Resale Report: 1.28.17

 

We’re about one week away from the NBA’s All-Star Weekend, which means we’re about three-quarters way through the NBA regular season.

In the sneaker world, however, the season is just about to begin in earnest.

Jordan Brand chose the final week of January to finally put a dent in some of those fat, end of the month wallets, after taking things easy on buyers for the first few weeks of the new year.

It released a shoe that worked wonders last year at around this time: a  retro 12. Unlike last year, however, it coupled that sure-winner with its now-annual , CNY-themed release.

2016’s Master 12 was ,as Stock X’s Luber wrote, a “….GR that performed like Premium,”.

On the other hand, last year’s CNY 5 lows remain one of those “Huh? What? Oh yeah, those,” sort of shoes: cool execution, just not a lot of love for the low-slung V’s.

By continuing its commitment to the CNY-themed annual release while also blessing buyers with another precious 12, Jordan Brand was looking to avoid wasting a special shoe on an undesirable silhouette.

It could hardly lose with a 12, even a 12 that is essentially an OG colorway – Taxi – sprinkled with a few new details, with the second shoe coming in a clean, “Hare-ish”  colorway for the extended Grade School market.

In addition to the CNY pack,the Jumpman had an on-trend retro 8 on tap for the 28th, a military-inspired shoe that could come to be regarded as one of the greatest 8 colorways ever.

 Nicknamed the ‘Take Flight’, the 8 was the second part of a three shoe ‘Take Flight ‘ package, the first of which was the stealth XV, a shoe all-but ignored upon its release, and exposed weeks later for false advertising about its insole. The  Pack will be completed with the $400 retro Five which drops in the middle of next month. 

 Sales activity for the Take Flight 8 would turn out to very, very interesting. .

JB rounded out it’s retro slate with another XXXI, plus a 13 for girls in Hyper Pink.

Nike

The Swoosh took the opportunity to once again release a slew of shoes from all of its main lines, the biggest releases being a Nikelab collaboration, the LeBron 14 and retro debuts, plus a quasi-Quickstrike for its popular ‘Fruity Pebbles’ Little Posite. Those were joined by a number of genereal releases from Nike SB and Nike Sportswear.

Adidas

The Three Stripes, meanwhile continued its own program of introducing buyers to a wider selection of its silhouettes, most of which are revamped Classics .

For the 28th, adidas focused on its new-and-improved EQT, particularly the  Boost and ADV styles, while surprising buyers with a Pusha T EQT Boost restock. Along with those came a rather pedestrian Pure Boost drop, an Aussie- exclusive NMD, a wider drop of the  Collette/UNDFTD collab , and another James Harden shoe.

The Others

Six of the smaller brands had kicks on  offer over the weekend,  the most significant being the Packer x Asics x Gore Tex Gel Lyte V , in  a colorway  inspired by a coat from a Seinfeld episode.

Philly’s Ubiq and Diadora once again had a lovely n9000 on deck; ever-present Reebok had a restock plus two classic collabs to offer,  while Mita’s New Balance  247 release should earn an award for best nickname for a  sneaker  so far this year .  Lastly, Puma teamed up with Atmos & Titolo for a Disc Blaze, while Under Armour dropped another  Curry 3 (plus one of its chief executives) .

Jordan Brand

This may come as a shock to some (not), but Jordan retro kicks have been ubiquitous in sneakers since, like, forever.

Nevertheless, the  Jumpman is a relative newcomer to CNY- themed releases, which it started just last year with the Low V’s and a Team Jordan Superfly . By contrast, parent co. Nike has been in on that game for years.

But “better late than never” being the motto, on the week ending 28th, JB had ‘CNY’ heat on  deck.

For a shoe that literally seems to be a Taxi 12 with a few added details, the most unique aspect of the men’s shoe was , perhaps, the  $250 price tag, a number that singled the release out as a limited, premium quality drop.

Which, naturally, it was (limited, that is; the quality is apparently questionable).

The shoe sold out within hours everywhere, then  commenced its life in the aftermarket , with average profits of between $80-$130 for sellers , as Jordan took a very nice slice of that resale value cake from flippers via the price-hiked  $250-plus-tax MSRP.

 It will be Interesting to see how the value of the shoe holds up over time, as the inevitable restock or three pushes more pairs into market, other heat releases in coming weeks,  and buyers determine more precisely how much they value a shoe they might already own, sans a few differences.

As of this writing, there are pairs availble on ebay for just $60 over box price, so the race is probably on to see just  how fast those cheapest pairs can be moved before a probable restock in coming weeks sinks the value any further in the short run .

As for the GS exclusive version of the pack, that beauty likely had buyers who wear anything above a men’s 9.5 gnashing their teeth,  since it is clearly the fresher, more original colorway.

It was also more limited, a raffle release at many local outlets (including NYC). As such, after its own sell-through, it has commanded prices ($350) comparable to the adult release in its extended sizes, making it the shoe ( only $160 retail) profit-seeking flippers should have snagged if possible.

The Sitters

The other major Jordan release for the weekend comes with a rant and a side of conspiracy theory, so lets just establish now  that the XXXIs and those Hyper Pink 13s are readily available here (XXXI) and here (13s) – all the pairs you can afford.

Now for those Flight Jacket 8s.

According to Alpha Industries, the traditional MA- 1 Flight Jacket is Green with an Indian Orange lining. The reason for that is so that a downed, MIA pilot could wear the coat inside- out, and be more visible to search and rescue squads.

The reason I wrote the above is because the Take Flight 8s were not so much an MIA shoe as they were a “was a what the hell is going on here – this is FUBAR!” – kind of a shoe.

Let me explain.

As I mentioned earlier, the Take Flight 8 was first unveiled last December as part of the Flight Pack of retros. At a glance it was  apparent that the shoe was one to pay attention to, it was that good looking, maybe even the best of the three.

More importantly, the 8s bore  more than a passing resemblance to the famous,  $25K UNDFTD 4, so much so that a rehash of that shoe was  what it was thought to embody  ( understandably so, given the image of what turned out to be an unreleased sample) in the earliest previews during the Fall of 2016. That cosign alone made the 8 a shoe heads would be checking for come the end of January.

As is always the case with a looming retro, though, the  question on prospective buyer’s  tongues was ‘will the shoe be limited’, another way of asking whether or not one would likely  be able to cop, and ultimately what the shoes will be worth.

One way curious, internet savvy buyers find out the answer to such a question these days is via simple  research, checking early pre-release prices at consignment shops, ebay pre-orders, StockX pre-drop prices, and chatter –  forums , plus the gram –  or simply asking local store managers. Insiders know the deal, and in  many cases will provide those details.

About one week prior to the release day, there were  pairs listed for and sellng ebay for $70 over retail, a  logical number  for a shoe widely expected to be at most semi-limited . If the shoe sold out on release day – which was likely but not a guarantee – then aftermarket prices would be expected to stay at the level of the pre drop number and then rise even further to a cap of around $300 tops, no higher. Still, for a $200 semi limited shoe, that would be a nice profit for mini-resellers who just might’ve been able to easily cop a few pairs.

The Drop

Okay so it was game on. I myself was looking for a shoe which would be possible to get without a hassle and also flip. Such Jordans  are harder and harder to come by these days.

This meant that I was out on the sneaker prowl in midtown Manhattan early Saturday morning for the usual, 8 AM NYC release time. I was in midtown by 7.

As always, I had to check the five main stores on the Manhattan sneaker circuit: the three 34th street and two 14th street Foot Locker/Footaction locations.

Interestingly, there were no lines at most of those locations, just a small lineup outside the renovated flagship across from Macy’s, about a dozen folks outside, surely scheming on the 12s, the guaranteed flippers. The Grade School 12s were raffle drops;  nobody needed line up for those. Yet to see the emptiness outside all of the main stores meant one thing: there was nobody checking for those 8s.

So it was time to adjust on the fly. What had started as a definite plan to cop on  Friday night turned into “let’s wait and see,” early Saturday morning.

Here’s what I saw when I double- checked ebay while grabbing a cup of coffee :

 To my surprise,  Cali- based pro seller Solehype had a pair of the 8s in a size 10.5 for basically retail : $209 plus $10 shipping..

Uh-oh.

If a pro  like Solehype was essentially giving away a shoe in the aftermarket at box price , it was a clear indication to buyers that in its insider’s view,  the shoe was actually a general release, not a semi limted.

The pros know, bro.

Official Drop: 10 AM

The screenshot of the Solehype listing was taken at about 8:30. At 10 AM the online release for the  8s commenced. The shoe did not sell out instantly.

But it was selling. By 2 PM, the Take Flights were all but gone from online stores.

Normally, this would’ve meant that listings for pairs of the shoe from amateur sellers would start popping up like mushrooms on eBay.

This wasn’t the case.

The majority of listings were still from pros, whose prices were now up to around $50-$60 over retail, a sandbag price which would allow them to sell to whomever might have struck out online (and/or whose local was  tapped), while ensuring that mini -sellers would not  move a single pair themselves at their requisite $70+ over MSRP anytime soon.

Faced with this undesirable reality, many small timers ‘waved the white flag’ and sold under-priced pairs to  recoup what they’d spent without having to suffer the embarrassment of returning a pair (or pairs) of  release day retros to their places of purchase (hence admitting defeat: an unsuccessful flip attempt).

Meanwhile,  some buyers who’d  missed out were now buying in an aftermarket  split between consigment stores and ebay. This made the market incredibly chaotic,  prices all over the place as consigments sought to capitalize on the  ignorance of those who were unsure of what the kicks were actually worth, while ebay sellers tipped their hands by reducing their asking prices . By Saturday evening, asking prices of a mere $240 clearly marked the 8s as a GR.  According to StockX, there were  sales completing at lower even lower prices.

Yet all along there were so few mini- resellers in mix. This lent credence to the conclusion I’d drawn from observing my local retailers: the 8s were not as coveted a shoe as the same day online sell- through had led some to believe. If Jordan had made the number of pairs actually available available online, the shoe would be, as they say, sitting.

Conspiracy Theory (Rant #1)

What in the hell happened with this release, might I ask?

Simple: Jordan Brand limited the number of pairs available  online of what was in actuality a general release. Perhaps this was a tactic to fool buyers, but the eBay pros knew better, hence their relatively low pre- release  prices, followed by that price dropping  after the  online sellout. Clearly, from where they stood, there were tons of pairs available, whether the  public knew it or not. If JB was trying to incite a run on the 8s with false alarm online sales activity, the aftermarket in turn called it’s bluff.

Rather than being one of the best retro 8 colorways, the Take Flights may instead join the growing cadre of worthless Jordans.

Nike

If  that’s the way the Jumpman wants it,  then that’s way it is.

We’ll get deeper into that later.  For now , let’s move on to Nike’s weekend which had its own intrigues.

LeBron

via Kicksonfire: October 9, 2015

It’s widely known that the  LeBron 13 was a  debacle of a shoe, the  culmination of what an  over- designed , over- priced signature basketball silhouette ends up being: unloved and forgotten.

In the midst of the season in which his shoes were causing much grief for the likes of Official Nike retail partners, the King himself signed a  lifetime contract with the Swoosh.  In the wake this  move, the media began to speculate that the time for  retro LeBrons may have arrived.

Zoom Generation 1

The sneaker media (and LeBron signature fans) got their wish.

 Since the LeBron 13 signalled a need blow up that particular evolution of LBJ’s signature line anyway, Nike made a deft move, debuting the LeBron Zoom Soldier 10 – a takedown model – during the Cavaliers against-the- odds comeback in the 2016 NBA finals. This effectively gave a new, far better looking silo the biggest stage upon which to grab attention, while shifting it away from the lame duck 13’s, which sort of just faded to black quietly.

The move seemed to indicate a strategy on Nike’s part of “moving forward by returning to the basics”, creating new LeBron styles which draw more closely on the core of what made the shoes must-haves four or five years ago. 

The retro return of the Zoom Generation 1, then, was a legitimate  cause for excitement 

But it wasn’t without risk.

A lot has changed in sneaker design and street style in the 14 yrs since that shoe made its debut.

For instance, the shoe is known to have been inspired by the Hummer H2, and how hot are those nowadays? Also, could (young) buyers really be expected to rock that shoe on the strength of the silhouette alone?  Those were true unknowns, but Nike had the nostalgia and limited angles locked-in, which would surely be enough to spur sales initially.

 Nike ran with that.

First previewed in the middle of  January, the Zoom Gens would release via a variety of limited runs at a number of outlets:

  • Nike would hold a raffle/ draw
  •  the shoe would be an NYC  House of Hoops exclusive
  •  a Miami boutique would be raffling exclusive autographed pairs
  •   Kith and other select boutiques would be blessed with pairs to sell
  •  Finally, StockX would be auctioning off very special, collectible versions of the shoes that would surely fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars in total, some of which would be donated to charity.

The results of  the above  was a retro Nike Basketball shoe with a current valuation range of around 5k (StockX exclusive) down to around $600  for the $175 ‘GR’ version through retailers.  It will be interesting to see how well the kicks hold their value as they begin their inevitable push into the attic of sneakerhead memory.

 LeBron 14

The Zoom Soldier 10 sorta kinda became  the unofficial LeBron signature shoe during the aforementioned  NBA finals. Proof of that came via the Championship Pack, which  featured the Soldier 10 and a Kyrie 2, no 13.

But a takedown is takedown right?

The   Soldier 10 has done okay since it’s debut, but LBJ needed a proper signature hoops shoe,  one that hit the right notes in terms of looks function, and price.

The result? The  LeBron 14 ‘Out of Nowhere’  –  a shoe reminiscent of the  KD 9 more than any previous LeBron shoe – has  done well in terms of the  factors mentioned above.

For the week ending January 28th, Nike chose to drop the shoe – which coincidentally debuted on Christmas Day in a game against KD’s rival Warriors –  in extremely limited numbers.

 The Results of this marketing move has been as expected:  an instant sell out (duh), and drop day scuffles. Sales for the shoe in the aftermarket came out of the gate at double the box price, eventually climbing to three and even four times the MSRP in the  days since.

Rant #2

The success of the LeBron 14 so far is Great, it really is.

But if Nike thinks that making the shoes ungettable will make subsequent colorways ‘must haves’,  it’s  delusional.

For every sneakerhead who thinks the LeBron 14 ‘Out of Nowhere’  is dope and would love to own a pair, there’s another twenty who’ll jusg as soon forget about it with the next OG Jordan retro, or Foamposite  drop. For every eBay lunatic willing to spend nearly $500 for a pair of the shoes, there’s thirty who’d just as easily pass , unless they can grab them at retail. The shoes are nice, but it is much harder to impress buyers these days. The mentality is “there’ll be plenty more where those came from”. The vast amount of product Nike pushes into the market has caused the value of all but a handful of releases – mostly Jordans – to become valued less and less. .

Sock Dart

One  recently  resurrected silo that has seen its value soar initially, only  to plummet almost as quickly is the Sock Dart.

After being brought back in Fall of 2014 following a decade-long reprieve,   the Fragment designed Loden colorway of the shoe was an instant hit, selling out in stores like hot cakes, and reselling for three and four times the MSRP. Nike thus sanctioned a few more Dart releases with the Twin Lightning Bolts , retro styles of the shoe, and new colorways.  Many of them were nearly as popular as the Frags.

That was a little over two years ago; much has changed in sneakers since then.

  Riding the athleisure wave at a time when Nike was dominating the  sneaker conversation, the Sock Dart   hit its peak popularity during the Summer of 2015 with the Independence Day  pack , and the  Be True colorway.

It was downhill after that. As Summer turned to Autumn, another Nike bring back, the Air Presto, was becoming the new wave, and  adidas was creeping back via its Ultra Boosts. This meant the  Swoosh was no longer the only name in the athleisure game.  We all know what happened when the OG NMD dropped that December. As a result,the Sock Dart took on a redundant vibe, and interest waned.

As such, 2016 saw the silo float in relative obscurity, with no major collaboration a telltale sign of its decline in stature.

What then was one to make of this early-2017  Sock Dart trio of releases in conjunction with newfound  collaborator , Stone Island , via Nike’s high-end sub-brand , Nikelab?

One would have done well to read the  official preview of the collection via Nike News. There, those curious about the concept behind the  package would have learned that it represents the first time the shoe has released as a mid, and that the shoes were water resistant.

All other buyers would have seen this:  Stone Island; limited release = cha-ching. Their next question would have been  Which colorways will be worth the most once the inevitable sell – through is over and done with?

Nike and the Italians didn’t make that an   easy decision, with all three colorways quite buyable.  At $200, though, how much could a potential prospector calculate their worth to be?

About $60-$80 over MSRP, that’s what. The Sock Dart has come a loooong ways from the halcyon days when it could be had for $130 and flipped for $400. The retail price has risen just as its true value has fallen, a sign of the times.

Jungle Dunk

Devaluation is a theme running through an increasing number of Nike shoes, with no better example of that than the Dunk.

A silhouette that dates to the same year as (and is highly reminscent of) the  Air Jordan 1, the Dunk has been one of the few OG Swoosh silos that has managed to stay at a cult-level  of relevance throughout its long history.

Nike achieved this by repositioning the  basketball shoe created thirty-two years ago as a skateboarding one fifteen years ago, an absolutely ingenious marketing move,  one that would – like it or not – bring mass- marketed urban fresh to what was then a willfully underground culture. 

The Dunk was also well ahead of its time.

 At about the time certain sneakerheads were fighting each other (the city’s first ever sneaker riot)  over what would eventually turn out to be one of the most valuable ( and rarest) SB Dunks ever – the Pigeon – sneakers were a true subculture .

The article attached to that infamous NY Post front page  – penned by a Mr. Tom Sykes – contained all of the  elements now all too common in the modern day sneakergame, despite being written more than a decade ago in 2005 : Camping out in front of a store by grown-ups; Premium pricing ($300,woah!) for the shoes; copping heat from discount outlets; even reselling via eBay gets a shout, despite the fact that the  device that would undoubtedly foster the meteoric rise of e-commerce – the smartphone – was at least 5 years away from becoming something almost everyone would own. 

Sneakers had yet to reach critical mass.

 Fast forward 12 years from  that event, and sneakers,streetwear, influence, and resale go hand-in- hand, knocking on the doors of high fashion at the same time that high fashion is itself looking for a bit more street cred. Such is the world now that one of the original SB Dunk collaborators, New York’s own Supreme,  now has a  full collection slated to hit stores in collaboration with  Louis Vuitton. The apocalypse has arrived; barbarians are crashing the gates.

The Dunk has been there the entire way – particularly the SB-  declining in significance as the centrality of all things Jordan retro (and Jordan retro resale) took  center stage.  But with Nike  still pumping out 30-40 Dunks of some varation every year at prices ranging from  $80  no more than $150 per pair, buyers who’ve wanted a simple, classic Nike shoe with tons of undeniable cachet on the cheap have had plenty of options via that silhouette.

I  emphasised the ‘no more than $150’ bit for a reason.

As dope as Dunks are to devotees of the shoe, a buying public accustomed to copping potential grails of the shoe for the same price as a run-of-the-mill Air Force 1 have naturally become spoiled. As such, the price cap for the majority of the most desired contemporary drops is but $200-$300 , relative chump change to a regular Jordan retro buyer.

What then posessed  Nike to  think that $250 sounded just about right for this latest Dunk is a mystery for the ages. As Stephen A.  might’ve reacted to this news:

The above expression pretty accurately shows the way a typical Dunk fan probably reacted when a potential plan to cop was met with that price tag.

Hell no.

The SFB (Special Field Boot) Jungle Dunk was  designed by Undercover   Japan’s  Jun Takahashi. Insight from its product page states that the shoe is:

 ……a winter boot merging the upper of the Nike Dunk, the tooling and outsole of the SFB Jungle Boot and the heel cage of the Air Huarache. It balances the designer’s aesthetic with winter-ready design features and the basketball, skateboarding and street heritage of each shoe.

Okay cool. The above describes a great concept, a seriously dope, original shoe for the fashion forward to consider adding to their personal shoe collection.

But for $250 , it is unclear who exactly the Swoosh expected to jump up and say “hell yeah, I need  that shoe!” . As part of the  “high end” Nikelab brand, the  Jungle Dunk is  currently the third- most expensive shoe on its  shelf. It was clearly aimed at the athleisure crowd .

The problem with that crowd is that, while it is willing to spend the money to suit its exclusive fancy, it is just as likely to choose any number of Nikelab’s other premium shoes as it is a Dunk,  for less money even.

Meanwhile, the crowd who regularly check for Dunks has become so damned cheap, that any discussion of an upcoming release comes peppered with words like “wait” and “deep discount” throughout.  The Dunkster was always going to dig the shoe – Dunks are a cult status silo – but was never going to pay anywhere near that box price.

As for the SFB Field Boot, well, that market is more or less the Polar opposite of the casual one Dunks cater to.  And while that was sort of the idea with the shoe , design-wise, it also meant that there was no built in market for a hybrid created out of those two silos to warrant such a high price, collab or not.

And Soooooo……

 The shoes (two colorways) are sitting in most sizes at Nikestore here (Black pair) and here (White pair). To its credit, the flashier white and blue  pair has sold far better than the muddier Black and Blue colorway, but still: that price, man.

 Meanwhile, the overpriced shoe is being marketed on eBay at even more outrageous numbers ranging from $300-450, with but (there’s always) one successful sale to date : for about $10 over the $250-plus-tax total price.   

Such is the monster that a “big release” marketing strategy creates in this the resale era of sneakers: confusion and a dope-yet-stale  shoe release, coupled with ebay scammers hoping to catch a few jackasses who don’t know how to check a shoe’s retail availability thoroughly.

 Whatever Nike’s plans were with the SFB Jungle Dunk, the implementation of it was, I believe, questionable .

Fruity Posite

Shifting focus to what seems to have been a quasi-quickstrike of the annual Fruity Pebbles Little Posite, that drop was a success,  selling out in most sizes after being teased just days before it hit shelves. Since then the colorful kicks have sold for the standard $70 over the $180 box price in low volume.

 Are buyer’s getting bored with a lot of  Nike’s shoes, formerly frenzy-inducing mall drops now old hat just two years later?  Hmmm.

Time will tell (soon), but for now just know that the above shoes were the limited heat Nike released on the weekend.

Nike also had a veritable avalanche of GRs from all of its main divisions.

Such as the ‘Reverse Shark’ Dunk Lows. These sold out on SNKRS but one needn’t be fooled by that old trick (see the Take Flight 8 section): The Shoes are readily available via Premier for retail, and ebay for less than retail – how ’bout that?

The University Red FK racer is at  Foot Locker in a full size run.

One should have  no problem copping the ‘dad shoe’ Spiridon Ultra at Nike for $140.

The Kyrie 3  Brotherhood is yet another example of a big silhouette release (the Samurai)  failing to transfer any attention (and sales) to the silo on a wider scale consistently. Find it here in all sizes.

The lack of interest in the Aunt Pearl KD 9 shows just how far from grace that signature line has fallen in sneaker significance in just two years time.

Finally, the  ‘Stop Pre’ Cortez – a clever nod to a track legend –  sold out at Nike, but is still available at  spots like Blends.

Adidas

Adidas clearly circled the week of the 28th as the one upon which it would push the new EQT Boost and EQT ADV silos, three colorways of each, in fact. It Would also restock the Pusha T Grey Scale EQT Boost, drop another Pure boost, re- release the  Collette/UNDFTD pack and drop another colorway of the Harden Vol. 1 . Its one and only NMD release would be an Australian – exclusive.

How’d that experiment work out?

Tastemaking

If nothing else, it showed that there is a burgeoning subgroup of Boost insiders among adidas buyers,  tastemakers who dictate to the neo-cool wannabees where the it is at.

How else can  one explain the overwhelming presence of  ebay sales for just one of the three  EQT boosts, this in  stark contrast to the relatively even aftermarket sales distribution we saw with the White mountaineering NMD s?

The 91-17 ?

The strong preference for just one EQT Boost style, the 93-17 , is proof that, as StockX suggested, there are in fact young sneakerheads out there building a collection (and an organic culture) around Boost shoes, deciding within their own ranks what’s  hot and what’s not. That is a major development for adidas , no doubt.

So then how did the other two  EQT Boost shoes – excluding the Pusha T s- do?

The very rare CNY EQT Boost has fetched figures in the low $300s the handful of times it has sold on eBay.   The Turbo Red EQT support 93, however, is MIA.

As for the King Push restock, it has sold through all sizes except GS 5 – 6.5. Aftermarket sales indicate that , Boost notwithstanding, the Grey Scale is not exactly the Black Market or Coke White Pusha T  releases of 2015. Perhaps the popularity of the 91-17 comes from the fact that it looks like an NMD, further proof of the added attention to small details the new adidas shopper is noticing and responding to.

EQT ADV

Turning our attention to the  EQT ADV trio, the  women’s colorway is all but gone from retail, while the Black/Turbo colrway and the BB1260 style can still be had in many sizes via Overkill and other Euro shops if one digs around some.

Rant # 3

As we’ve been informed, adidas is as fond of releasing shoes that are incredibly similar in style and colorway as it is fond of not distinguishing said shoes via distinct nicknames.

 As such, the only accurate way to find many of these kicks is by the product number, which may have  been one of the barriers to adidas’ growth historically vis a vis Nike. Adidas definitely occupies a far more prominent place in athletic footwear right now, but one certainly wishes it could find a better way to distinguish it’s similar-but-not-the-same models – Sheesh!

My goodness; I almost got a headache trying to fnd those EQT s just now – whew!

Okay, now we (thankfully) move onto other adidas styles from January 28th.

Pure Boost

I suggested last post that the oreo-like colorway of the Pure Boost adidas dropped would likely put the silo on the map. Well, the colorway it released on the 28th might’ve taken it back off the map.

 The shoe is Apparently gone from stores but the dad-shoe has since been exposed on ebay, selling  for a mere $20-$50 over retail on avg . If they weren’t so limited, they’d be sitting; don’t drink the Kool aid, people. 

Classics

As for the wider release of the UNDFTD / Collette pack,  I already told you they could be readily found via UNDFTD – both styles, although the small – footed folks did jump all over those Campus 80s, so only sizes 8 and up remain. 

Meanwhile, the Aussie- exclusive NMD has mostly stayed in the Land Down  Under,and the Harden Vol. 1 Disruptor can, of course, be readily found here (as if you didn’t already know that).

The Others

Asics

Asics wasn’t the first to bring Gore Tex  fabric to a sneaker – far from it.

The Asics x GTX Gel Lyte V has, however  become one of the sneakers now known for that waterproofing / insulation feature in recent years. This has therefore given Asics a lane for its non-collab releases of the style in the otherwise cluttered classic runner market.

But it’s a narrow lane, by virtue of the fact that Gel Lyte V’s are far from cheap. A GR GTX Gel V costs $145; the  Packer Shoes Scary  Cold Gel V retailed for $170 plus tax. At that price the shoe is tip toeing around the elite retro Jordan price range  – a dangerous game.

That price didn’t stop the Scary Cold V’s from selling out, as it seems the shoes were exclusive to the NJ boutique.

The retail price has, however, stopped all but the biggest fans of the release from  chasing pairs into the aftermarket, the handful of ebay sales to date fetching about $70 over box price. Like many of these hyper-limited collabs, the Scary Colds were a wear-or-return kicks: not for the quick-flip.

Diadora

Nearly half of the 1300 or so Diadora shoes for men which have sold on eBay in the past 90 days are  of the n9000 style. Of those n900s, one of the most popular and valuable has been the 24  Kilates Copito , which has sold for around $400. Other pricey colorways – all colabs mind you – have more or  less fallen within the $250-$300 range, even the venerable Raekwon x Packer Shoes Purple Tape.

Such is the Catch 22 of limited, premium  collabs: said limitedness is no guarantee that the shoes will be worth a small fortune (or even a fraction of the box price)  on the strenth of that alone.

All sorts of factors go into the sneakerhead significance equation, so while the retail side can be easily accounted for by the boutiques, how much a shoe will prove to be worth as time passes can vary wildly. There has even been debate about the value of these shop-exclusive collaborations in an oversaturated market, where a nice-but- expensive n9000 will likely get shuffled to the backs of many buyer’s memory.

That being said, the Whiz Wit n9000 has to date sold out in every size above 9 via the Ubiq store.

 It has also notched but one sale on ebay  for 325 (there’s always one) while other pairs are struggling to attract interested buyers at what amounts to retail.

Such is the very real risk people face who venture into that alternative shoe world looking for profits which may not be ever forthcoming.

Reebok

Two years ago, the Reebok Ventilator celebrated its 25th anniversary with an absolute slew of fresh collaborations. Many if not most were  overlooked, and can now be found  brand new for less than retail.

 Reebok has committed itself, however,to continue bringing sometimes wild, often fresh looks to its classic  runner via cosigns with big names, such as Cam’ Ron’s pink mock-up last year .

Welp, the first Ventilator collaboration of 2017 has arrived in the form of Bay Area mainstay Bait’s L.A. Kings- themed shoe. 

For those interested, the shoe can be had in all sizes at Bait’s website.

When the feline instapump dropped it was met with shrug sitting limited EDT far.

 Now that it has seen a wider release, it is sitting in at least  two places: limited EDT, and bodega store. Oh yeah.

Rounding out it’s coterie, RBK hooked up with the  home team,  Hanon of  London, for a Club C that even yours truly would rock.

Dubbed the Claymore after a legendary Scottish sword, the story behind the colorway and detailing alone outlined here may have provided the impetus to cop.

 Perhaps not, but at the very least, I believe that this sort of intricacy and depth is the key to lesser brands creating salient collabs. Very nice.

Alas the shoes are readily available via the Hanon website $112. Yet another casulty of the if and only if  i make enough coin flipping the next reteo release, I’ll cop those with the profits – maybe state of sneaker oversaturation. So much heat, lost in the sauce.

New Balance

We’re Drowning in and ever increasing number  of sneaker releases, a plague that shows no signs of slowing down.


What will Likely happen as a result of this tyranny is that there will be a  splintering of the market, high quality and low, big releases and small, Main Street retailers and side street low spots.

In a cynical universe, Bostons own New Balance would be eagerly awaiting the new President’s proposed measures to aid domestic sneaker production, since it would stand to gain a greater share of mindspace for its MITUSA (Made in the USA) brand.


Because, fact is a decent portion of NB classic releases are of the quality over quantity mold. Shoes such as the Made in the UK 576 Test Match Pack, or Fabolous Week Boathouse Row 999s are shoes for connoisseurs,not mercenaries.

Because, for a mercenary, the barrier to entry is without a doubt That damn price!


The Luxury goods 997 by  Concepts cost $235 , the 997 Butterscotch by JCrew 210. The JCrews have held their value much better than the Concepts, accoring to the latest eBay data, but who would know such a thing? How many sneaker heads are solidly on the limited premium collaborative classic runner beat? 

Not as many as would happily pick up a pair of 574s, a classic shoe which  runs the gamut from serviceable knockabouts, to low-key grail.

High quality/high price; so-so quality and low price; that’s the way New Balance sneakers are largely interpreted by typical buyers. There is very little genuine connoisseurship among the bunch, and thus a certain ignorance persists amongst those who should know a helluva lot more about the varying levels of New Balance classic kicks than they do.

The 247  represents NB’s attempt bridge the  gap between the grails and the beat-em-up buys via a combination  of modern materials and classic, casual style. Most importantly, it is priced so as to be accessible to everyone (not just cozy boy purists and basic Bros.)

The Tokyo Rat is the first major collaboration on the silo, debuting via a Tokyo exclusive on the 28th, with a February 11th global drop booked in advance .

 The shoe has seen scant action at  resale , with just a handful of sales, albeit at $320 (always one, or three). It will likely do far better following the wide release, but it remains to be seen whether or not the shoe eill become a vortex that sucks new devotees down the rabbit hole of NB wonderment and reverence.

Puma

According to StockX, three of the top six most valuable Pumas are  Disc Blazes. Two of those Blazes are Fieg collabs, the other a Bape.

That would seem to suggest that the collaborating boutique is a key  part of how well a Puma Disc Blaze shoe sells upon its release. Did Tokyo’s Atmos, then, have the requisite juice to provide a strong impetus for buyers to cop its latest Puma Disc iteration then?

Nah, not really..

The Atmos name resonates most closely with Nike clasic runners, like the Air Max  1 and 90. Its fairly recent asics Gel V collaboration- in  woodlands camo, no less – can be had nowadays for 170, which is basically retail. 

Meanwhile, the most coveted Titolo shoe, the Papercut Gel Lyte 3, is  selling for prices in the mid – 200s , about $30 over its own box price nearly two years removed from its release.


All of the above to say that the Desert dusk Disc Blaze was never likely to become an instant grail. No, it is in fact still available in all size via one half of its collaborators. It does however feature a pretty cool contrast hit on the outsole, though. 

C’est la vie. 

Under Armour

Lastly , news of Under Armour’s CFO resigning makes one wonder if it was he who fell asleep at the wheel when it  came to  marketing the Curry 3 in a way such that the shoe might move at retail. It also begs the question whether it was his fault that the Cyber Monday (seriously?!) Curry 3  was two months late for its proper release date. The shoes are available here, as always.

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