by Rafihat Banjo
Sneakerhead culture is ingrained in Black culture. The movement started back in the 1970s and 1980s where it was popularized by Michael Jordan, rap, and hip hop.
Sneakerheads are usually people who like to collect and trade sneakers as a hobby. They are usually knowledgeable on the history of sneakers and how to differentiate between authentic shoes and fakes. However, the terms “sneakerhead” and “hypebeast” usually get confused.
The term “hypebeast” can be used in a derogatory manner. A hypebeast is someone who only buys popular shoes because they are popular. For lack of better words, someone who buys sneakers as a trend and not because they enjoy and appreciate the shoe. For example, a hypebeast will only purchase popular shoes from Supreme, BAPE, Off-White, or Nike.
According to Business Insider, one reason why sneakerhead culture is so expensive is because of the “consumers' willingness to splurge on athletic shoes that they view as good investments or bold statement pieces has allowed footwear companies to invest resources in increasingly luxurious, technologically advanced, and celebrity-backed products.”
Now that you know a little bit about sneakerheads and how to differentiate them from a hypebeast, here are 3 things you probably didn’t know about sneakerhead culture:
1. Sneakerhead culture is big on eBay
You can practically find almost any sneaker on eBay. You can find slightly used or even new sneakers. You must be patient and know what you are looking for. Personally, I feel like eBay is an underrated website because not a lot of people are informed about it. You can ask the seller questions as a buyer to make sure you know exactly what you’re purchasing and to make sure it’s not a scam.
2. Stay away from buying fakes or overpriced sneakers!
Research. Research. Research. It’s so easy to get scammed online, especially with expensive sneakers. It is even easier to buy overpriced sneakers. Shopping for sneakers at StockX, GOAT, or Flight Club, you’re almost guaranteed to get cheated. A lot of resellers on Flight Club and GOAT like to sell their shoes for triple the price. It’s best to do your research and shop at places that you know are reliable and in your price range. You don’t want to purchase a pair of sneakers for $300 to later find out that you could have only spent $140. If you are skeptical about purchasing overpriced or fake shoes, you can watch YouTube reviews on a specific sneaker or go in person to purchase the shoe.
3. Being on top of release dates
There are many different websites that have release dates for sneakers. One website might have Retro Air Jordan releases, and another website might have Adidas Yeezy releases. You can check those websites out to know when different shoes are releasing and what store you can purchase them from. Most sneaker releases launch at 10 AM EST. Be prepared by having your checkout information already in the system because if the sneakers are popular, they will sell out quickly.