A Sneakerhead is a person who admires, collects or trades sneakers as a hobby. He can tell between real and fake replica sneakers. The collection of sneakers is a hobby and often brought out by the collection of shoes made for sports, particularly basketball and skateboarding.
The terminology of Sneakerhead stared in the 1980’s and was brought about by two major sources: basketball and skateboarding, especially when Michael Jordon came out with the Air Jordon series in 1985. During this era is when the signature basketball sneakers began and the Sneakerheads started the fad of collecting them while the hip-hop movement brought out the street credibility as a status symbol. In the last decade this Sneakerhead culture has emerged in the UK and Czech Republic also.
Styles and Marketing
A lot of popular styles and brands became collectable items. The most popular are Air Jordon, Air Force 1, Nike Dunks, Nike Skateboarding, Nike Foamposites, Nike Air Max and The Nike Air Yeezy. The most valued are usually limited editions or exclusives. Also the different colors could be rarer, relative to other sneakers on the same type and class, which in turn inflates the value. Custom sneakers and hand painted one of a kinds have become popular also.
A lot of brand name sneakers have custom shops, where you can buy the color, lettering and materials that are pleasing to you. (Also Signed by some BB Players like Michael Jordon, LeBron James or Kobe Bryant) To see more signed sneakers or to buy some you can go to http://sneakersontherun.com/collectable-sneakers
Nike still uses Basketball Stars to market their brands. In 2011, Blake Griffin had introduced the “Hyperdunk” when he played for the LA Clippers in 2010-2011. Nike also had celebrities from outside the sports world to design and bring their sneakers to market. The Nike Air Yeezy was one of those brought out in 2009 as well as the Nike Air Yeezy II being introduced in 2012.
Skateboarding, since 2005, has been largely in the collecting industry with the Nike skateboard sneaker and Supra sneaker. Michael Jordon included the Jordon 1, 3, 4, 11 and 13 as collectable brands.
The Sneakerhead subculture started in the US in the late 1980’s and had gone global by 1999. Hardcore sneaker collectors in Britain, US and Europe would buy online, go to outlets, have parties, swapmeets and sneaker events to search for vintage, rare and limited shoes. In the beginning this was very popular between the urban Afro-American youth and the White Teenage skateboarders. By the 2000’s it was becoming popular among the Asians especially in Malaysia, India and China.
Common apparel that the Sneakerheads wore included Nike Air Jordon’s, Air Yeezy, Nike SB’s, Vans and a numerous amount of others. Designer sportswear, True Religion slim fit jeans and backward baseball caps, the red hi-tops with fluorescent white stars were very popular. All kinds of accessories were worn, like headphones, leggings, slouched crew socks and Keds (for girls), sunglasses, plaid shirts, tracksuits, cosmic print T shirts and watches.
Sneakerheads would try and be different by tying their shoelaces in unconventional ways, staggering, crossways and laddering. Now by 2016 everyone wears basically black, red or white due to the 80’s New Wave Music, Michael Jordon Era and the Old School hip-hop.
By 2010 Sneakerheads started their own language. Some of the common words were:
- Feezy – Fake Yeezy’s
- Dope – Fashionable
- Cop – Purchase or Buy
- Fire – Very Good
- Fresh – New and Cool
- Crispy – Clean
- Garms – Clothes
- Heat – Rare Sneakers that draw Looks
- Jumpman – BB player Michael Jordon
- Kicks – Shoes
- L – Loss, Unable to Buy
- Steezy – Stylish
- Wild – Amazing
- Yeezy – Sneakers designed by Rapper Kanye West
and many more.
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