Last month, Complex teamed up with eBay to bring The Sneaker Drop Challenge live and direct to the streets of the UK.
The challenge saw presenter, and regular Complex host, FDFROMTHEFUTURE roll up like a sneaker Santa in springtime with a giant bag of fire kicks (all sourced from eBay, of course) to give away to those challengers who showed their crep knowledge to be fully on point by correctly answering some simple—and some not so simple—sneaker-related questions.
Before they would be in with a chance of winning the shoes—including some super rare grails —however, challengers first had to pass an initial round of quick-fire questions.
Inspired by eBay’s Authentication Guarantee, the process that proves that sneakers sold on the site are legit and gives them a blue tick on the platform and an IRL tag to prove it, this round saw challengers having to ‘authenticate’ themselves as true sneakerheads by answering three questions, including naming certain silhouettes and pointing to specific parts of a shoe. Unsurprisingly, pointing out the tongue proved easy. Identifying the midsole, however, not so much.
Check out the video at the top of this piece to see how The Sneaker Drop Challenge went down, and the ridiculous things some challengers found themselves doing once they realised they’d won.
Before we hit the streets, we had enlisted an elite team of sneaker experts to help us select the pairs of shoes to be given away in the challenge. These were: renowned sneaker entrepreneur Franklin Boateng AKA King of Trainers; sneaker restorer and customiser Latya; sneaker content creators Jessy Law and Natalie Winter; and Ja’e, founding member of female sneaker collective Sneaker Sisterhood.
With the final round of the challenge being the Sneaker Drop question—name the year of release in order to win the shoes—we asked our experts to select creps that would up the difficulty factor in this regard, such as newly-released silhouettes with retro or aged stylings, or pre-loved OG pairs in mint condition, through to forgotten classics from back in the day.
With the huge, and hugely varied, range of sneakers available to choose from on eBay—across both new and pre-loved, from the recently released to distant classics—their selections didn’t disappoint, coming off like a highlights reel from the past 20 years of sneaker culture. Some choice Nike selections (the Sean Wotherspoon collabs from 2018, the Lunar AM90’s from 2014 and some Clot Kiss of Death OGs from 2006) here, some deliciously coloured early 2000s Bape Sta’s there, not to mention the most nostalgic talking point and crowd pleasing shoe of the day, a pair of the Reebok GGGGG-Unit G6’s from all the way back in 2003.
Watch the film (and take a look at the images) below to see the sneakers our experts chose and hear them come together to chop it up and talk about why they selected the shoes they did that went down so well in The Sneaker Drop Challenge.