At the moment, rare and high-end sneakers are so highly valued that their re-sale prices can exceed the original price.
Shoppers most often find pre-owned kicks on sites like Stock X or eBay, where a bid of $2270 might win a pair of Nike 4 Graffiti NYC Lebron basketball shoes. There is another market, though, for sneakers made by fashion brands such as Lanvin and Gucci.
One example is the Real Real, an online luxury shop where you can find a vintage Hermes bag, a set of Lalique Champagne flutes, and a $1557 pair of black nylon Chanel high-tops with tonal stitching, contrasting rubber soles, and quilted leather insoles.
This is a meaningful indicator for fashion brands, which can offer steeper markups on the accessories that make up a key part of their profit margins.
The top five bestselling sneakers on Real Real is:
- Common Projects Achilles low-top
- Buscemi 100MM high-top
- Balenciaga Arena high-top
- Valentino Garavani Rockrunner
- Adidas X Yeezy Boost 350 V2
Common Projects Achilles
As a whole, anti-flashy white low-tops like the Common Projects Achilles dominate resales.
Made in Italy since 2004, the Common Projects shoe is a durable, smartly constructed sneaker that refuses to go out of style. It's simpler than a Stan Smith and, starting at $487, is only about five times the price. Part of its beauty is its inconspicuousness.
No one will ever say, "What are those?," largely is because anyone inclined to do so already knows.
After the Common Projects shoe is the Buscemi 100MM. In any colour, the Buscemi makes even an electric-blue Arena look as discrete as an undertaker's oxford. Let's talk about the 18-carat-gold-plated padlocks on the ankles.
I thought it possible that these ornaments might represent commentary on the absurd values ascribed to luxury sneakers in general. (Which would qualify the shoes as witty.)
The designer is now offering a $171,300 version featuring locks decorated with 11.5 carats of diamonds. (Which qualifies it as a thoughtful gift for the most cherished member of your entourage.)
The Balenciaga Arena is in third place here, a lambskin number unifying themes introduced by the fifth- and fourth-place sneakers. It is purely a fashion item-it looks like a hiking boot for walking an extremely arduous red carpet-and, as paparazzi photos show, it hasmet the approval of Kim Kardashian's husband.
Kanye West, he of the Yeezy, has boasted that he is responsible for 50 per cent of Balenciaga's shoe sales; just because he's an egomaniac doesn't mean he's incorrect.
While a running shoe like the Boost makes plausible claims about the technology that helps some people actually run well in it, the Rockrunner prefers to direct shoppers' attention to the series of rubberised pyramidal studs standing proud as any logo at the heel stabiliser.
Striking but not loud, arty but unpretentious, it is generally a likeable shoe, as long as we concede that the only athletic activity for which it is correct is brunch.
When the Real Real broke down the data to focus only on San Francisco and Silicon Valley, a list otherwise marked by the minimalism of Lanvin and Givenchy shoes revealed a flamboyant outlier at the top spot: the Louis Vuitton Damier high-top.
The shoe, which is no longer in production, sold for $967 at retail and typically now moves for around $500 in very good condition. Resembling a hybrid of a vintage pair of Ponys and a pair of Vans, it is opposite of understatement.
And in this context, the checkered pattern (a Louis Vuitton logotype since 1888) encourages comparison to another, different style of Vans. In other situations, these shoes might invite comparisons to ladies' handbags, but the creators of this distinctive pattern seem to have stumbled into a sweet spot.