.

These designers have pushed the limits over the years and continuously break new trends. Once you know what kind of sneaker styles you like, you can mix and match them into your sneaker collection based on clothing brands and fashion styles.

3. Celebrity and Branding Influence

It’s not just athletes that push the trends in the sneaker world. Today, especially, celebrities from all shares of influence are coming out with sneakers that are among the most popular on the market.

Kanye West might be the best example of this. His Yeezy line of sneakers has transcended the hobby to the point that people from all walks of life wear them. These shoes rival the sales of heavy hitters from the Jordan brand and have people who used to not care about shoes buying expensive sneakers every year.

The first Yeezy’s were released by Nike in 2007, and Kanye West left the sneaker house for Adidas in 2013. Since then, it has been a massive phenomenon that consumers check for with each release.

Even comedian Kevin Hart now has a line of sneakers that he releases. These shoes are inspired by his running lifestyle, which he uses to stay in shape, build discipline, and sharpen his mental health.

4. Activities and Activewear

Of course, functionality plays a huge role when buying sneakers. Many people want daily wear shoes that they can sport in any setting. You don’t have to sacrifice style for functionality with the shoes that are released today because they’re made from some of the finest materials and the best are built to last.

Always choose sneakers that are well-made to get you through your activities.

Consider shoes that are made from materials like:

  • Rubber
  • Foam
  • Leather
  • Synthetic leather
  • A variety of sneaker textiles

They should be put together with the best glue and stitching so that you can count on them to last for some years.

5. Upgrades in Shoe Technology

Some of the most popular sneakers are the ones that push the limits of technology and design. Futuristic shoes are always hot items because they show off the artistry and imagination of the sneaker designer.

Sneaker houses have come up with everything from air bubbles and pump to unique straps over the years.

6. Learn the Hot Brands

Don’t forget about the brands when you’re trying to get up-to-date on sneaker culture. First off, recognize that there’s no right or wrong brand. Buy what you love, rather than simply getting caught up in having to wear what everyone else does.

With that said, knowing the most popular brands will give you a great starting point. Here are some to consider:

A. Nike

Without question, Nike is the biggest sneaker company in the world and a titan of the industry. The company is set to enjoy a nearly 46% market share by 2026.

One of the biggest reasons that Nike is so successful is that they offer different models that everyone can appreciate. Whether you play sports, are a sneaker collector, appreciate style, or just looking for something comfortable, Nike has something for you.

Note: The Portland-based company was launched in 1964 and has since released some of the most iconic sneakers in the world.

Here are a few favorites:

  • Nike Air Force 1
  • Nike Cortez
  • Nike Air Max
  • Nike Shox
  • Nike Dunk

More than anything, their shoes feel comfortable, look great, and you’ll always know that you’re getting a quality purchase.

B. Jordan Brand

Michael Jordan’s Jordan brand is part of the Nike umbrella but deserves its own section. Nike existed long before the University of North Carolina standout player got drafted by the Chicago Bulls in the 1984 NBA Draft, but not in the way that we know it today, and it hasn’t been the same since.

The popularity, marketability, and above-the-rim style of play of Michael Jordan made his sneaker brand a force to be reckoned with in the sneaker world and changed the way we think about athletes receiving big-time sneaker contracts.

Once Jordan became an icon and one of the most recognizable people on the planet, it lifted the profile and revenue of Nike and its Jordan brand. These shoes are popular with sneakerheads and sports fans alike. You might like the way his sneakers look, or you might collect them to have pairs of shoes he wore while making basketball history.

Here are some of the most popular Air Jordan releases of all time:

  • Nike Air Jordan 1 Black and red
  • Nike Air Jordan 4 Fire Red
  • Nike Air Jordan 11 OG Concord
  • Nike Air Jordan 13 Black and Red
  • Nike Air Jordan Raptors

Aside from looking amazing and beating made with high-quality materials, Jordans are downright comfortable. They’re always among the hottest releases when they come out, so be sure to check the schedule.

C. Vans

Team sports get a lot of attention in the sneaker world, but Vans made its mark being a forefather in skateboarder culture. The company was founded in 1966 and was originally called the Van Doren Rubber Company.

The first store was opened in Anaheim, California, and the sneakers sold for less than $5. While the sneaker is still a favorite amongst skateboarders, it has long since shed that image and is embraced by sneakerheads from all walks of life.

Since 1999, the company has sponsored the Vans Warped Tour, which is one of the largest music tours each year. Vans are released in several styles and colorways, making them popular for casual and diehard sneakerheads alike.

D. Adidas

Adidas is yet another titan of the sneaker industry, as the company holds a market cap of $27 billion today. The company is one of the oldest and most recognizable, as it’s a German company that has been around since 1924.

This footwear has been a mainstay in several sports, including soccer, baseball, basketball, and golf. The sneaker brand is known for its signature three stripes, which you will find in several different colorways.

Today, Adidas is also known for being the brand that releases Kanye West’s Yeezy shoe line.

E. Reebok

If you grew up in the 90s, you recognize Reebok as a brand that put out some of the most innovative and creative sneakers. They went head to head with Nike, signing some of the top NBA players to their shoe brand.

Reebok has also been around for several years, dating all the way back to England in 1895. It was first founded under the name J.W. Foster and Sons, until being rebranded as Reebok in 1958.

In 2005, Adidas bought Reebok. In 2021, Adidas sold the brand to Authentic Brands Group.

Reebok released some iconic sneakers that have stood the test of time, including:

  • Allen Iverson’s “The Question”
  • Allen Iverson’s “The Answer”
  • Reebok Pump
  • Shawn Kemp’s “Kamikaze”
  • Shaquille O’Neal “Shaqnosis”

With a new ownership group, many sneakerheads are pining for Reebok to return to prominence, and the many shoes they released throughout the 90s remain some of the hottest collector’s items.

7. Start Finding The Best Sneakers

Now that you have an idea of some of the best sneakers to buy, you can begin looking into options that will fill your closet. It’s important to develop your own strategies so you can land some grail pairs of shoes that you’ll appreciate.

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

A. Mark Down the Release Dates

Always fill your calendar with the release dates of the sneakers you’ll appreciate the most. For instance, this designer shoe site features options from different brands and regularly holds sales.

Consider your price points and figure out which pairs you’d like to prioritize.

B. Network Within the Sneaker Community

The sneaker industry has revolutionized in recent years. People all over the world have jumped into the fray, making it more difficult to get your hands on the hottest releases as they come out.

For years, people have had to camp out for the hottest sneaker releases. Today, people are also using bots to scoop up online releases. The best thing you can do is develop relationships with people in the sneaker community so that you have the inside track on new pairs that come out.

You’ll be able to know how many pairs each store gets and can have people set aside pairs for you. It’s also important that you network with other sneakerheads to learn the ropes.

C. Build Your Collection With Intention

Resist the temptation to simply jump on the pairs of shoes that everyone else wants. You will end up blowing all of your money keeping up with the Jones, on shoes that you only kind of like.

Instead, figure out which pairs of shoes you’d like to add to your collection and why. This might involve rounding out your collection of Jordans with numbers and colorways or finding certain shoes to go with your outfits.

Collecting sneakers is as much of an art as it is a hobby, so go with what you like and recognize that there are no right or wrong answers or non-negotiable sneakerhead rules.

Have a budget for your purchases so that you don’t overspend in the process.

D. Clean and Care for Your Sneakers

Finally, take the time to clean and care for your sneakers regularly. Keep them in the original box when possible, both to keep them fresh and to fetch the best prices if you’d like to sell them later.

Invest in some sneaker paper, and stuff them inside so that the shoes don’t develop an odor. Purchase a cleaning kit and immediately get rid of scuffs and stains so that they don’t set in and permanently damage your favorite sneakers.

How to Become A Sneakerhead In A Budget-Friendly Fashion 

Locating budget-friendly sneakers without sacrificing quality may be an art you need to hone. Yes, it is feasible to follow the right approach.  

Here’s where you can get affordable sneakers and how to maintain them for long-lasting wear: 

You do not have to run to get the new Yeezy every time. 

1. Outlet Stores 

Outlet shops sell discounted sneakers from well-known brands. Seek out factory shops or online outlets that offer great deals on sneakers from last season and even overstocked ones. 

2. Online Marketplaces 

Investigate online markets like eBay, Depop, or Poshmark for second-hand and good-as-new sneakers and compare their prices with those on retail platforms. Anything from the material to the brand of the shoe may satisfy individual tastes, even limited releases 

3. Clearance Sales 

You should constantly check out upcoming sales at the retail stores or browse their websites. 

You might not know when you stumble across a clearance sale and find a gem within. 

4. Discount Retailers 

Browse sale outlets such as Marshalls, Ross, or TJ Maxx, which house sneakers from leading brands but at a lower price. Sometimes, you will find great treasuries at these stores at a much lower cost. 

5. Online Retailers 

Sneakers will have their special place among online stores, namely Amazon or Zappos, known for having low prices and large stock.  

When searching for your items, consider searching for coupon codes, deals, and discounts to make your purchase budget-friendly. 

6. Sneaker Maintenance Tips 

Once you’ve found your budget-friendly sneakers, it’s essential to maintain them properly to improve their shelf life. 

Regular Cleaning 

Clean your sneakers routinely. A mild soap or sneaker cleaner and a soft brush. Then, scrub the dust and grease off. 

Air Dry 

Let sneakers dry naturally outside the sun or in the evening. This will prevent the shoes from excessive exposure and keep them in excellent condition.  

Please do not use too much heat, which can ruin the materials! 

Store Properly 

It would help if you kept your sneakers in a dry area. Do not expose it to the sunshine, as it can cause unnecessary discoloration and degradation.  

You can insert shoe trees or simply keep them in shape by filling them with tissue paper. 

Rotate Your Sneakers 

After every wear, alternate between more than two pairs of sneakers to allow each pair some time to breathe and restore their structure. This can prevent too much wearing of sneakers. 

Protective Products 

If the sneakers will endure their fair share of rain or mud, consider using protectants such as waterproof sprays or sneakers.  

These shield them against splashes, stains, and wear. This will help your sneakers outlast their shine and natural bounciness. 

Learn How To Become A Sneakerhead

Learning how to become a sneakerhead can help you out more than you know. If you’re a new sneakerhead, welcome to the club! It’s a lifelong journey, and you will appreciate the thrill of the hunt and building bonds with fellow collectors.

Begin with these tips and rely on us when you’d like to stay up to date on all things sneakers, style, and fashion.

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