SELECT Discussion: Too Much of a Good Thing

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August 8, 2013

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sn select editorial too much of a good thing cover SELECT Discussion: Too Much of a Good Thing

The dynamics of the sneaker game have changed in immeasurable ways through the years, with the most dramatic shifts taking place fairly recently. The sneaker business has been booming as of late and it seems like every new weekend brings a new batch of “must have” releases. Consumers are getting the shoes they covet and the sneaker companies and retailers are reaping the benefits. Good news for everybody right? Sure, but for the sake of argument, let’s take a look at the big picture and some of the more underlying effects that are silently shaping the future of the sneaker landscape.

From a business standpoint, it makes plenty of sense to cash in while demand is high, but going about it in a way that will still set you up for the long term as well requires a delicate balance of ambition and restraint. Once these brands burn through their entire retro catalogs and explore every new color scheme and graphic treatment imaginable, what will there be left to sell you? Of course there will always be new models emerging with the latest in performance innovations, but there will also still be demand for the classics – only, what happens when there are no classics left to bring back? Well, they’ll probably just bring them back again, but after a shoe’s umpteenth re-release, it can lose a little of the impact that made them so special in the first place.

That’s all well and good, and certain iconic silhouettes will continue to stand the test of time, but even legends can fall from grace if pushed too hard. The danger is very real and we’ve recently seen it with unquestionably revered silhouettes like the Air Force 1 and then the Dunk, which hit such heights of popularity that they ultimately fell victim to oversaturation. While the AF1 and Dunk will never lose their Hall of Fame status and still have many loyal devotees, they are proof that even unthinkable cornerstones of sneaker history can fall out of favor with the mainstream once enough is deemed to be enough.

We’re not suggesting that sneaker companies should deprive consumers of the shoes they want, but there has to be some more consideration put into the lasting effects of milking every last drop. Is it worth it to go after every dollar today if it means killing a shoe for tomorrow? If it means having a product that everybody wants to get their hands on, that’s a fork in the road that any brand is happy to deal with, but the decisions they make can vastly alter the trajectory of the shoe’s legacy and its ability to succeed down the road. There are two sides to the debate, and we’re going to examine them both in our first installment of SELECT Discussion, so continue on to explore the double-edged sword that comes along with the laws of sneaker supply and demand.

69 comments
stopthepresses
stopthepresses

@Founding Father & @metaleggman  I don't think what either one of you are express or informing on can be even conceptualized by anyone born after 1989. My point being that the "sneaker heads" who were raised in the MMs have NO frame of reference as you or I would have. In other words, they don't know what quality is and the don't know when they are over paying for absolute crap...they actually feel good about over paying for crap..they brag about on social media and at high school and at college.

Jakeypoo
Jakeypoo

People who think it's even possible to ruin foams in the eyes of the consumer are out of their mind. As long as Nike produces a variety of colorways at limited numbers, People will buy them. 

Besides that, there isn't even any precedent for a show becoming unpopular. Nike has done hundred of Air Force ones and Nike SBs and the only reason they slowed down is cause Nike stopped making as many collaborations and color ways. And even if nike did overkill the shoe, it will only create more hype for when they retro the "true" or "OG" foamposites. 

Just a bunch of overreactions by idiots who can't see the big picture.

Alejandro8675
Alejandro8675

Lets all just give up on nike and buy fubus! 

Founding Father
Founding Father

The cause of the poorer quality shoes does not rest solely "no pun intended" on Nike or any other large manufacturing company. Many companies had to find ways to make cuts as far as natural materials are concerned, now there are federal and state government rules in place that have banned or outlawed the use of certain materials. You also have the animal rights groups that have gotten their way with the killing of animals for their hides, which is why when an all real leather shoe comes out the numbers are low but the price is a lot higher. Certain glues are no longer used, outdated equipment has been replaced, it's all kinds of criteria that companies have to meet in order to keep product rolling out the door. On another note when Nike does a retro they take the OG shoe out of the vault where it has been sitting for who knows how long and they use the dried up faded colorway to produce the new retro... somethings they can control and they have seem to take a while to learn this, just look at the infrared Air Max 90s it took them until earlier this year to get those to correct specs. 

The term "sneakerhead" came just before "hypebeast". When Foot Locker used to get their shipments on WEDNESDAYS nobody called anyone a "sneaker" anything, you just paid for your shoes and left. Even if you did collect shoes their was no term for it because it wasn't looked at as the cool thing to do and, a lot of people that did collect would give shoes away regardless of what they were because you could always get another pair or you were just making room for new ones. I can take it back to 1997 before all this nonsense started. Fall 97' the Source magazine used to be a million pages, Wu Tang was killin it, Def Jam had every artist goin multi platinum, and the Nike Air Max Pillar came out.

They had a full paged ad in the Source and I said I'm gettin them, Wednesday rolls around I head to Foot Locker get my kicks and I'm out with ease no line, no hype, no site with trolls complaining about the shoe, no jacked up price, no reseller tryin to buy every pair, these were a lot simpler times. 

There is no need for these sites to try and report on these so called topics because the damage is done. Like Sneakernews for example they put this article up going on about Nike going overboard but, at the same time when the same company drops the same shoe they are talking down about comes out who wants to be first to let the world know the drop dates, and who has them in stock, and now they even put who has them on ebay. Somewhere along the line they will have to choose what side they want to be on... keep helping the hype train or teach people to not be sheep and gain some individuality by posting more than the hyped releases, and don't create hype by posting a general release shoe, just say something like " we saw these and thought you would like them".    

PJStechenfinger
PJStechenfinger

I gotta be honest the more that I look back on what the sneaker game used to be the more angry I get over the hype beasts out there who sell shoes for a &74 or $100 markup.  I remember the Saturdays when you could wake up, get in the car, and hit the mall and get your shoes without lines, without fights, without raffles and without hassle!

Plus, the quality of Jordans are lacking - I noticed it big time when I purchased the 8's.  The Hares and Playoffs looked and felt "off" to me so I grabbed my Aqua's from a few years back.  the Side panels on the new J's were smaller, the tongue Jumpman on both shoes were completely different and the suede was super cheap!!!!  I noticed the same thing on the Cement 3's I purchased this year!

Making shoes cheaper but charging more?  I bought Fire Red 3's in 2007 for $125.  Tag on the box doesn't lie!  Markup is insane!  Fire Red 3's now are $159?!?!?!  Are you kidding me?

Such BS - but that is what Nike and Jordan brand are all about!  I read the Doerenbecher release garnered $43 million in ONE day sales!?!?  With those types of numbers the only way to show Nike and Jordan that we won't take it anymore is to not buy sneakers anymore...which won't happen!  haha 

DugLast
DugLast

Sneaker collecting is no longer counter culture, it's mainstream (meaning it's less of a statement than it used to be and sneaker companies are cashing in while they can). I don't even call myself a sneakerhead anymore because it doesn't mean what it used to. I picked my kid up from school today and a kid that couldn't have been older than a fourth grader complimented me on my Bred IVs. He was wearing the KD VI Seat Pleasant with matching socks. How did he even get into that? Our priorities are in the wrong place.

metaleggman
metaleggman

"Consumers are getting the shoes they covet and the sneaker companies and retailers are reaping the benefits. Good news for everybody right? Sure, but for the sake of argument..." Fucking puppets.  Nike's got their hands so far up your ass I'm not even sure you speak for yourselves anymore.

See, I don't see this as anything more than an argument by whiskey in this article.  Shit's whack.

Fact is, the problem with the foam brand is that it's overpopulated.  Nothing wrong with a pasted on pattern; it's actually a dope concept that really worked with the Galaxies.  Not to mention that you guys seem to underestimate all the different retros of the ones and pros in the past.  Shows you what can be done with just simple color combos.  And the galaxies shows you what can happen if you really take an idea to heart.  Not too flashy, but brave.  Every other graphic foam, imo, were simply not inspired.

And this leads into the problem with the ridiculous amount of colorways for practically ever new sneaker Nike releases.  Most of the colorways are just plain lazy.  Everything is about essentially co-opting a cultural icon, then lazily pasting it onto a shoe.  And then when you do have an actual good colorway, Nike makes sure to limit it.

And that's the real reason they come out with so many colorways.  If you limit releases, but make more releases, more and more people will want a sneaker, not because they want the newest release, but because they simply couldn't get the last release and wish to compromise on something not as good, but acceptable.  This just feeds into a vicious cycle where any Nike or JB shoe not released for the whole year/season at your regular sneaker stores is considered a hot release that everyone "must have".  It's pretty obvious that Nike is releasing far fewer shoes than is still economically viable, or else they wouldn't keep having all these weird, random restocks.  Plus, what does it say about a company whose products are being sold after the fact for at least twice, if not much more at times, on the resale market?  True, the sneakers in circulation after the release would be fewer, but with how much of a "business" reselling has become, we see lots of spikes in sales, but with people stacked with kicks they thought would sell like gangbusters for 10 times the MSRP.

Then you have the fact that Nike is, more than anything else these days, an image brand.  Sure, people are buying Lebrons, Kobes, KDs, Jays, etc and acknowledge the name, but at the end of the day, it's the image the brand purports that people want and buy into.  It's true this exists for any company, but think about all the little sneaker trading forums and groups.  Think of all the people who buy what is a GR shoe and wait for that "perfect time" to rock them.  Think of all the people who buy a shoe to simply be seen in them, or, God, to simply rock them on instagram, to play the role of their rap, hip-hop, or celebrity idols, only to sell them after their first or second wear.  Remember when you went to a store and you bought a shoe and actually wore them out the store?  Yeah, don't see that happening anymore.


There's also the counter-crease culture.  It's not just because people want their shit fresh, or to protect their investment; it's because people understand that certain shoes will never come out again.  OR at least not in a while.

Nike, though, is essentially a show of what's wrong with the streetwear/urban fashion world at the moment.  You have generally good ideas, but people get greedy, and people simply want something because of a name, and don't seem to take into account actual quality.  I'm sorry, but $90+ for a button down?  $225 for a pair of V's?  $200 for a pair of jeans or $120 for a pair of shorts.  There's nothing wrong with paying this much for such items, if the quality was there.  It's not.  It's basically all cheap cotton, plasticized leather, fake suede, and cheap jean material.  Sure, I get paying good cash on a pair of Selvedge leather jeans, they could last you a life time.  But what people are buying today is, for the most part, absolute trash considering the price.  Essentially Wal-mart shit for luxury prices.

The politics of this sphere of fashion (I limit it in this way simply because I'm less familiar with others) is in utter shambles right now.  "Critics" of my thoughts may say I expect too much, or wax nostalgic, or I'm plain being salty or unrealistic.  But when you look at people who are doing shit right, like Vans with their fabulous Vault line, you start to realize how much of people's expectations for Nike, Supreme, basically all the hypebeast shit, is downright piss poor.

Soon, as with everything, it will bust.  It's quite obvious that the current socioeconomic-cultural model of the US is going to change eventually.  This too will change with it.

ISMVIC
ISMVIC

On the foamposite side of things you get what you ask for. You literally had people begging for for the nike to put graphics into foamposite after the galaxy released. Now look what they are doing. If the sneaker community Didn't want this they should have said something when old boy was trying to trade his car for a pair of galaxy foams. Nike looked at that is lets start making more foams. So as a community the whole foamposite fiasco is purely self inflicted.

qtbigwatts
qtbigwatts

That's the truth bruh. I might buy a bout 3 shoes every year from now on because all the Damn shoes I have I be mad that I can't wear em all in a month's time while wearing two a day

KuulB
KuulB

We all don't really need that many pairs of sneakers. 5 pairs you wear often in rotation should be enough. 

 It's a personal addiction we cannot break free from.

Look in the mirror.

Foots230
Foots230

what nike needs to do is stop with all these non relevant color ways. like how many times can you release the same shoe in 1000 colorways....and they get uglier the more they experiment. second remember back in the 90s they would restock the shoe every couple of months. I would say have 1 restock after 2 months of the release to keep everyone happy and cut off the resellers. im pretty sure nike can make this happen...why they don't do it is beyond me.

qtbigwatts
qtbigwatts

Cody. Palmaera whoever you spell that shit. Go look at the link I provided under your comment about being done with this site

jrlemons3
jrlemons3

Very good read.  I think the bubble will burst sooner or later because like everything else it's destined to happen. No one stays on top forever.  However, there will always be a demand for a product because a younger generation is destined to follow the older one.  

As I've gotten older I've seen the futility of having a large cache of shoes.  I have about 51 pair.  Small potatoes to many I would imagine.  Nevertheless, when I look in my closet I realize that I haven't worn some in a couple of years if not longer.  The recent Air Jordan 3 release reminded me that I had the '07 release in my closet.  

Instances like that keep me from buying more shoes even though I'm still an avid shoe fan. Ultimately, the cost for shoes now isn't justifiable when measured against adult responsibilities.  I've been blessed to be able to afford whatever shoes I want.  However, I've learned that just because you can afford something doesn't make it a responsible purchase.

Alejandro8675
Alejandro8675

Some shoes, like the FLOMS or NIKE MAGS, are worth the money spent on them because they are clearly made of a superior quality and are very rare.  The only problem is that regular shoes like the lebrons are retailing at 180, 10s, and the 11s are going to retail for 200! hype Beasts and re sellers are not the problem its the company. If the retail price wasnt that expensive they wouldnt retail for as much. If a lebron was retailed at $75 they would resell for 200 and that isnt so bad.

Founding Father
Founding Father

Nike does not care about what a few people's gripes are with them as long as there are millions of other buyers waiting on the next shoe to drop Nike will be paid regardless. I don't care how many times they retro anything if you don't want it don't buy the shit. If you are that weak of a person that you can't help but to be sucked into the hype of every drop... then you need to find some help, because Nike is not the one holding a gun to your head making you buy anything. Take some responsibility for yourself and stop blaming a company that has been doing their job for years. 

I don't blame Nike one bit for capitalizing on ignorance of today. A few years before the internet was available to the public there were no lines, no raffles, no violence, no hypebeasts trying to resell everything they could get their hands on at stupid prices. Now look at it there is no walking into any sneaker spot and getting that shoe you really want thanks to sites like this and tons like it making it hard for wearers to get the shoe they want versus brats just wanting to buy up sizes they can't even wear just to sell them. Then consumers feel like the boutiques have to praise them because they buy every hyped drop on Saturday... no, that does  not pay the bills, that does not get you box price, or any other special treatment. Buy some regular non-hyped products have some loyalty then you might get the treatment you are looking for. 

The prices will not drop, demand will not drop, Nike will more than likely not change anything they are doing to satisfy the complaints of consumers whining about retros, or any other shoe for that matter because there will always be a consumer looking for something you are not. 


Quick question...How many of you will be buying the retro LeBrons??????????????????? 


CEEODEE
CEEODEE

done with this site! i want unbiased opinions from people with intelligence...

Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant

It makes me wonder what will happen to the shoe game a couple of years from now, I'm sure nike and Jordan Brand would have retro'd  every shoe possible and will start re-retroing the OG's and even the Newer colorways... 

Sizeupkicks
Sizeupkicks

Don't say this article doesn't make sense. It makes perfect sense. Supply and demand is what what nike runs off of now a days. They release colorways that are going to be completely forgotten in the near future unless you own the shoe yourself. They are making colorways of shoes that nobody will even look at. It didn't used to be like that though. There's 2 sides of thinking here as they explain in the article so no matter what side your on it should make sense

dopeman978
dopeman978

this makes no sense. i get what they saying, but as long as there's kids who grow up missing out on their favorite sneaks, they will grow up and buy them for themselves and their kids. its a on going cycle. it will never get old or stale. the parents who missed out on jays will get them for their kids. like me, i wasnt able to get the OG jordans growing up because of the price(funny how people bitch about pricing now, like they did back in the 80's and 90's) and now that i am older and have a little disposable income, i can get the jordans i didnt have when i was in junior high or high school. i will be getting them for my son or daughter when their in school. so like i said its a never ending cycle.

asdfjkln64
asdfjkln64

Although I like some of these new pattern colorways, I wish they would go back to the basic colorways and maybe even retro a few more of the older ones and pros.

sneakerkeepa
sneakerkeepa

its like nike purposely make icy soles turn yellow overtime. were in 2013 im pretty sure you guys can make a icy soul that gets dirty but does not yellow. id pay more for it

JFresh_136
JFresh_136

Nike saw that the Galaxies and Paranormans had enormous hype around them, hype=money, so they made more Foams with prints. Every time they make a print now it gets worse and worse. Nike is greedy, which is why they release a shoe with 20+ colorways. If people want another colorway other than the one of the athlete's team and a few other related ones, let them go on Nike ID, which is why it's there in the first place. Stop retroing the same shoes over and over and retro the ones that haven't gotten a chance, including the 14s and up. More people want those to retro than they want you to think.

kshaun12
kshaun12

@PJStechenfinger ppl nowadays are too pressed and even if they dirt broke will still go out and spend what lil money they have on JB shoes.  JB sees this and capitalizes on it. i just hate all the bullshyt now of having to get the shoes, smh.  Raffles and tickets? Like wtf...just make enough, that's even more money in their pockets.  They arent getting anything off the reseller prices

qtbigwatts
qtbigwatts

They should let founding father write an article! I agree with the lines and raffle crap. I remember I could walk in the store and get a Jordan 13 retro or Jordan 6 retro 3 to 8 days after the drop. This isdsome bs with the Twitter and Facebook. It's not these sites that cause the serious hype it's the Twitters and Facebooks. Actually it's the people who really don't know shit about shoes they just buy shit because of the name that's attached to the product

JFresh_136
JFresh_136

I think you would've had a better experience if you hadn't decided to respond to everyone with hostility.

Kev Loco
Kev Loco

@Kobe Bryant They already started retroing sneakers from only a few years ago, and we all know that Jordan Brand won't retro none of the later sneaker models. So we are bound to see a few repeats in the next few years

dopeman978
dopeman978

@Sizeupkicks its funny, but a few years ago when JB started retroing shoes, people said they wanted their favorite shoes in different colors. now they giving it too us and now people complaining about that. its like damn if you do and damn if you dont. people are picky. the shoe world will never be happy! people just need to face it, this will never end! jordans are and will always be a "traditional" shoe, meaning, no matter what generation it is, x,y,z, they will always buy the shoe, no matter if its a OG color or a new color. and me personally, i get the shoes i like fuck the color. i buy what i want

JFresh_136
JFresh_136

Anything that starts out white or clear like icy soles turns yellow over time. It's oxidation and aging. It's not their fault. That's why old historical documents are yellow, and if you've seen plastic that's old it's sometimes foggy or yellow. If you want your soles to be clear again use Sea Glow.

qtbigwatts
qtbigwatts

Right on the money bruh! The 14's go hard and I wouldn't mind getting the 21's... but everything you said I agree. True shit. Greedy ass Nike, but we keep em in business. Maybe we should protest and go to other brands

qtbigwatts
qtbigwatts

This dude ceeodee has issues. Is your wife and kids punking your ass bruh? You have to get online and be gangsta and hard, because you can't do that shit in your own household. Too funny bruh

Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant

@CEEODEE @Sizeupkicks People like you are what corrupts the shoe game, the reason it dosnt make sense to you is because your probably a guy that buy's shit just for the hype

JFresh_136
JFresh_136

Corporate America could care less about the consumers and its employees, which is why Nike can do what they want and all we can do is complain. We can protest, but Nike will still feed off of resellers, Nike sheep and hypebeasts. As long as they exist, we have no chance in getting what we want.

CEEODEE
CEEODEE

@qtbigwatts MY KIDS AINT BORN AND MY WIFE DOES WHATEVER I FUCKING WANT. LIFE IS GREAT!

CEEODEE
CEEODEE

@Kobe Bryant @CEEODEE @Sizeupkicks all i do is buy kicks. never sold one or purchased two pairs at once in my life. people like me are whats good about the shoe game. i do i strictly from a fashion point of view. they are an accessory. adults will understand

Alejandro8675
Alejandro8675

@CEEODEE @qtbigwatts Every retro has at least one amazing colorway (just listing 1)

1: bred og

2: eminem

3: black cement

4: undefeateed

5: LAney

6: carmine

7: hare

8: playoffs

9: doernbacher

10: Steel

11: Space Jam

12: taxi

13: Flint

14: last shot

15: black 

16: ginger

17: Lightning

18: countdown 

19: East Coast

20: Midwest

21: white red

22: Chicago

23: Premier

CEEODEE
CEEODEE

@Kev Loco @CEEODEE @qtbigwatts the 14's had one good color way. indigo. the shoe is an immense failure. They have never sold out on day 1 of any release. crap!



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