Late last month, people around the globe waited in long lines to buy a new pair of shoes. Some even camped out.
Of course, it wasn’t any generic shoe these folks wanted, but Kanye West’s latest sneaker for Adidas, the Yeezy Boost 350 V2 Beluga. The week it came out, the coveted sneaker outsold one of the most popular shoes of all time — the Air Jordan — and its resale value is now near $1,000, about four times its original $220 retail price, according to the online marketplace Stockx.com.
The success of West’s new sneaker underscores the growing demand from appropriately-named sneakerheads, who buy, sell, collect and even occasionally wear these limited-edition sneakers.
Slideshow: The 19 Hottest Sneakers in the Collectors Market
“The market is showing no signs of declining. There are a lot of people interested in sneakers,” says John McPheters, co-founder of Stadium Goods, a sneaker reselling store in New York City with 50,000 sneakers in 6,000 different styles. “Once upon a time, it was the guy who collected shoes and displayed them, but now it’s everyone buying to wear the shoes.”
Sneaker collecting hit mainstream in 1985 after Nike introduced Air Jordans that sold for $125 a pair, pricey at the time. The shoes quickly became a status symbol and Nike capitalized on the mania by putting out a new style of Air Jordans every year. More and more shoe companies are now joining the game, creating sneakers with celebrities and releasing limited-edition models aimed at the collectors market.
In December, Nike is releasing the Velvet Air Jordan 1, which is part of the “Heiress” collection loosely associated with Michael Jordan’s daughter, Jasmine. At Adidas, the next Yeezy Boost release is on the horizon and rumors are that the soles will glow in the dark.
“Whether it’s Nike or Adidas, part of how they drive their brand is to create things that have a lot more demand than supply,” says Stiller. And that means big premiums for those who resell their brand-new, unworn shoes, known as “deadstock” in the secondary market.
Click here to see the sneakers with the highest resale value according to Stocks.com’s latest data.