Have you always dreamed of having an epic sneaker collection? Whether you just bought your first pair of Yeezys or you’re a self-proclaimed sneakerhead, there’s always room to grow.
Before you start shopping for new sneakers and adding them to your cart, take the time to get your strategy right first. Today, we’re sharing 11 of our top tips for building and investing in the right shoes, one pair at a time.
Find Your Personal Style
Sneakers can be a hefty investment, especially when you get into the designer basketball shoe game. Before you purchase the latest and greatest styles, make sure to understand your personal preferences.
Ultimately, you want to be able to actually wear the sneakers that line your shelves. Rather than rushing out to buy what everyone is hyping online, check out this guide to help identify and shape your individual look.
Plan Your Budget
New sneakers are supposed to bring you joy. They shouldn’t put a major strain on your finances. If you’re still paying off debt or making every penny count, now isn’t the time to build up your personal collection.
Instead, use this time to become more financially stable. Pay your bills on time, trying to reduce or even eliminate any balances that you still owe. Save as much of your income as possible, and create an emergency fund that contains at least six months of savings.
When you feel comfortable enough to start making personal purchases again, think carefully about the shoes you invest in. Choose the best sneakers you can buy for your budget, but resist the urge to go with a super-cheap pair. These shoes will usually break down far sooner than their higher-priced counterparts, so you’ll need to replace them more often.
In time, this could mean spending even more money than you wanted to on shoes. Instead, stick with classic pairs that you know will deliver. One example is the Adidas Nizza line, so check it out today.
Remember the Classics
There’s something to be said about venturing out and trying new kicks. You can find some incredible, up-and-coming designers this way and may even find your new favorite brand! However, don’t negate the power of time.
Some of the greatest brands today are ones that were also hot decades ago, like Nike and Adidas footwear.While there are always new colorways and collaborations to browse, you can’t go wrong with a pair of Air Jordans in their different styles, like the Cherry 11, with matching Jordan 11 Cherry shirts to complement the ensemble; no matter your age or basketball skill level.
Research shows that 84% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends and family members. When you’re looking for new sneakers to add to your collection, check out what others are saying! Create a short list of styles you want, and then read reviews, testimonials, and ratings to understand how they hold up.
Remember that manufacturers invest heavily in marketing and branding to appeal to your visual interests. However, you need shoes that feel as great as they look. Scan the reviews to understand how comfortable the shoes feel and how well they perform.
Stay Informed in the Industry
True sneakerheads know about new colorways and releases before they even occur. They also hear whispers of celebrity collaborations before they hit the newsstands.
This is because they read blogs, magazines, and articles all about the sneaker culture. They spend their time watching unboxing videos on YouTube, asking questions on online forums, and following their favorite brands on social media.
This is a great way to stay in the know about everything happening in the industry. If you’re new to this niche, it can also help you brush up on your sneaker jargon, so you can confidently hold a conversation about your budding hobby.
Don’t Buy Just to Resell
There’s a big difference between buying sneakers to resell later, and collecting them for the cultural value they hold. Even if you never plan to put the shoes on your own feet, you should at least be buying them for a personal reason.
Maybe you want to store them for your children one day, or you want to commemorate a special moment in sport’s history. Either way, we don’t recommend making sneakers a purely transactional, commodity item. This takes much of the fun and intrigue away from the practice and puts too much emphasis on financial value.
Many people who take this route do so because they’re unaware of the rich history of sneaker culture. Read a few classic books on the subject, such as these eight best-sellers.
Get Familiar With Drop Dates
Many times, a hotly-anticipated sneaker release will sell out in a matter of minutes. It isn’t enough to be lightning-quick on the keyboard. You need to know exactly when those releases are happening, so you can be one of the first in line.
There are apps available to help you track these updates, and some even include countdown clocks so you never miss a moment. You should also add sneaker news sites to your list of online bookmarks, as these experts will usually have (and share) advanced intel.
See something that piques your interest? Add the drop date to the calendar on your smartphone, and set a reminder. Once you find a site or a personal source you can rely on, visit frequently and become as connected as possible.
Bond With Others
As sneaker-obsessed as you might be, there will always be someone else who is crazier about the industry than you are. Find those people and learn from them!
You can find many of them hanging out in online forums, sharing their personal preferences and talking shop. You can also connect with like-minded peers on Facebook groups or other social media sites.
Once you find a community you prefer, try to become as active and engaged there as possible. Not only is this a great way to make new friends and connections, but it could also put you in touch with sneakerhead mentors and others in the industry! You could be among the first to know about new and upcoming styles, just by logging online.
Beware of Bots
It might sound like something out of The Jetsons, but computer bots are actually snatching up new sneaker releases before actual buyers have the chance to get their hands on them.
These are highly trained, AI-driven tools designed to secure the kicks for online resellers, who can then turn around and make a profit off the transaction. Meanwhile, real collectors are behind their screens and keyboards, desperately trying to get online and wondering why they can’t.
In response, many sneaker manufacturers will hold raffles to give certain winners first buying dibs ahead of a new release. While this can work to ward off bots, the efforts aren’t entirely successful as even the auctions themselves can get hacked.
Still, they’re your best bet if you are eyeing a specific pair. Try to join as many online raffles as possible, and place your bids. Even if you do wind up with too many pairs, you can reach back to your social media community and share the love.
Take Care of Your Investment
You don’t want to pour time and money into your sneaker collection and then allow the shoes to become grimy overnight. If you wear yours out, clean them properly before storing them in your closet again.
While some shoes will require special care, you can remove most dirt and debris by using a soft cloth and dish soap diluted with warm water. Gently scrub the shoes, using a soft-bristled toothbrush to get into any grooves. Allow the shoes to completely dry before you put them up.
While it’s a great idea to wear your shoes into town or at the gym, avoid taking them into extremely muddy or dirty conditions, or areas where the terrain is treacherous. This can cause the tread on the bottom to wear down prematurely and can make the shoes more difficult to clean.
Diversify the Colorways
Finally, have a little fun with the colors in your sneaker collection! If you have a few styles you love, try to buy them in a variety of different colorways, so you always have a pair to go with each ensemble you choose.
Over time, you’ll amass a diverse, stunning collection that looks great on the shelf, in the closet, or displayed proudly in your home. You can group them by style, color, brand, or any way you prefer.
Create an Epic Sneaker Collection
A sneaker collection is a great way to express your personal style. As long as you choose shoes that you love and feel great on your feet, then you can’t go wrong.
Don’t get too caught up in the hype or what’s trending on social media. Instead, choose kicks you know you’ll wear again and again, or that speak to you on a sentimental level. Then, sit back and enjoy the sneaker collection you created!
Looking for more advice like this? Check out the guides in our Fashion section!