First things first, sneakers are dope. Having lots of them is also pretty cool. But the money that goes along with buying sneakers can be an issue. With so many releasing in such a short period of time, shit adds up quick. Real. Fucking. Quick. Not only that, but sneakers are more expensive than ever in case you weren't checking your bank balance. I'm not an economist who understands inflation, so I'm not going to tell you that "in proportion to income levels Chuck Taylors in the '60s were technically the most expensive sneakers" or some similarly annoying nerd shit. But it does feels like, these days, every sneaker release runs around $180. Our homies over at Complex Sneakers looked at why prices are soaring.
At its core, prices are rising because the elements of sneaker manufacture also cost more. Between labor, raw materials and inflation, prices have to rise to accommodate the production and sale of the shoes. A combination of these rising prices, tendency of the more expensive models selling out quickly and possibly selling the rest at discount still creates a ton of business for the brands. If the prices rise on a shoe they've produced hundreds of thousands of pairs of and they still sell through most of the stock, that's just extra money. Then, if they do reach outlets and are heavily discounted, they're still probably breaking even on them. Of course, there's also that filthy little bitch known as HYPE.
Here's how it typically goes down: Sneaker sites get the release information. Then, they post more details. Then, they tell you how many pairs are going to be made. Then, they get a pair in hand and give you a "closer look." The hype is real, people. And it works. Just as the term "quality" has. We all want good quality sneakers with good materials and brands are willing to tell us that the leather and suede are better, so they jack up the price, even when they might not be. Look no further than Jordan Brand's recent "Remastered" strategy, which, to be a complete fucking downer about things, can kinda feel like a new way to sell you virtually the exact same sneaker you already own a pair or two of.
The bottom line? Sneaker companies want that paper. And we're ready and willing to give it to them. And they damn well know it.