It seems we live in a time where there’s a new shoe release every weekend. Every week there’s some retro or current version of some shoe dropping at your local shoe retailer. In a way I admire them. They have managed to increase the value of their shoes while virtually spending nothing on marketing. With the thanks of social media websites, such as Twitter, all it takes is for them to leak some creepy, grainy, out of focus, basement polaroid photo (you know, the type of pictures that fill the multiple photo albums that are kept locked up at your one strange uncle’s house. No else has this uncle? Just me? Ok, I digress..). It doesn’t take much to get sneakerheads in a frenzy. It doesn’t even take a picture, just a mere hint from someone who works at Footlocker is enough to get a mental erection. Shoes are the new woman and sneakerheads have become the construction worker / prison inmate. One look at a shoe and we just can’t wait to get inside them.
Now I say all of this to say that we’re pretty much gullible… in a way. I include myself in this because no matter how many variations of one shoe they conjure up, I still perform Olympic gold performance mental gymnastics in my head. I convince myself that as a collector that specific shoe is a must have. I would regret not having them. I would look back and wish I had taken the opportunity, the same way a girl who, 5 baby daddies and 6 children later, realizes that the “nice” guy, who grew up to be successful that she eternally kept trapped in the friend / brother zone, was in retrospect a good choice after all. Nike, in its infinite wisdom, figured out that by selling limited quantities of shoes it would create a higher demand for them and in the process create a secondary market in which the shoes value is grossly inflated. In essence, a huge win for them. Yeah people may spend hours in line to go home empty handed. They may even get trampled or severely beaten in the process. That’s when good ol’ Nike looks out for you and drops the same shoe, a couple of years later. That’s their genius. It also helps their business plan when some people only take care of their shoe only until the next shoe release which is sometimes literally the following weekend. (The infrared Jordan 2’s came out earlier this year, but not too long ago, and I was getting looks as if I pulled out some ancient, unretroed relic too sacred for human touch). They take advantage of our willful weakness. We’ll keep buying the same shoe. No matter how many color schemes. Who cares if they came out with the exact same shoe last summer and I might even have that pair in the back of my closet, I want this version of this shoe NOW!!!
So now that begs the question, will there ever be a such thing as “overkill” in the sneaker world? Is there such a thing as one sneaker too many? Take a look at the LeBron 11’s or the KD 6’s. I’ve had less classmates in my high school senior class than the amount of color variations they’ve come out with for both of those shoes. The guy at work who’s killed off his 5th grandmother for the 11th time in an attempt to get out of work thinks they’re maxing out the limits of what they can get away with. I find myself feeling like the Duggar’s grandparents, after numbers 9 and 10 the level of excitement just isn’t there anymore. And I think that’s why you’re able to walk into a store and see a lot more of LeBron 11’s or KD 6’s still left on the shelves. Now I have to say I am NO LeBron James fan (I’ll save my reasons why for a different rant at a different time) but I have to say the LeBron 11’s are a dope ass shoe. The KDs, on the other hand, is what I imagine Sonic the hedgehog would wear if he were a real person. Either way I could see me owning a couple of colorways. Notice how I said a couple. I swear I saw a pair of LeBron 11’s that could match the computer screen when I’m playing music on Windows Media Player. It’s gotten to the point to where I’m wondering if Nike is just stalling for time to further develop the next signature shoe in the line. No matter what the case may be even the fat kid mentioned in 50 Cent’s “21 Questions” is like “Yo, enough with the cake already. There has to be other things to eat in the refrigerator.”
Looking at the upward trend that sneakers are having I guess I’m just anticipating that inevitable downward spiral. When people feel like they’ve had too much of a good thing. It always happens. People try to capitalize on what they have going for them and before you know it they’ve crossed the line where the market is over flooded with their product. I hope that’s never the case. Even still there will be people like me, die hard fanatics of the shoes that create such nostalgia that your memories feel like current dreams. We’ll always be around, just like those sunlight deprived nerds, who for some reason, invest more time into things like Star Trek than meeting with a real human girl. But no matter how much they may flood the market or overkill a specific shoe, they could never drown my enthusiasm. They could never kill my love of the shoe. Call me gullible. Call me a sneakerhead.