How Sneakerhead Culture Has Changed

How Sneakerhead Culture Has Changed

Being involved in sports from an early age, I was always at the front line of new shoes and sneakers that made their way onto the market. Playing basketball with friends in the park, we would often discuss different shoe choices from people that we interacted with on a daily basis. In some instances, I formed lifelong friendships based on our love for sneakers and popular urban fashion trends. I remember in the 90s watching Michael Jordan playing a game while battling the flu and I couldn’t peel my eyes from the shoes he was wearing. The black and red leather popped out from the screen and I couldn’t wait to try and purchase my own pair. Over a decade later, people are still trying to get their hands on those shoes to no avail.

The major thing that has seemed to change over the years is the speed in which people can attain rare shoes and trade with others. I have memories of waking up early in my teenage years, heading to the store and waiting for hours for a new shoe to drop. Nowadays, kids can purchase their favorite shoes in a fraction of a second on their favorite marketplace. I’ve slowly learned that although there is a newfound level of efficiency and ease of access, the excitement and anticipation for a new release is almost nonexistent. It also feels as though the younger generations don’t appreciate the rarity and uniqueness of their purchases because they’re not, in a general sense, that hard to get. If you have the money and the internet, anything can be yours. In the older days, that wasn’t true.

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This purchasing power has also created a subculture of fraud and knockoffs that we didn’t see in earlier years. With more customers turning to online mediums to get their rare sneakers, shady individuals have stepped in and created near-perfect knockoffs that con people out of their money. This isn’t just my opinion: New data within the world of luxury items has found that the fraudulent market (which includes rare sneakers) comes in at a staggering 461-billion dollars. With more people willing to enter in their credit card details, more fraudsters will create replica products that resemble their rare counterparts.

If I had it my way, I would revert the hands of time and go back to the way things used to be. When I would wake up with my friends on a weekend, head to the store and wait in line. It allowed us to spend our time productively, make new friends within our area and share the love of the culture. In today’s day and age, that level of passion has faded.

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