What’s in a name? Sneakers have several. They may be called Keds, Canvas, Kicks, Trainers, Talkies, gym shoes, tennis shoes, runners, running shoes, gutties, sneaks, rubber shoes, athletic shoes and sports shoes. Throughout the world, the term “sneakers” conveys a meaning to those who wear it. It has become synonymous with sporting footwear, casual wear and even status. Yet, among all those who treasure their sneakers, none do more so than those known as sneakerheads. Whether they purchase them after standing in line for hours, or obtain them from an online sneaker store, sneakers are their passion and their business.
What is a Sneakerhead?
The word “sneakerhead” refers to any individual who purchases sneakers for purposes other than wearing. Generally, sneakerheads collect sneakers. They may trade them or sell them – although purists argue a true sneakerhead does not purchase sneakers to resell. It is part of a hobby and, for some, a form of business.
While many are amateurs, others are highly experienced. They can easily separate fake or replica sneakers from the real ones. They write on social media, they also are proponents of their favorite Online Sneaker Store as well as certain retailers. Like most hobbyists, sneakerheads tend to focus on a specific type or brand. They usually collect sneakers that are created for specific sports.
While there tend to be more males than females in this group or subculture, many females do become sneakerheads. Yet, whether male or female, sneakerheads have obe thing in common. They love sneakers with a passion. Like fans and collectors everywhere, they are also willing to pay large sums of money to obtain that certain pair of sneakers for their collection.
When did it Start?
The subculture known as sneakerhead became a part of American culture during the 1980s. This was the result of two related factors:
- The increased interest in Basketball and what the players wore resulting from the rise in the sport of Michael Jordan. His 1985 shoe the Air Jordan is considered the Holy Grail by many sneakerheads.
- The rise of Hip Hop
These two factors provided would-be collectors with an example of highly collectible brand name sneakers and a status symbol through Michael Jordan. It also gave them a type of credibility. On the street, rap artists and street performers provided sneakers with a grittiness. It made them real and acceptable. In other words, the two opposing natures of sneakers made them something collectors could purchase without feeling elitist or thinking they were selling out.
The subculture appears most strongly in North America. Yet, thanks to such things as availability through any online sneaker store, sneakerheads now can be found in Europe and other countries.
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