91% say sneaker collecting is not all about hype

91% say sneaker collecting is not all about hype

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In our latest Straat Talk series, we revived an age-old debate: hype or nothing, or buy what you like even if it’s a general release? Here’s what we learned from our poll about hype sneaker collections.

Hype sneaker collections: How much is too much?

We’re all too familiar with the Instagram posts of sneakerheads showing entire walls covered in the hottest sneakers to drop in the last few years. A quick scroll would reveal an influx of jealous comments and envy-fueled likes. These flex posts got us thinking: does the community really only appreciate hype sneaker collections? We took to our Straat Talk polls to find out.

85% of sneakerheads don’t restrict their purchases to only hype sneakers


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Through the Straat Talk polls, we got a good idea of what our followers felt about hype sneaker collections. The first thing we noted is that 85% of sneakerheads don’t restrict their purchases to only hype sneakers and 91% of respondents didn’t believe that their rotation should comprise hype sneakers only. In fact, most respondents shared that 60% to 80% of their collection was made up of general release sneakers.

What is a general release sneaker? More here on sneaker terms: Straatopedia: A Sneaker Terminology Guide

Hype today, not tomorrow

Hype sneaker collections: How much is too much?

Nike React Element 87

From the polls, it seems most sneakerheads understand that the singular pursuit of hype will only leave us chasing our tails. As one user, @dexter_t, pointed out quite pertinently, what we regard as hype sneakers today is bound to change with time and trends. The Nike Element 87 and Adidas Ultraboost are some examples that were once hype, but are now past their prime.

In many ways, the brands are in control of creating the hype. A common practice across brands now is the restocking of hyped sneakers like the Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 Bred. As user @kingofsqueak puts it, these restocks are a “coin with 2 sides” — a great second chance to gain access to the pair for those who missed out on the original release; not so great for those who were banking on the hype of those shoes when they first dropped.

What should sneakerheads buy then?

The short answer: buy what you like. As user @hrthirfn puts it, “… if you love the design, love the shoes, grab it – f**k whatever anyone says.”

This is far from a novel concept – it’s the mindset that created sneaker culture in the first place. Sneakerheads used to buy the shoes that they liked for its origin story or its design. New Yorkers stayed loyal to white-on-white Air Forces due to its association with basketball and rap music while in Europe, the Adidas Samba was beloved for its close links to football culture. Those were simpler times, and the responses to our poll suggest a yearning for that.

Hype sneaker collections: How much is too much?

Jerry Lorenzo rocking the Adidas Samba

Don’t fall for the hype

So how do you resist falling for the hype? Here are some steps you can take to create a rotation that is true to you:

  • Look out for understated sneaker drops or GR retros. These releases often go unnoticed and eventually hit the discount pile, where you’ll find them going for less than retail prices. Great examples are the Nike Blazer, New Balance 990, Adidas Niteball, Reebok Club C and Nike Air Max 97.
  • Consider buying your grails in used condition. You can sometimes even get these for half their original price.
  • Look beyond the Swoosh and Three Stripes. Take the time to learn more about brands like Reebok, New Balance and Puma and check out their lifestyle and retro sneakers. These brands too have incredibly storied histories and sneakers with a lot of cultural value. Read our guides on sneakers like the 237, 327, 57/40 and Forum – there are plenty of awesome sneakers out there!

Here are some more attainable alternatives to the Nike Dunk: Bored of the Dunk? Here are some fresh alternatives

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