It was Wednesday morning. I was on my way to work via my usual path, exiting the Port Authority Bus Terminal, headed East on 40th through Times Square.
As I crossed Broadway at 41st, I saw a line outside of Six:02, Foot Locker’s new flagship store. “What’re they waiting for during the midweek?” I asked myself.
The answer to that question was the shoe you see above: the Triple Black UB 3.0.
I must admit that as seemingly popular as this Ultra Boost colorway is, it is not one I see on feet a helluva lot in the streets of NYC.
So perhaps, for NY-based Adidas buyers , the shoe is more of a flipper than anything else, the post-2015 equivalent of what Jordan retros were pre-Summer 2015: guaranteed money, if you can get a pair or three.
Because,with $350 being the average ‘ go ‘ price thus far for the Triples, one can hardly blame thirsty mini-resellers for lining up bright and early on a Wednesday to try and double up and get paid.
At a glance? Not much, aside from the respective dates they released.
Because, With drab Olive, military-inspired anything heavily on-trend right now, both shades of Cargo shoes flew from retail shelves, and saw much support in the aftermarket, with $300 down to $250 the go price for the above so far.
Quick question for the Adidas heads out there: do you know the difference between the NMD R1 and NMD R2?
Didn’t think so (just kidding).
Anyway, White Mountaineering was as back at it with the Three Stripes on March 1st with two simple R2s in Core Black and Collegiate Navy. Both colors are worth about the same amount, but the Core colorway has, logically,been the more popular one by far.
Uncaged Ultra Boost
In sharp contrast to the aforementioned styles, there are plenty of pairs for this Black-Boosted Uncaged release sitting at just $50 over box on eBay. That, plus the paltry number of actual sales mean the glitch Camo ,Black-midsoled UB was fool’s gold: yeah, it sold out, but so what? Few heads actually feel a need for this colorway.
Releases such as this one go to show the dangers of believing that ‘three Stripes mania” will continue to apply across the board to all things Boost- stay woke.
Wang Run Clean
The Wang Run Clean has my early vote for one of the ‘ Top 10’ sneakers of the year; they’re just…..So…..Clean.
And they’ll set a buyer back about $350 right now, double the d180 box price; not bad for a truly unique creation.
Wang AW Run
There has been Far lighter action this more involved AW Run silhouette from the Wang Pack. For what it’s worth, the few pairs that have as old did so at similar prices as the more desired Clean pair.
Wider drops for the Mystic Blues and Red/ Black NMD?
In an interview with DJ Vlad’s SneakerwatchTV, legendary collector, Mayor, gave perhaps the most poignant resale-related sound byte ever: Sneakers are only worth whatever your stupid ass is willing to pay for them.
Clearly , Mayor’s position is seen in the way Ronnie Fieg has expertly placed his Kith Brand , in essence, as a “streewear liason”, able to hold down an official brick and mortar partnership with Nike, while still cranking out heat for its chief rival, adidas. Now that’s doing the damn thing .
The latest Kith x Adi project once again saw Fieg – with a third partner in Naked, of Mint UB fame – debut yet another silo: the City Sock 2.
First things first:
It’s March, the biggest month in college sports, so:
Metcon DSX Repper College
Hoorah hoorah shish BAM boom. Hurry up and buy these will be gone soon!
Just kidding; they’re begging for buyers here.
Air Max 90 Flyknit
Of the most popular Air Max 90 90s ( based on Deadstock Sold data from StockX), Infrared-based colorways remain well-represented. For connoisseurs of the style, that reddish-pink highlighter color is the standard for a proper AM 90.
For now, just know that an Infrared 90 in any rendition is a shoe poised to make its presence known, and the latest, the Flyknit Infrared, should prove to be no different.
The Shoe is still available in nearly all sizes at Finish Line, and has seen moderate action in the aftermarket.
The reason likely has to do with that $160 MSRP.
The 2015 OGS had a box price of $120, and extra buzz owing to the shoe celebrating its 25th anniversary that year. This meant that following the inevitable sell-out, the kicks were guaranteed to move for sellers at least $200 or thereabouts, a fair price for all parties.
At $160, though , the Flyknit version offers much less value for a realistic flip, since there aren’t many recently-released AM 90s that have commanded prices of $250 or better.
$200 has been go price for semi limited Flyknit 90s in moderate volume. that should pick up as the weather turns warmer, the inevitable Air Max Day celebration restock(s) happen for this style, and pairs disappear from the resale market (and FOMO kicks in).
The infrared Flyknit was but one of seven colorways for the silhouette. There were four more men’s styles and two WMNS to release, but those are waiting for buyers to scoop them up, while buyers are waiting for a price drop. The shoes can be found in most styles and sizes here (men) and here(WMNS,barring the OG and Pink/Blue).
Sb Dunk Elite Low (Sean Malto)
Nike debuted a Special edition of the SB Dunk on March 2nd, the Elite ‘Sean Malto’, featuring a more sleek upper, and improved performance features.
In a bit of a shock, this shoe sold out at its $115 box price, and surprisingly saw support in the aftermarket at Premium levels approaching and surpassing $200.
For those who are curious as to what it is about this shoe that made buyers – Dunk buyers, no less – open up the wallets for it so freely, I think necessary to look to Social Media.
Is Malto’ decidedly more popular than Wait; is he a more influential rider?
By the look of things, yes.
Logic dictates that it is probably Sean Malto fans, not the regular Dunk buyers paying those lofty prices for shoes that, in one sense, are nothing special aesthetically.
If Nike is indeed tapping into this Instagram fanboy/girl market for its SB line, then any future Malto Dunks must be watched very , very closely. Oh yeah.
Air Max 1 Sport Red OG
Recent trends have seen more significant kicks dropping on a weekday, but the tradition set in stone by Nike has been that Saturday is ‘sneaker day’. Sneaker shopping is a sport, and almost all of the most important sporting events occur on the weekend.
For the weekend ending March 4th, the most important sneaker slated to release was the OG Air Max 1 in Sport Red and White, period.
Naturally, all eyes must still at least glance in the direction of Jordan Brand on any given Saturday to make sure a potentail grail isn’t on deck. But with JB now featuring ‘ “low heat” styles like the ones it offered buyers on March 4th, or over-producing shoes (True Blue 3s) more often than not nowadays, those glances often lead to an eye roll.
This has left Nike to pick up the slack and provide significant heat not featuring Three Stripes.
Not so long ago , a Nike drop concurrent with a Jordan Retro release could often sneak under the radar just enough to allow attentive buyers a chance to grab a pair or two (or eight) quietly, on the walk-up (as opposed to the wait-up).
Releases such as the Air Max Zeros (exclusive to official Nike retail stores), Air Presto Fleece, or Terminator Vandal SPs – all limited editions of what were desirable silhouettes- could be had on the sly, or at least with minimal hassle; Metcon 1s selling for nearly $300 in the Midwest could be copped two or three at a time when they quietly dropped at just two NYC Foot Lockers and were largely ignored.
The point is that , for select wiseguys and gals, Nike fare has been the bread and butter for those seeking a life of low-key flipping.
The reason for the above is simple: Nike is so large and has such a deep catalog of classic silhouettes, that even a general release can have legs in the aftermarket, if it resonates strongly enough, something not even Jordan Brand can boast, and Adidas has yet to truly test with its Core Boost styles.
The Drop: Pregame
This was why I was personally looking forward to the return of the OG Air Max 1: easy money via a relatively easy pick-up.
I knew from experience that, as an Air Max Day release the shoe was likely going to be exclusive to Nike retailers; partner stores like Foot Locker and Foot Action wouldn’t have them.
“Nikelab and Niketown,” I thought, as I plotted a way to scoop up a pair or two to flip, feeling confident that the in-house exclusivity would mean the kicks were genuinely limited, hence even those mysterious eBay pros who have a line on nearly everything Nike/Jordan drops would not have many pairs of the shoes; mini-flippers could eat.
But how well could said mini-resellers eat?
The sneaker News preview showed that the MSRP was $140, so the shoe would cost NY buyers about $150 total. I felt confident that prices of $250-$300 would be the ‘go’ numbers once the inevitable sell-out happened, so an earnest plan to invest was definitely in order.
During a final , pre-mission logistics check, I saw that in addition to Nike stores, a few local boutiques like Kith, Extra Butter Concepts NY, and even West NYC were supposed to receive pairs. This was good to know, in case one needed a backup plan following a possible whiff at the main stores.
The Drop: Gametime: “Problems”
The next step after scouting locations on paper was getting up-to-date info on precisely who would have pairs in-store, and how the release would be conducted. Twitter was the go-to source for this information.
It was at this point that problems began to pop up.
For one, Niketown NY announced via its Twitter feed that it would (surprisingly) not have the shoes, which was odd to say the least. Nikelab/ 21 Mercer was mum on the subject, so there was some hope that it would have pairs. As for the boutiques, well, none of them had anything to say about their release procedures for the shoe, which I interpreted as “we haven’t gotten our shipments,”. As Nike’s official Boutique sidekick, Kith represented the best bet of all the small stores, but I fully expected that place to be crawling with other thristy resellers, the very folks I was hoping to avoid during my low-key hunt for pairs.
As the morning progressed, my gameplan centered around Nikelab, Extra Butter, and Kith, with Mercer by far the top priority. I considered Concepts, but didn’t feel like walking all the way to the far West side of Manhattan (it was really really cold). That would prove to be a mistake – it would have the shoes.
I was on-scene in Soho at about 9 am. Nikelab doesn’t open until 11, but it sometimes opens early for release days, and, in any case, there is usually a line of some sort an hour or so before it opens.
There was no line outside Mercer Street. I took note of that then trooped east to check Extra Butter. I reached the off-Delancey boutique at half-past 9, and it too was a ghost town, not a single soul daycamping out front.
I headed back West and got some breakfast before heading to Kith. At Kith I finally saw signs of life: a small line at the old side entrance, signage advertising the shoe on the windows, and folks milling around the Nike portion of the store in front on Broadway.
It was now nearly 11 am. Even though Nikelab would open soon, there was no guarantee it had the shoe, whereas Kith definitely did. Since I was already at the store, I went inside to try my luck.
That was a short stay: Kith had conducted a raffle for the shoes, so all walk-ins were out of gas. I dawdled a bit with the wall-displayed Nikes, then shot straight down to 21 Mercer, my last hope.
There were now three guys sitting out in front of the store, waiting for it to open. I joined the group after learning that they too were hunting the OGs. After a ten minute wait and chat in the cold, we were let in and quickly informed that – get this – the store had already sold out of its stock; it had held some sort of top secret drop beforehand, and there was nothing left to sell by the time the store opened to the public.
Welp, that was that for the OG AM 1s on March 4th in NYC.
The Drop: Aftermarket
As I tried to make sense of what I’d just experienced, It seemed to me that two main things occurred with release:
- Nike made shoe hyper-limited (duh)
- The release had somehow gotten botched, with many of the boutiques slated to have pairs not receiving their shipments on time.
The Kith raffle , I felt, confirmed number one, while number two was a surmised conclusion.
Either way I felt that Nike had unnecessarily flubbed the drop of a coveted classic by doing too much in the way of trying to tightly control its rollout.
After all, anyone who knows Nike knows that those shoes – part of the annual Air Max Day celebration- will surely drop again (confirmation of that is here), so there is little need to act as if that’s not the case, and the kicks are genuine hyperstrikes.
Because , as of this writing, that’s what the marketplace is treating the shoes as: a new-age hyperstrike. Prices among the few completed sales have been at Grail levels of nearly $500. It’s doubtful that’s the range the shoe should be trading at – c’mon!
And that’s not the way, in my opinion, Nike should even be releasing retros from its Classic Sportswear line, quite frankly. Nike sneakers are is among the most salable of any items purchased online and in stores; if it’s Nike, if it’s there, if it’s fresh, and if it’s not ridiculously priced, it will sell.
If you ask me, in the age of buyers having the ability to obtain nearly total knowledge about upcoming releases beforehand, a juggernaut like Nike should stop with the peek-a-boo games, pick an amount to drop, and just release the damn shoes.
So, the PG 1 made its highly-limited debut last week, and has since been treated as a Premium shoe, perhaps rightfully so. It’s early -the jury’s still out on the silo – but at the lowest possible price for a Nike Hoops signature – $110 – and a street-ready profile, the shoe deserves time to show its worth .
But as I’ve said repeatedly, a hot drop does not a hot shoe make; the test comes when the shoe sells out as a wide or even general release.
In that sense, the second PG 1 shoe was aptly-named, so much so as to seem an in-joke amongst the Beaverton backroom about the true purpose of the 12,000 pair ‘Shining’ colorway: to hook buyers with a gimmick.
We all know that trick worked, just as we now see, in the wake of the second shoe’s performance, how hard it is to game buyers into latching onto a new silhouette on account of one limited debut drop. Recent history shows this via the Kyrie signatures after the Kyrie 1: hot debut colorways, alongside a slew of subsequent forgettables.
The PG 1 doesn’t have to go that route, but if it’s handlers don’t get it together quickly, it can easily join numerous other styles in the dusty realms of the sneaker boneyard .
Here, in all sizes
below size 7.
Vans x Supreme
Supreme’s collabs with Vans are always fun to watch from a resale perspective, because they combine one of the most resale resistant brands in Vans with the most hyped- up name in streetwear, according to this guy.
The result of the repeated pairings is the expected chaos in the aftermarket whenever the latest pairs hit eBay, where Hypebeast-minded opportunists try to market the shoes to Hypebeast-mided buyers on the strength of Supreme, while hoping traditional Vans buyers override their usually spendthrift ways with Vans shoes and pay-up for those pairs (before they’re forgotten about).
With the latest four-pair pack of sk8 mids, the above has played out as such:
Sellers who surmised that the Leopard & Black colorway would appeal the most to Hypebeasts and bought those did the best business, moving the most pairs at a $200 price cap.
For holders of the other three colors, it was nervous times, as interest in, remembrance of , and willingness to spend the baseline $200 waned precipitously just days after the drop.
Hypebeasts live up to their name: they live for the moment. When the moment is ‘ on and popping’ , they’re there and they’re ‘ making it rain’. But when that moment passes, they’re grail-chasing elsewhere, baby.
As for the Vans fans, they’re like the SB crowd: they want it, but they want it for as cheaply as they can get it.
These are the folks who were most active in the marketplace for this collaboration after the hype settled; these are the headaches folks who play the hype release game poorly are forced to contend with.