Sneaker culture is rife with money and investments
Sneaker culture and reselling have come to dominate the conversation. The introduction of sites like GOAT and StockX has made sneakers a commodity, signaling a new era for sneaker culture. It recently saw one of the most meaningful investments in history: Foot Locker invested $100 million in GOAT Group, which operates secondary sneaker marketplaces GOAT and Flight Club. This investment is a concrete sign of the changing face of sneaker culture, where the culture has become a bona fide profitable market.
Sites like StockX and GOAT fulfil similar roles: the two marketplaces provide an authenticity service in which purchases made through the sites are sent to a HQ where the footwear is checked for authenticity before being sent out to the buyer. On top of this, StockX is structured like an investment marketplace, showing the changing market price for each shoe.
Of course, when a site like StockX provides this service–a service thought up by founder Josh Luber as a data aggregator to help the consumer–a commodities marketplace is created. StockX cannot be blamed for the new business-like state of sneaker culture, but the popularity of their service is proof of the evolution.
For those who have collected sneakers for more than the past 5 years, the current sneaker climate can seem like a soulless profiteering exercise undertaken largely by young teenagers with the help of their parents. Whereas in the past collecting sneakers involved a long search punctuated with human interaction and community, the internet has provided a space for quick and easy transactions in which shoes are just that: shoes. The shoe is no longer a piece of history or a moment in time imbued with a personal connection, but an object with the potential to earn money.