All About Sneaker Collecting

A person who collects sneakers is known as a sneaker head, and they aren't just the people who know their Vans from their Gazelles. Collections or choices may vary, but sneakerhead has a shoe collection which may range from classic brands, to rare collectors items, to every color combination in a single range. Limited editions might sell at exorbitant prices but this won't deter the committed collector.

Sneaker collecting in an internet world

In times gone by, a sneakerhead may have aimed for every single color in a collection, but with internet and online shopping increasing choices available, fans now know when new products are released. They also know when to queue for a new release from a favorite brand. In an internet world, it may be more exciting for a sneaker collector to monitor online forums than go out to a movie or dinner with friends. That perfect find may both reward and encourage this dedication.

Sneaker collecting comes with a story or culture

Sneaker collecting isn't about following trends, picking up the latest fashions or fitting in with the crowds. Sneakers represented street style, and were aimed at a market who followed celebrity style. Adidas had Run - DMC wear a battered pair of Superstars without laces, and pretty soon, fans were wearing them too, holding them up when the song "My Adidas" was performed. This lead Adidas to launch a Run - DMC range of shoes. Nike landed Michael Jordon as their shoe representative, and tried to convince the public that it wasn't just the basketball player out on the court, but the power of the shoe.

Sneakers come with a history that the sneakerhead understands. Sneaker collecting means holding onto something cool, the very opposite of modern, throw away fashion trends. While fast fashion aims to make its customers feel left behind or outdated, a pair of classic or rare sneakers bring a sense of uniqueness or individuality to their owners. While fashion houses and the bosses of Vogue may try to determine brands or choices, mapping collections and filling the runways with styles which will eventually be reproduced for the mass market, Sneakers give street cred. Their owners are not dictated to by mass marketing or a select media, and those who collect them wear them well.

And you don't have to be young to get it right. Think of Hugh Laurie's portrayal of the surly Greg House from TV series House M.D. House had an appalling bedside manner, a limp, and a walking cane, but his Nike Collection, worn with band t-shirts, rumpled shirts and casual blazers gave him a flare.

The disabled Dr. House may give insight into why a sneaker collection begins. This was a guy who could appreciate a comfortable pair of shoes. Sneakers are comfortable. Sneaker collecting brings the sneakerhead an opportunity to wear practical shoes that make him feel individual in a world awash with trends.

While, from the outside, the culture, lingo and determination sneakerheads bring to their collections may feel strange and unfamiliar, there is something fascinating to explore which goes beyond the unfamiliar names. Like all hobbies, sneaker collecting comes with a passion or determination which goes beyond the superficial. Ask a sneakerhead for the meanings behind his collections, and a worldview becomes apparent.

Sneaker collecting as an investment

Although a sneakerhead may be fascinated by the stories, culture, individuality and even the practicality of his collection, sneaker collecting can also be very profitable. Assembling a selection of rare shoes means getting to watch them grow in value. Forbes featured an article on Mark Farese, who has a sneaker collection worth over $750 000. The more rare his shoes become, the greater their increase in value. What started as a passion or hobby has now become an investment. Buying shoes and watching their value grow is beneficial to sneaker collectors, who know how to spot a fake.

Not everybody would like to stay up until the early hours scouring internet forums, or scrubbing soles to keep their shoes crispy, but there's something to be said for those who do. If their kicks are lit up, and they add comfort, value, practicality, meaning and culture to their lives, what more could any collector ask for? Sneaker collections may be wild, but only a sneaker head could tell you if they're fresh.

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