Drop your kids off at school and you’ll probably see it – dozens of kids rocking fresh sneakers, usually Nikes, with their school uniforms (often against the rules).
It all started in 1985, when basketball great Michael Jordan collaborated with Nike to create the Air Jordan sneaker. From there, things boomed. Other sneaker brands began releasing their own basketball shoes, and soon enough, a collection culture was born.
To this day, Air Jordans are among the most frequently-collected sneakers, but the Nike Air Maxes, Dunks and Air Force Ones, not to mention the Adidas Yeezys, are also popular among collectors. Typically, the most valuable shoes are ones that are exclusive or limited edition – the most expensive pair are the Solid Gold OVO x Air Jordan, a gold-plated collaboration between Drake and Nike which cost a cool $2 million. Drop that fact in front of your sneaker-obsessed kids, and watch them be impressed.
But your kids (or you!) don’t need to go into eternal debt to score a one-of-a-kind pair of sneakers. Thanks to clever creators, there are plenty of ways to get your own custom pair. Take The Custom Sneaker Co, for example – they paint and adorn sneakers with top quality designs for your purchasing pleasure, and even allow you to put your initials on them. There’s also @emilyskickz on Instagram, who will paint a pair of shoes as long as you provide them (a pretty sweet deal, if you ask us!). Nike, New Balance, and Reebok also have custom shops where you can choose the color, lettering, and materials you want.
Feeling caught up on all things sneakers? Not just yet – here’s how to speak ‘sneakerhead’:
- Beaters: Sneakers worn despite creases, scuffs, stains and smell
- Chucks: Converse All-Stars
- Crispy: Clean
- Cop: To purchase or acquire
- Deadstock: A pair of sneakers that has never been worn
- Feezy: Fake Yeezys
- Goat: Greatest Of All Time
- Grail: Very rare sneakers
- NIB: New in box
- OG: Original, derived from the term ‘Original Gangster’
- VNDS: Very Near Dead Stock, sneakers that have been tried on or worn once/twice