What is “sneakerhead”?

Previously on Mangtre, we’ve discussed the term “hypebeast” and what it means to be one. In the general concept of “hypebeast” being fashion enthusiasts, we also have another subconcept-the “sneakerhead”. This article will cover a brief introduction and detail to what it means to be a “sneakerhead” and how you can become one.

Owning an impressive collection of exclusive sneakers along with an extensive knowledge on the sneaker culture are two of the common features of a true sneakerhead. Photo Credit: Chattanooga Times Free Press

What’s the deal with “sneakerhead”?

As the name suggests, the term is a combination of the word “sneaker” and “head” that describes someone who is enthusiastic about owning sneakers. However, not just collectors, sneakerheads are often very knowledgeable on the history, value, and even ways to obtain sneakers that are deemed “desirable”.

The history of “sneakerhead” and the sneaker movement

The sneaker enthusiasm that we see in recent years originally started in the 1970s with the introduction of sneakers made exclusively for famous basketball players by a handful of sports brands. Other than the exclusivity of these shoes, these brands also invest heavily in associating their sneakers to athletes and hence start building a sense of “prestige” through their products. Gradually, this movement blew up after the introduction of the first Jordan’s by Nike as well as the introduction of the “retro” version of these sneakers and has continuously developed to be the sneaker culture that we see today.

Athletes such as Michael Jordan along with the Jordan 1 from Nike is one of the sneakers which kickstarts the sneakerhead culture and movement. Photo Credit: Getty Images

The modern sneakerhead and sneaker culture

While many “sneakerheads” in the 70s would collect sneakers as collectibles, many sneakerheads today can take a different route in their community-making a profit by commercializing the sneaker culture. While trading and buying from one another has been a common practice from the beginning of sneaker culture, it has recently reached an all-time high in intensity as more and more people turn to sell exclusive sneakers for profits. These sneakerheads are commonly known as “resellers” who would stock up desirable shoes and then resell them to other sneakerheads at a profiting price, hence their name. While many surely benefit from doing this practice, reselling shoes has undoubtedly driven up the price for sneakers to an absurd amount in certain cases. The most notable example would be the “Jordan 4s retro Eminem Carhatt” exclusively made for the rapper Eminem, reportedly being sold on StockX for as high as $15,500.

Exclusive sneakers can have an absurd price tag if bought from “resellers” through pages such as Stock X. Photo Credit: StockX Website

How you can become a sneakerhead

As mentioned before, a sneakerhead is not merely just someone who likes sneakers but also has a broad knowledge of the sneakers' history and culture. Along with the wave of resellers in recent years, a deep pocket will also be helpful if you are planning to be at the top of the sneaker game as well. While there are other ways of getting around the money setback such as “camping” for release dates to get sneakers at retail price or obtaining sneakers from “plugs” (sellers that offer sneakers at favorable prices), these methods often require a lot of time and can be situational for each person. Regardless, if you do have the money and time, then sneaker culture is definitely an exciting hobby to pursue.





Photo Cover Credit: Getty Images