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It’s amazing to me that in a time where we have 5.3 million+ U.S. citizens who are currently unemployed,  we suddenly have an uprise in the Sneakerhead community.    What’s more amazing is towards the end of 2011 going into 2012 Nike, Lebron James, and Kobe Bryant have changed the game for the average price range without question or kickback.   Michael Jordan still has the majority the sneakerhead world but the Nike based, Lebron 9 series and  Kobe 7 System are both $170+ at normal retail and when the special edition colorways are released there’s a frenzy because only select stores get them.   OKC’s Kevin Durant, who for the past few seasons has been top 5 most exciting players to watch and is under Nike normally having the same release dates is selling his KD 4’s for $95.  Not sure if KD himself has control over the price of the shoe but really, what’s the science?

The original Lebron 9 shoe itself costs $170, as does the Kobe 7 System, but now we have an elite version.  Released just this past weekend the Lebron 9 Elite series retail price is $250.  I’m sorry, maybe that wasn’t clear, two hundred and fifty dollars for a Nike Basketball sneaker!  As local artist @SpacehighPate said, “since when did that become the wave I musta missed something…”  When did it become okay to put out $250 for a pair of sneakers.   Not to mention the collectors that are really just keeping them for show.    I haven’t even begun to touch on the aftermarket sale prices.   For instance, the galaxy series released for All-Star weekend in February, if you look for a pair Lebron’s, Kobe’s, or KD’s from the galaxy series your average price is $350+ and they are being sold.   Nike’s Foamposite line released an All-Star Galaxy edition that sold for $200 and is now about $1,000 on Ebay.   Custom shoe designers are getting as much $800 for a  pair of Lebron’s, Kobe’s, or KD’s and more so my question is, what is the mental satisfaction for today’s sneakerhead?  What do you get after you’ve waited in line for 16 hours just to pay $170, or if you missed the release you’re willing to pay almost double?  Is it bragging rights,  social status? Is it that you can upload that picture on your Instagram and Twitter and say “yeaaaaaa I got em” and that’s it?  And please don’t get me wrong, if that’s you, I’m not hating, judging, or saying it’s a bad thing.   I just want to know what it is?  What defines you as a sneakerhead, what sets you apart?

Words by: @NickRichGFX