So many types of sneakers: the GQ sneaker guide

Lately, collaborations, once mere adventures, have solidified into something more permanent. Now, Jerry Lorenzo of Fear of God is installed in the basketball wing of Adidas (where his former colleague Kanye West houses his brand Yeezy). Aimé Leon Dore’s Teddy Santis runs the show for New Balance’s Made in America division, while Pyer Moss founder Kerby Jean-Raymond is Reebok’s global creative director. Where collaborations were once additions designed to add a bit of funk, they now help run entire global businesses. –CW

So … How do I buy them?

As we noted, you can buy certified classics at the mall. But if you want to buy most of the other sneakers discussed here – the one-offs, the hot collaborations, most of the Yeezy – you’ll have to navigate a slightly more complicated ecosystem. The world of sneakers runs on hype and exclusivity; the latter essentially produces the former. To maintain this state of affairs, brands use the drop model, where the shoes come out in specific time windows. (Perhaps you recognize the decline of the streetwear and high fashion worlds, which eagerly borrowed from the tried and true method of sneakerdom.) This is why you’ll see kids camping out in front of stores, or why you may have -being a hole in your computer keyboard trying to connect at precisely the right time.

When it comes to getting your hands on a pair, you have a handful of options. You can try out a particular shoe manufacturer’s site, or mobile platform: Nike has its SNKRS app, while Adidas uses Confirmed. Elsewhere, you can check your local sneaker store or the websites of those around the world. And keep an eye on their sites and social media accounts before the release date of your chosen shoe. Many of these stores hold raffles for much desired kicks. Enter far!

And when all that fails, we’re sorry; it probably will, you can head into the secondary market. Sneaker Resale is a thriving multi-billion dollar business based on the idea that some sneakers are valuable enough to change hands multiple times before they find their ultimate home, like investment vehicles that lose interest. . And depending on where you’re going, buying the pair you want can be as easy as a click, provided, of course, you’re willing to pay a probable mark-up.

But each platform has its own quirks and efficiencies. For more peace of mind, start with StockX: The platform only deals with new and unworn products and, by treating its products as inventory, allows buyers and sellers to set or ask for prices based on current demand. GOAT, in the meantime, offers a similar service, with the additional possibility of shopping for used sneakers too. If you don’t mind a crease or two on your toes, you may be able to uncover a killer case on a pair of all-time grails. Graalé is more of a market, with prices set not on the stock exchange, but out of personal preference. So while there is always a handful of hot new drops from Jordan, Yeezy and the rest, this is undoubtedly the best place to shop. models from late designers like Rick Owens, Balenciaga, and more. If you prefer to do things the old-fashioned way, that is, in person, with the ability to see exactly what you’re buying and maybe even try it out.Stadium goods, with its physical locations in New York and Chicago, is the way to go. To finish: eBay. The pioneering online auction house has stepped up its kicker credentials in recent years in an effort to appeal to sneaker enthusiasts, with a team of independent authenticators on hand to inspect and verify every pair sold. –YG


PRODUCTION CREDITS:
Photographs by Martin Brun
Stylized by Joseph mooney
Scenography by Bjelland-Closmore

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