When you’re really into sneakers, you know there’s a price you’ve gotta pay. No, we’re not talking about 4-figure resell prices on a Fragment Jordan 1 or a Nike Basketball sample, we’re talking about the time and energy that you have to invest into the sneaker game to get what you want (usually more limited kicks) out of it.
It’s not all waltzing to the mall or your local boutique on release day, grabbing the kicks you want, and then stunting on your friends and breaking necks when you throw the shoes on. You’ve got to put in work to shine, just like anything else that’s worth doing. Let’s look at the cost of being a sneaker head, and identify some of the things you have to do to get your collection right.
If you’re a night owl like I am, this is one of your least favorite parts of the sneaker game. Getting up early to get releases online on a Saturday sucks. Sure, you can usually go right back to bed afterwards…but especially if you went out and enjoyed your Friday night, waking up and staring at a brightly lit computer screen can be absolutely brutal.
Although it’s not quite as common nowadays because most shoes are raffled off, early mornings can come into play when you’re camping for a release as well. Staying out on the sidewalk overnight in an uncomfortable folding chair is not fun, nor is waking up at the ass-crack of dawn to go get in line if you decided against pulling an overnighter.
Most sneakerheads understand that sneakers are just a material possession, and if you miss out on a pair, you’ll live to cop another day. However, we’re only human after all, and totally avoiding disappointment is just flat-out not possible.
When you get really cranked up about any release, you start imagining copping the kicks. Then you imagine the perfect fit to go with them. Then you imagine flexing on everyone (at least I do). When you put that much weight into something and then you wind up not getting it, it can be hard to not get in a foul mood, and gripe about everything from bots to how the people who got the shoes probably don’t even understand why they’re special. Disappointment is a part of life, but that doesn’t make it any more enjoyable to deal with.
The Never-ending Pursuit
The sneaker game is a never-ending pursuit. You’ll tell yourself all the time that you’re “fine with what you’ve got” and that you “don’t need anything more” for your collection…but there’s always going to be another release that catches your eye. With all the new colorways and models that companies release, you’re bound to find something you like, no matter how hard you try to tell yourself you’re done copping.
This can be difficult. For some, it seems like a goal that can never be achieved, which drives them away from the sneaker game entirely. The best way to avoid this pitfall is to keep everything in context, be happy with the dope kicks you already have, and be selective with your purchases.
Dealing With Fuckboys
The sneaker market is a lucrative one. It doesn’t take a genius to realize it’s not difficult to make a few hundred bucks flipping Jordans on release day. Unfortunately, this opportunity brings people of low character into the sneaker world in fairly large numbers.
You’ve heard and seen it before. “$400 OBO” for a shoe that just released the same day. Resellers grabbing every single pair of something that you really wanted. People who hem and haw about how great their collections are when all they’re doing is buying to make a quick buck. People who cop a ton of limited kicks, never wear any of them, and try to act like they’re really out here. People who sell or trade fakes to those who aren’t in the know. There are all types of fuckboys in the sneaker game, and dealing with their shenanigans can prove exhausting.
Sometimes your social life takes a backseat to shoes. With how quick you need to be on top of everything today to secure a release, there will be days when you need to be glued to you phone or laptop to make sure you can get the sneakers that you so desperately need.
When you’re putting a lot of work into getting sneakers, you don’t have as much time for other endeavors, and this can occasionally include a social life. Sitting inside of your house or apartment furiously refreshing to catch that restock at just the right moment while your friends are at the beach isn’t the greatest feeling in the world…but it’s usually all worth it when you get your hands on the kicks.
So there you have it. There are many more peaks and valleys that go with being a sneakerhead, but it’s usually all worth it in the end.
And you know what’s really great? Even with all the challenges listed above, the sneaker world is still a great one, with a wonderful sense of community. That’s what happens when good people come together for something that they truly enjoy and care about. You can’t let a few bad parts (or people) spoil the whole game, you just need to make sure you know how to control those bad parts (or people) when they come up.
Keep your head on straight, and your eyes on the prize: getting your kicks.