When I think of collecting, I always picture stamp collections in neat little books or a dresser full of dainty painted plates. However, the collecting market has changed over the years to become more accessible to modern consumers. Today, collecting’s become fashionable, and one of the most popular things to collect is trainers. Often known as Sneakerheads, trainer collectors can spend thousands searching for and buying rare, limited edition or just plain cool trainers. Some may focus on a specific brand, whilst others will simply collect what’s cool. Trainer collecting is big business, with some collectors spending a fortune and even attending huge events where they can find out more about the latest styles, trends and brands in the trainer collection space.
So just what is it that makes people spend their hard earned-money and precious time collecting trainers? I think there are several different reasons and I’ve outlined them below.
The Internet Has Made It Easier
Way back in the days before the internet, if you wanted to collect something then you had to trudge around second-hand shops looking for it or contact other collectors to see if they could help you. Now it’s as simple as going on the internet and searching. There are even specific online stores dedicated to selling trainers that are no longer in stock with major retailers so that collectors can fill the gaps in their collections. Known as deadstock, these shoes are highly prized and can be now be found on a range of websites, allowing collectors to easily buy and sell trainers that brands no longer make.
Brands Have Helped Fuel The Trend
In my opinion, brands have helped to make trainer collecting so popular. Many brands sell limited editions or specific collections that are endorsed by celebrities, and these sales tactics have helped to make certain shoes rarer and therefore more valuable to collectors. This has helped to fuel the trend in trainer collecting over the years, as collectors covet the shoes they can no longer buy direct from brands and this increases their value.
New Designs Are Released All The Time
Brands are constantly updating their collections and creating new designs to keep up with the latest fashion trends, and as such collectors end up buying lots of new styles each season. Many sites help collectors and trainer enthusiasts by selling the latest products as they’re released. As such, they can easily browse the newest releases and make their selection, allowing them to enhance their collection quickly and easily.
Men’s Trainers Now Come In Many Beautiful Designs
Many men’s clothes can look boring and similar, but trainers are often stylish and colourful, as evidenced by the latest Fendi designs. As such, they make the ideal collector’s item for men who are keen to start collecting but don’t want to have a wardrobe full of coats or shirts that all appear similar to the untrained eye. Trainers are distinctive and can be identified easily by their branding and design, meaning that collectors can easily show off their latest purchases.
People Are Constantly Looking For Hobbies
Millennials are always seeking for ways to improve their mental health, wellbeing and social lives in general. Previous trends such as knitting and fidget spinners show that today’s consumers are willing to embrace pretty much anything that they can show off on social media, so trainer collecting is a logical choice. Today there are even Instagram accounts dedicated to trainer collecting, allowing enthusiasts to show off their latest purchases and learn more about the latest updates in the world of collectable trainers.
It Can Be Lucrative If Done Right
Dedicated trainer collectors can potentially make big money from their hobby if they put the time and effort in. Sotheby’s Auction House broke the world record earlier this year for the most expensive pair of trainers sold at auction after a pair of 1972 Nike Waffle Racing Flat ‘Moon Shoes’ sold for $437,500, showing that collectors are willing to put in vast sums of money to creating the perfect trainer collection. For business savvy trainer fans, such news offers a unique opportunity to make a lot of money, but the time and effort has to be put in to finding, buying and preserving certain styles of shoes. Collectors keen to make a lot of money from their trainers also need to anticipate what the market will want in the future and buy accordingly, and they may need to be prepared to wait a long time for their investment to pay off.
Some People Just Love Wearing Them
While it’s true that some trainer collectors are hardcore hoarders who don’t even touch their precious shoes, some are simply fashion-conscious blokes looking to wear the best footwear on the market all the time. Many collectors love to wear their shoes and show them off, and if you’ve got the money then personally, I can’t see why you wouldn’t want to have the latest kicks.