Sneakers-Is it really a passion and a Culture?

A pair of Lebron 1's which are very adored sneakers in the industry.

Sneakers. In the point of regular people throughout the whole entire world, sneakers are just daily wearable shoes. That explains why billions of people in the world have them. But recently, sneakers haven’t just been regarded as “daily wearable shoes”. Instead, sneakers are insinuated as a passion and culture. Those who are passionate and respect the culture of sneakers are called “sneakerheads”. Sneakerheads respect the sneaker game so much that they’re willing to pay thousands of dollars on one single pair of sneakers. The sneakers that these sneakerheads so desperately want are quite limited and rare sneakers and are not easily acquired. But the main question is, why are people so addicted to the sneaker culture?

Benjamin Kickz aka the Sneaker Don, is a 16 year old sneaker entrepreneur who already has a couple of stores and supplies major celebrities with the most limited and popular kicks.

Sneakers are a very complicated and a peculiar passion. Sneakers are a multi-billion dollar industry. Many celebrities have influenced the sneaker industry, but the man who changed the sneaker game forever is definitely the NBA legend himself, Michael Jordan.

This is one of MJ's signature dunks. The sneakers that he is wearing in the 1988 slam dunk contest is one of the most sought after sneakers in sneaker history, the Air Jordan 3.
Michael Jordan signed with NIKE and released the Air Jordan 1 in 1985.

Michael Jordan signed with Nike in 1984. In 1985, Nike introduced Jordan’s first signature sneaker, the Jordan 1. MJ would wear his upcoming sneaker line in his best basketball performances including his 69 point game in addition, he wore upcoming Jordan sneakers in NBA finals appearances. Jordan and Nike would continue to release Jordan's even to this day and has recently came out with the Air Jordan 31. . Some of the most notable and unique Jordan's of all time are probably the Jordan 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, and 13. Most of these Jordan's were so popular because MJ wore these sneakers in his best performances.

Michael Jordan's AIR JORDAN sneakers.

Many did not expect sneakers to be so popular, but by Michael Jordan and Nike introduced the Air Jordan shoe line, it made so many people crazy and desperate for them. Jordan's became so sought after that kids, teenagers, and adults were willing to wait outside of stores for five hours to have a chance to purchase the Jordan's. In some cases, during these camp outs, violence and fights occurred. In some cases, Jordan's became so desired that people were committing murder for the Jordan's. According to CNBC’s article, For some, sneakers become both a market and an addiction. “Violence and tragedy have overshadowed the sneaker market for decades, at least since 1989, when Maryland ninth-grader Michael Eugene Thomas was shot and killed for his iconic Jordan sneakers. The incident would be profiled in Sports Illustrated's 1990 May issue, with the now infamous phrase, "Your Sneakers or Your Life," across the cover.” In addition, the article states, “The turning point came several months later when, in another queue for an impending sneaker drop at 7 a.m., Stevenson witnessed a fellow sneakerhead get robbed. At that moment, one thought ran through his mind: "It's not worth it.’”.

People waiting and fighting for the release of the Air Jordan 11 "Gamma Blue".

On the contrary, Jordan's aren't the only sneakers that are being yearned for, but other sneaker brands such as Nike and Adidas are also changing the game of the industry. Nike has signed with many athletes such as Lebron James, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant and more. Nike has given them their own sneaker lines like Jordan, and have been very successful. Adidas signed with hip hop star, Kanye West, to release the Yeezy boost 350. While the original price was $200, after all of its colorways sold out, people who procured the shoes sold it for $2000 to receive more profit. In addition, Adidas also created the Ultra Boost, NMD, etc which caused much hype throughout the globe. According to the same article of CNBC, “"I have 25 pairs of shoes that I've never even put on my feet," Sheffer told CNBC. "Those I bought for the intention of just holding onto, but if I ever one day want to [show off], I have 25 pairs of fresh kicks to choose from — or, in 15 years, if I need a couple thousand dollars, I can flip them easily."

The Kanye West Yeezy Boost 350 v2 by Adidas.

Although sneakers are "daily wearable" and thought to most people as "ordinary and not special", sneakers have evolved from ordinary to a passion and a culture. From Michael Jordan in 1985, to Kanye West of 2017 and kids waiting in line outside of sneaker stores to try and win a chance of owning a fresh pair of Yeezy's, sneakers have been evolved into an addicting and peculiar culture.

Sneaker Con booths.
Sneakers in Flight Club New York, US, a sneaker store.
Teens making deals for classic kicks including the Air Jordan 1 Bred's, Shanghai 5's, etc.
The Guinness World Records "most largest sneaker collection in the world", showing the passion of sneakers.

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I do not own these Images. All images are gathered from Google Images.

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