Too many Sneakers?

Have you ever been called a sneakerhead? If you’re not familiar with the term, it refers to anyone who collects, loves or trades trainers or sneakers as a hobby. Someone who invests this much time in their footwear will also likely be an expert in spotting genuine brands with fakes. Being a sneakerhead shows itself in the vast collection of shoes owned, mostly from sports such as basketball and skateboarding.

You know you’re a sneakerhead when you have too many pairs to fit in your available space. Or you perhaps have so many pairs that you could use Longspan Shelving from and start your own fashion business!

This is a hobby that began in the U.S during the 1980s and can be traced to the rise of basketball superstar, Michael Jordan and his Air Jordan line of footwear released in 1985. The popularity of hip-hop combined with the love of sneakers gave rise to an entire culture. There was a huge variety of basketball footwear available from the 1980s onwards and the hip-hop music scene gave them the serious street credibility and turned them into status symbols.

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Any self-respecting collector is likely to have a pair of these:

Air Jordans

Air Force Ones

Nike Air Max

Nike Dunks

Adidas Yeezy

Those sneakers that are worth the most are limited editions or exclusive designs. Some colour schemes were only manufactured in a small number and their rarity makes them highly prized. Custom-made or hand-painted sneakers have also become highly desirable more recently. Nike, Adidas, and Reebok all have stores where you can have your sneakers tailored to your needs, including choices over lettering, materials and colours.

The whole sneakerhead culture had become a global trend by the 1990s with serious collectors attending swapmeets, special events, parties, buying online and searching for vintage pairs. Basketball and skateboarding subcultures were attracting youngsters from the U.S, Europe and emerging markets including Malaysia, India, and China.

The most highly sought-after sneakers of recent years include Nike Air Jordans, Converse, Air Yeezy, and Vans in red, black or white in honor of the old-school hip-hop era, the association with Michael Jordan and the new wave music of the late eighties.

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Now sneakerheads can make full use of the internet to source their desired footwear and rare pairs through auction and retail sites. Various shops, websites and special events give collectors access to exclusive shoes where only a small amount was ever manufactured. A mecca for sneakerheads is the Shoezeum in San Diego, a 9,000 square foot wonderland containing nothing but collector’s sneakers. For those who need some referencing for their collection and future purchases should check out Foot Locker’s website called for all things sneaker-related.