Sneaker Mania


The Athletic

As the demand for sneakers goes up supply does not, this causes issues for a number of consumers.

Imaan Moten, Photojournalist

Sneakers are now one of the most popular consumer items in the world. They have become a thing to collect and own – so much so that people are willing to pay way over RTP in order to get a pair that they really want. There’s even a term for these people called ”Sneakerheads.” People have always had a certain affinity to having a nice pair of shoes, but this amount of hype and demand was not always there. Not only is the demand unnecessary, but it is also created by the shoe companies in order to create “hype” around their company and their products. This is called artificial demand. 

Companies like Nike and Adidas have more than enough resources and production facilities to manufacture large amounts of a certain type of shoe. However, they choose to create limited collections and size availabilities so people are fighting to purchase a unique shoe. After purchasing, there is a large post-retail resale market that does not directly benefit the bigger companies but brings the value of their shoes up. Along with this limitation, both companies utilize a draw system through a separate app for people to “win” shoes. They make it seem as if it is such a big deal and that you are lucky enough to get these shoes; in reality, you are trapped into buying full-price items in sizes and styles you may not really want. How the draw systems work is that at a certain time, the shoes will be dropped and during this ten minute to twenty-four periods, a customer has the chance to enter their credit card number, address, and size preference in order to join the queue to get chosen to purchase the shoe. 

Although the app seems rather simple to use and an easy way to purchase it has caused a number of frustrations for Nike’s customers. An article from Complex discusses how SNKRS shoppers have grown accustomed to frequent failure due to the “limited nature of the items available on the app.”. The article also discussed a presentation from Nike corporate in which one slide said “We are at risk of losing our most sneaker-obsessed consumer,”. It goes on to say that these shoppers are becoming disenfranchised and moving elsewhere as they view Nike’s limited releases as part of a “hype machine”. Another big concern with customers is the draw system, a lot of people fear that the system is unfair because it is entered not only by real people but a large number of “bots” that try to grab the sneakers for resale purposes.  

Font student at YLHS Adil Ismail (10) discusses how he “constantly enters these Nike sneakers draw but has never won anything”, he also added that he has had better luck winning from the Adidas version of the app.