Sneaker Culture Is A Reminder That We’re All Just Animals
If you look under the surface of contemporary sneaker culture, the hard-edged competition of the “sneaker game” reveals a much more nuanced truth: sneakerheads have lived, breathed, and grown thanks to their own special form of community. Before it was Yeezy’s, it was Jordans; before Js, it was player-edition Dunks in college team colorways. No matter the era, the materials, or the models of the shoe itself, a sneaker’s coolness is inversely related to how many people can potentially get their hands on it. It’s the same reason why we lust after numbered collabs but scoff at general releases – if you’re the only one in your group with a specific shoe, the bragging rights are almost built-in. Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but “1/100” is hard, fast, and objectively fresh. That’s not to say all exclusivity comes with a numbered tag. Before the internet and the rise of social media, it didn’t matter if Nike sold half a million “Legend Blue” 11s to the world at large; you (and your fellow local sneakerheads) had no way of seeing most of those pairs in the wild. If you were the only one in your city with a dope shoe and your friends weren’t overexposed to that same dopeness through their Instagram news feed, your “1/500,000” was still considered exclusive. The thirst for inherent exclusivity creates an innately competitive culture where the goal is naturally adversarial: if your friend has a dope exclusive shoe, then your search for a more exclusive (and therefore more desirable) shoe is an ongoing challenge. Read more at Highsnobiety.