By 1996, the Japanese appetite for deadstock sneakers had become global news. Enterprising American companies like Farley Enterprises and Michigan-based Small Earth started putting out calls for folks to search their attics for old shoes. While the emphasis was on 1980s designs, some ads indicated that the Jordan XI and Air Max 95 were good money too.
That’s because the Air Max 95 sold out fast in cities like Tokyo, resulting in some crazy asking prices. Some accounts of the reselling market in Tokyo threw wild figures like $1,000-$3,000 for the original colorways. By 1998, as the hype died down in favor of other designs, AM95s in classic colors were advertised at twice the price of the newer Air Max 98 model, before things cooled in 1999 and Japan’s sneaker boom subsided in favor of heritage looks, just as the western world seemed to enter a hype age when it came to sports footwear.
For better or for worse, this shoe was an important chapter in the history of sneaker reselling.