If the sneaker game were a sport, it would be Football.
Football games take place on the weekends, because those two days coincide with many if not most folks being free from school and/or work.
The biggest sneaker releases drop on the weekends (which sometimes includes a Friday or Monday) to coincide with time of the week when adults are usually flush with cash from weekly or bi-weekly paychecks , kids are free to hit mall, and both are looking to shop for stuff.
In Football, there are some weekends when a particlur team isn’t scheduled to play anyone.
These weekends are called bye-weeks.
Likewise, in the sneaker game, there are weekends in which there is ‘nothing to buy’ , so to speak.
The weekend ending Saturday, November 19th was a ‘bye-week’ for sneakers.
This is logical,since Saturday the 19th was just four days prior to the commencement of the annual ‘Holiday Season’ sneaker release slate.
With a Black Friday / Cyber Monday weekend lineup featuring three new colorways of the Yeezy 350 v2, two colorways of the BAPE X adidas NMD collab, OG returns of the Jordan ‘3’ and Foamposite, a new Kobe silhouette , plus a couple of Reebok collabs and special edition asics from Ronnie Fieg (to name just a few), it made little sense to overdo it on the 19th.
Hence, JB had just two retros – one adult, one kiddie – on deck: the Retro 9 ‘Kobe / Lakers PE‘, and the Grade School Gray and Pink 12s.
The GS pair has sold through sizes 5 thru 9.5 at Nikestore, but is available at retail elsewhere (up to size 7), while the Kobe 9s are sitting in all sizes at Nikestore.
Like the Jumpman, Nike took the week off as well, sort of.
The second half of the split-release Roundel Spiridon dropped, as did another, light bone colorway of the Vicor Cruz trainer on Friday the 18th.
The $175 ‘Roundels’ sold out, but have since seen paltry interest among buyers in the aftermarket, a fate so many ‘quirky’ projects meet these days.
Hold up wait a minute….
As is often times the case, however, Nike had a few ‘surprise’ general releases on tap for the weekend : the WMNS Premium ‘Paisley Pack’ of two Huaraches and two Air Force 1 Lows in Black (here, here) and Night Maroon.
Apart from overall ‘classic freshness’ ,these GRs would fail to be noteworthy , but for the hidden buying activity (and the logic behind it) seen on but one style within the four-pair pack : the Night Maroon Huaraches.
For starters, it must be said that the Air Huarache is easily one of Nike’s most popular styles in the streets. Simple colorways like ‘Triple White’, Triple Black, and Light Bone always sell out in local retailers despite constant restocks, while certain special/limited colorways can command just as much in the resale market as a Jordan retro.
It is also an unspoken truth that
a) Nike hooks women up with some of the best colorways of classics like Air Huaraches (like the pair shown above), Air Force 1s, Air Max 1s – compared to men’s styles, and
b) these styles and colorways release in size runs up to a women’s 12 (a men’s 10.5) sometimes only via Nikestore.
As such, what results for savvy (male?) sneaker buyers is an opportunity to pretty much grab a shoe that is a ‘backdoor exclusive’ : a dope shoe with no hype attached to it, but which is limited in an important way not obvious to the uninitated.
That way is shoe size.
In my days as small-time kick- flipper,I got lessons in the importance of these size conversions via the GS market.
In that market, the must-have ‘youth’ sizes are 6 thru 7, with 7 being the top priority.
In cases where I resold a size 7Y or 6.5Y, the buyers were almost always grown or teenaged females, or were being purchased on behalf of one. To save money,Jordan Brand no longer releases actual ‘women’s sized’ retros, so this market has adjusted via the conversion route.
Likewise, one can rest assured that whoever the folks were that bought out sizes 10.5-12 of the Night Maroon Huaraches were either males, or resellers hoping to market this WMNS exclusive to males who wear sizes 9 – 10.5.
This sort of ‘hidden market’ activity is one of the more intriguing developmemts in the resale game as wise small-timers evolve to reorient themselves away from the release-day-quick-buck, to a longer termed strategy that is less volatile (because it requires more skill to successfully practice).
Buyers for these ‘big women’s’ sizes are playing an interesting game in many ways. For one, they are expanding the range of kicks (like the dope WMNS exclusive Air Max Thea) and colorways available to them.
Second, they are almost always copping a ‘rare pair’, since a WMNS 12 or 11.5 can often be equated with a men’s 13 or 14 – there aren’t many pairs available.
Lastly, these buyers are often able to easily cop these kicks,since in most cases, they’re general releases that drop at random, unannounced times. Those with a constant eye on Nikestore will always have first crack at them.
Due to these factors, this is what you get: sell-outs in all of the larger, male-compatoble sizes for a shoe that might otherwise be a sitter. Whether buying to rock or buying to flip, the market for these kicks clearly feel Nike is offering hidden value to them.
I know from experience that attempts to play the surprise surprise game in the resale market is,as yet, still very risky, due to various factors like:
a) the existence of ‘price point caps’ (something we’ll discuss in the future) for different styles of sneakers.
B) aftermarket buyers becoming ever more savvy
C) the quick-flipping game growing more competitive (read:cutthroat/desperate) by the week.
D) oversaturation & overpriced kicks leading to forgotten releases of otherwise desirable kicks hitting discount.
This is all a topic for further analysis. The point of all this is simply to show that while on the one hand ‘resale as we know it (quick-flipping) is increasingly a struggle for most sellers, other aspects of the game are simply (and silently) evolving in previously unknown directions.
In the wake of Nike / JB’s week off, adidas took center stage by default.
The Three Stripes had a trio of Ultra Boosts on deck for a midweek release : the Parley Ultra Boost Uncaged on the 15th, plus the Base Green and Clear Onix Ultra Boosts on the 17th.
As has usually been the case all year, the three colrways sold-out at retail, and have seen daylight in the aftermarket.
The Parley collab has logically been the most useful to quick-flip of the three, with the $200 runners fetching about $100-$125 over retail price so far.
- The attractive, (Army?) Base Green UBs have commanded a useful $40-$70 over retail, while the too-similar-to-previous-White-colorways (see StockX’s write up on that here) Clear Onix is good for anywhere from slightly-over-retail to $40 over box price.
The 19th was another big day for those who couldn’t get enough of those Packer NMDs, the latest release from that silhouette burning up the aftermarket.
After a store-exclusive drop on the 12th, the restock of sorts has since catapulted the popular shoe to the top spot of most popular styles right now according to StockX data, with wildily fluctuating resale prices ranging from $60-$120 dollars above box price, a sign that many new, mini-resellers (who often underprice items) are active in this market, as indicated by the latest StockX analysis of Adidas’ rise in the resale sphere .
There was very little action outside of the ‘Big Three’ brands in terms of release day drops.
Reebok released yet another Reebok Question, a cream & brown colorway in collaboration with SneakersnStuff for a ‘luxurious’ looking shoe for a respectable $175.The highly-exclusive release is
still available in many sizes sizes via Reebok, and has been largely unsupported in the aftermarket.
I’ve Fallen! (and Can’t Get up???)
The Curry 3 Dub Nation Home also dropped on the 19th, proving once and for all that the hype for the new signature kicks has officially died.
What was once one of the most popular , most valuable colorway (next to the MVP) of the upstart Curry line is now a shoe that doesn’t move the needle at all. The latest of numerous recent Curry 3s is available in every size via UA here.
The $20 price hike in the face of a natural decline in the newness hype of Curry and Friend’s rise to hoops dominance two years ago, plus a strong rally from adidas have really hurt the Curry 3’s relevance. Something else (limited drops?) must be done by UA to recharge these shoes.