If the sneaker releases for the week ending Saturday December 17th were a boxing match, then it would’ve been equivalent to when Mayweather finally faced Paquiao: the clash of the Titans at long last.
There have been weeks in which either adidas, Jordan, or Nike had the ‘juice’ – the hottest, hype-laden release of the weekend – but rarely during the same span of time.
This time around, however, every representative of the Big Three brought some heat to the market in its own way.
Adidas had another Yeezy 350 v2, a high-tech, 3-D printed project, two Primeknit EQTs courtesy of Palace Skate (that Complex’s Russ Bengston gave the nod as one of the freshest drops of the year), plus fresh collaborations on the Stan Smith Mid, Samba, and Ultra Boost.
The Three Stripes weren’t playing on the weekend before Christmas.
Neither was Jordan Brand, who had three retros on tap: a Retro 7 for the annual Doernbecher Collection; a Wool 3; and the highly-anticipated Velvet 11 Heiress, a Grade School exclusive.
Nike, as usual, had more subtle heat on deck: the bulk of the Doernbecher releases; the I-told-you-so-last-week wider release of the Silver Bullet 97s (still exclusive to Europe though); another two colorways of the self-lacing Hyperadapt; the Doom Foamposite restock; and some more Nike Basketball kicks.
As for the other brands, the Bape x K-Swiss release promised to garner the most serious attention in light of the insanity Bape’s NMD Collab has caused in the aftermarket. There was always the risk, however, of trying to push a now-marginal sneaker brand’s shoe on the core Bape buyer: hypebeasts.
Otherwise, the Concepts x Reebok Instapumps were another release that might’ve piqued interest, although it’s hard to think there was much ado for the Ewing Athletics trio of 33 Highs, the 24 Kilates Diadoras, Sneakersnstuff Gel Lyte III & V ‘Forest Pack’ (at $150 a shoe – same cost as the Black Toe 1s – foh), nor the Sneakers76 x Puma Blaze.
Finally, Diamond Supply dropped another trio of Puma Suedes, this time in monotone Mint(Diamond Blue), Black, and White.
As I suggested in the past, the Yeezy is fast approaching its Moment of Truth, the the time at which supply for the shoe versus demand sees fast sell-throughs, but the aftermarket price is almost exactly double box price, as opposed to four or five times, the result of increasing pairs produced.
This is, of course, uncharted territory for the Yeezy 350, a shoe that has ridden the ‘Ultra Exclusive’ train to the top of the ‘Hype Mountain’ since its inception. It seeems that adidas is finally ready to put more pairs on the feet of an over-eager public, and reap the increased profits. More people ( not all – not yet) who want Yeezys will indeed have a chance to realistically cop Yeezys. Like the Ball, Kanye don’t lie, I suppose.
As of Monday, December 19th – two days after its release – the Core Black White Stripe had already sold about 866 pairs in the aftermarket, one hundred less than the Black/Red pair, which had sold 965 in nearly one months time. Surely as of this writing the White Stripers have overtaken the Red Stripers.
This means, of course, that there were far more pairs of the Black/Whites, so it is logical for them to have the lowest resale value of the five 350 v2s released to date.
This was somewhat unexpected. After a rapid sell-out, prices shot up in the aftermarket, likely through pairs bought at consignment stores by those looking to catch the lowest of the high prices there. The market quickly adjusted, however, to the unexpected glut of pairs actually in the marketplace, and prices settled sharply to around $450-$500, or exactly double the box price.
This looks to be the future for the Yeezy 350: expand its footprint via more pairs produced, with less reliance on extreme exclusivity. From then on, the silhouette itself must earn its keep on the strength of its own freshness and customer valuation.
The next biggest drop from adidas came by way of Danish boutique, Naked , and its women’s-exclusive Ultra Boost in Mint and white, part of its two pair ‘Waves’ pack .
This shoe has gotten much support in the aftermarket as a unique colorway for a silo that no longer needs an introduction, yet has featured many hard-to-recall colorways.
Given its Tiffany-esque colorway, The Waves UB is certainly easy to remember, which might explain why the $190 pair is flipping for nearly $400 one week after it dropped, down a bit from the $500 some pairs fetched.
In a tale of two sneakers, however, the equally-fresh Waves Pack Sambas are
Moving on, the Palace EQTs surprisingly saw scant support in the aftermarket , despite a fairly low $160 retail price (by comparison, the King Push Black Market EQT cost $200). The Blue pair has garnered the majority – almost all – of the interest from buyers, with standard markups as folks (sadly ) commence forgetting this drop. Data for the other pair is here.
The 3-D Runner
The 3-D-printed runner – a Unicorn – was available via reservation on the adidas app, and was available for pickup in all of 3 Global Cities: New York, Tokyo , and London.
For those who copped, this shoe has brought back profits of a logical FIVE TIMES the box price for sellers who (wisely ) moved them quickly.
In other news, the James Harden Xeno provides more proof that selling Basketball Performance kicks to casual buyers is an uphill battle for all brands. Though the kicks saw a ‘false alarm’ sell-through (due to relatively few pairs dropped), ebay has simply replaced Foot Locker as the place to find this shoe for more- or-less retail.
More Stans by Pharrell
JB presented an interesting puzzle for prospective buyers on the 17th: target the always– popular, always ultra- limited retro DB release, or try chase down a pair of one of the most unique 11s to date, despite the shoe being a hard-to-obtain limited drop, plus a Grade School exclusive?
Not an easy decision.
For while Dylan’s retro 7 Doernbecher was the adult – hence mainstream sneakerhead – shoe for the weekend, it was a 7, a silhouette of decidely lower significance compared to many other retro styles.
That , plus the super- exclusivity its DB status gave it might have been enough to make many buyers opt put of any attempt to cop that shoe, which may have been wise , given the chaos that ensued at the Nikelab drop for the shoe in Soho.
The highly- anticipated Heiress Velvet 11s were hard to knock in any way, apart from the fact they were likely gonna be a hard cop. Also , Jordan was not kind with its $220 price tag for them, $60 more than the 72-10s from Holiday 2015, and $50 more than the GS Space Jam 11s from December 10th. Ouch.
That price gouge took a large enough chunk of profits from resellers for sure.
But not too much , since the GS and extended mens sizes (7.5-9.5) have been quick -flipping for $350-$400.
The Shoe – which will certainly restock at some point in the near future – probably by surprise – has an excellent chance to appreciate in value over time even if it does restock. The Velvet 11s were the Jordan shoe to cop on the 17th.
As for the aforementioned DB 7s (no Aston Martin) , those were bona fide winners for any and all lucky or connected enough to cop.
A $190 shoe, the 7s vansihed within (literally) minutes on SNKRS, and probably not too much longer thereafter in stores.
As the video of the Nikelab melee shows, the aggro was probably kicked-off due to anxious would-be buyers/flippers jostling (skipping) in line once the extremely-limited nature of the drop became known. This was confirmed by the 2.5 times retail the kicks have fetched since. Folks just gotta have ’em.
In many ways, Nike is the major brand that consistently provides overlooked releases that can provide big profits on the low. The challenge for buyers is often figuring out which release will be that shoe.
Unicorns: The Hyperadapt
Welp, The Swoosh played it pretty striaghtforward with three of four of its biggest drops for the week ending December 17th: they were restocks.
One of those restocks was the OG Black colorway of the Hyperadapt-nothing subtle to overlook about a $720, self -lacing sneaker. In addition to the OG, the MIA Silver pair also dropped ( but not the White , although Serena seems to have to her pair).
You already know how I feel about these and what they’re doing at resale.
The Dr. Dooms & Silver Bullets
The Foamposite provides an intriguing point of discussion for Nike resale, because it is, in many ways, the most consistently bankable silhouette the Swoosh releases.
Good for about ten drops per year, Foams are among the priciest ‘core’ sneakerhead kicks (from the basketball heritage/lifestyle/ classic catoalog) with prices ranging from $230 to $300 for ultra limited colorways.
Yet they all sell out – even the least-desirable colorways – without needing a deep discount. Foams thus represent the only Jordan- retro-like sneaker Nike produces. The silo has a definite cult following, and releases in just the right number of limited/gr colorways to make its premium price point worth it to buyers of the shoes….
…..Because it hold its value.
The Wolf Gray Foamposite from 2015 was hardly a grail-level release, especially with its $250 price point and plain colorway.
Nevertheless, one-and-one-half year later, the cheapest one can find, say, a 10.5 of that style on ebay as of this writing is $180-$190 , about a 33% discount from the retail-plus-tax amount of about $270. Compare that with the 50-60% off retail for most GRs fans of SB Dunks (another cult silhouette) have been spoiled by, and it’s clear that Foams represent good value to buy, even if they cannot be flipped for big profits most of the time .
As StockX data shows, resale prices have kept a fairly narrow band between $300-$350 in the aftermarket, or $60-$100 markups – not terrible, but nothing to get excited about either. The restock of the shoe on December 14th did little to hurt its value, and has been calmly absorbed into the aftermarket. Shoes like the Dr. Dooms are what I call ‘perfectly priced’ kicks.
Now onto those Silver Bullet Air Max 97s.
In addition to a scheduled Euro-exclusive drop, Nike (in Official partnership with uber-influencer Kith) allowed the latter to conduct a Kithstrike, surprisingly dropping the kicks at half-past 10AM on Friday the 16th.
This move had impressive results, to say the least. Whereas prior to its US / Kith release prices and volume this shoe was lackluster, both rose sharply in the days leading up to Christmas.
The DB Collection
The Bulk of Nike’s other limited editions came via its portion of the annual Doernbecher Children’s Hospital collection.
This year’s Collection featured child-designed colorways of the Kyrie 2, Janoski Max SB, Air Max Zero (2), and a Huarache Utilty.
The Kyrie 2 was the highlight of the collection.
Pretty much the only of current Nike Basketball lines with anything approaching a following, Kyrie Irving’s signatures feature a sleek, lightweight design, and have – most importantly – been sensibly priced at just $120 retail.
This has spelled win for flippers and normal buyers alike, because Kyries can be profitably flipped for $200 or therabouts, a fair price for sellers and buyers. That is actually beneath the price point the shoes – which sold out lightning fast – have been fetching at resale, which is closer to the double-up $230-$250 range now.
It might be a surprise , however, to see which of the two has been the more profitable pair: the women’s.
It’s all down to the price of each respective release – elementary , watson.
The AM Zero in its most valuable iteration – the Air Max Day 2015 navy / white is , right now , a $350 shoe. The next most valuable, however, is the Tinker yellows, worth about $100 less: $250, or the standard $70-$100 over retail.
Hence , with a $150 box price plus tax, a non-essential colorway of the ‘Zero’ offers little wiggle room to adjust any resale price comfortably downward. Like most Foams, It is perfectly priced to sell in stores,but not to be flipped. Unlike most Foams, though, Zeros aren’t close to being considered ‘cult’ kicks.
It makes sense , then, that the scant number of women’s and men’s pairs resold have all been right around the $200-$220 mark: standard resale markup, but more profit for the $20 cheaper shoe. The important relationship of silhouette-to-retail price cannot be overlooked.
Pairs of these releases were the only ones available more than five minutes after their 10Am drop, although the ‘men’s’ sizes ( 10.5-12) of the Huaraches went within that time. Few people were eager to own those Janoskis at all, though.
By half-past 10AM, however, the Janos had indeed sold out, as did the ladies Huarache Ultras, eventually. But as for their resale performances to date? Well……
Right, so let any and all would-be flippers steer clear of Janoski Maxes and Huarache Ultras seems to be the lesson for now.
It’s hard to consistently get $130-$150 retail for kicks buyers would almost never pay $200 for. The failure of Nike to realize this accounts , in most ways, for the answer to Complex’s Matt Welty’s question: “What the hell happened to Nike Basketball?”
The prices (versus the true value) are too damn high, that’s what.
In light of the mania the Bape x adidas NMD collab caused – resale prices at $1000 for the cheapest pairs – I suppose the K-Swiss release with the Camo & Monkey Brand piqued interest from those see if it could repeat the trick via the Classic 66 silhouette.
The Answer to that question?
The shoe is not listed on StockX – no K-Swiss shoe is. Not a good sign.
As of this writing , exactly TWO pairs have been sold on ebay, one for $150, the other fro $350, while unsold listings are equally all over the place for a shoe that is already an afterthought. One super-relevant brand plus a (now) “who’s that?” brand won’t cut it, unfortunately.
In that sense, then , the Concepts Reebok Instapump Fury ‘CC Pack’ in Black and White represents sorta, kinda the same sort of deal as the K-Swiss project : relevant boutique coupled with a niche silhouette sneaker.
There is, however, a significant difference between the Classic 66, and the Instapump Fury, though.
For one, the Reeboks are featured on StockX; Inatapumps have some definite sneakerhead relevance.
Indeed, the top five most valuable Reeboks are Instapumps , with the Bape x Mita Olive Camo colorway the top of the heap at an average of about $450. Concepts’s previous Instapump colorway is worth about $100 less at $350 or so.
But both of those shoes dropped over two years ago , a different time in sneaker game. Could Concepts bring the heat back to the Instapump as we headed into 2017 then?
Lots of things in the sneaker game are receding, one in particular being buyers taking flyers on left-field collabs for obscure silos not being marketed by Ronnie Fieg. With prices likened to mainstream (retros, NMDs, Nike Classics ) drops, yet whose significance is questionable. To date, the $175 dual dual- release has seemingly sold out, but has been largely MIA since.
Ewing Athletics dropped three more colorways of the 33 Hi.
Were they collabs?
So, moving on……
Given the massive cosign Ronnie Fieg has given asics via his work on the Gel Lyte III silhouette, the shoe could indeed be a true collectible if only it were priced lower.
After all, since The Tiger- striped brand’s retail wheelhouse isn’t retro product, but actual performance runners like the Gel Kayano , it’s not like it eating mostly off its classic styles , although that likely does account for a decent slice of sales.
But as dope as many GR and special pack colorways are, Gel 3s & 5s are too easy for the average buyer to pass on them when they see prices like 120+ for pair that isn’t a guaranteed-to-be- bankable collaboration.
Hence, projects like SNS ‘ Forest Pack’ duo of Gel Lytes – one 3, one 5 – seems a pointless drop at $150 in plain colorways of tonal green and blue, even if the materials are premium. There is simply no motivation for most people to say “yeah, I’ll buy those right now for that price.”
It is no surprise , then , to see both pair sitting at the SNS webstore in a full size run a week after their release.
They’ve been forgotten about, forgotten about in a way they wouldnt have been had they retailed for roughly half that ‘buck- fifty’. Oh yeah.
But then, on the flipside, asics can drop a non-collaborative , 2 – pair pack of retro Gels – a 5 and a sight – in an iconic colorway of black/red, give it a splashy name (Bulls of Pamplona), price it for $140 , and see the majority of pairs sell through in most outlets.
Diamond Supply had another pack of Puma Suedes on deck following its releases?…
This time around it was a trio of tonal pairs in Cream, Diamond Blue, and Black.
The Brand made no secret about the fact that the kicks would be limited, and they sold out pretty much everywhere at $100 retail, and have seen very limited action at resale values of $60 over box for Diamond Blue and the Black.
Oh Lord, endless sneakers……
Okay, the 24 Kilates- exclusive ‘Copito’ Diadoras sold out via the Barcelona store for about $210 ($200 Euro ), and has seen about one sale per day since then on ebay, albeit for above-average markups. Yet, like most boutique, niche collabs, this was another you-should-be-copping-to-wear -not-flip sneaker.
lastly, (thank God)
the Sneakers76 x Puma Blaze of Glory ‘Dolphin’ can be found in some sizes via END.. Other than that? MIA, bebe.