Aglet is a new sneaker app designed by a team including adidas’ former director of future trends, Ryan Mullins, and illustrator Dan Freebairn (Kickposters). The app aims to solve sneakerheads’ frustrations of not being able to buy limited and grail-level sneakers by giving them a chance to do so digitally.

Aglet is modelled after Pokémon Go, in the sense that users collect virtual currency by walking around in the real world, which they can then use to buy sneakers. When worn in-game, more limited or coveted sneakers allow users to collect more currency per real-world step, meaning the next grail can be bought more quickly.

In-game sneakers deteriorate over time — just like in real life — for which the team has set up repair or deadstock stations, which fix up your sneakers and get them looking box-fresh again. Additionally, there are also treasure stashes placed around key cities worldwide (usually at sneaker-related, real-life locations such as stores). These can be “unboxed” to reveal more virtual currency, in-game sneakers, or — eventually — real sneakers.

While the main focus currently is on digital sneaker collection, Aglet has the potential to link real-life sneaker collecting and buying to in-game challenges and achievements in the future.

“Given that we take an L on like 99% of the sneakers we're going after, we decided that a game for virtual sneakers is the remedy,” says Mullins. “The idea is to build a "game layer" on top of the sneaker industry.”

“Unlike real sneaker purchasing of entering raffles and the luck of the draw. I can browse the Aglet Sneaker Shop for what I want to cop next, knowing I’ll need to put a bit of work in to get ‘em and feel that sense of achievement.” says Freebairn.

Aglet is available now for iOS, with an Android version in the works.

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