With limited-edition sneaker releases coming at us on a near-weekly basis, the growth of the resell market is showing no sign of slowing down. StockX data values the secondary market at $6 billion, significantly more than the $1 billion widely reported, so it makes sense that the likes of LVMH, Farfetch, and Foot Locker are making moves to get a slice of a pie previously reserved for only the most hardcore of sneakerheads.
With that in mind, we’ve teamed up with the data wizards over at StockX, with illustrations by Dan Freebairn, to bring you a detailed breakdown of the most valuable shoes on the resale market from April 1 to June 30 this year.
The holy trinity of luxury, Jordan, and YEEZY
As was the case in the first quarter, Q2’s most valuable sneaker is one that was never available to the public. The friends and family Trophy Room x Nike Air Jordan 5 was part of a two-sneaker pack inspired by Michael Jordan’s personal trophy room. The retail version was already limited to 7,000 pairs, but there were only 223 pairs of the friends and family version, which would explain an average resell price that is nearly $2,000 more than the next sneaker on the list.
Jordan Brand continues the resurgence we saw in 2018, landing four of the top 10 most valuable sneakers and filling out the top three. Last year, StockX data showed a shift from a collaboration-heavy most valuable list toward retro Jordans. That said, here all four Air Jordans are either friends and family versions, player exclusives (in the case of the Florida Gators Air Jordan 9), or only available via auction and highly limited raffles (in the case of both Charlotte Hornets Foundation Air Jordan 1s).
The other six sneakers on the list, all of which were available at retail, can be broken down into two categories: luxury and YEEZY.
At the luxury end, the Pharrell-designed Chanel sneakers in men’s and women’s sizing round out the top five at just under $2,000 apiece, while the Virgil Abloh-designed low-top Louis Vuitton LV Trainer also makes the list. However, all three sneakers’ average resell prices reflect the shoes’ high original retail prices of over $1,000.
Rounding out our “holy trinity” are three reflective versions of Kanye West and adidas’ YEEZY Boost 350 V2. The “Antlia” and “Synth” colorways were part of a limited and regionally locked pack, while the black reflective model wasn’t regionally exclusive but was limited in number.
adidas and YEEZY have experimented with regional releases after what some thought to be YEEZY oversaturation, with some sneakers no longer selling out at retail. And judging by these results, the YEEZY brand can still court big resale numbers by mixing things up.
Under the radar hits
Note: Some of the sneakers listed here didn’t get a full release, so the average price premium has been calculated based on the retail price of comparable models and collaborations.
This category usually sees a greater variety of brands and Q2 2019 doesn’t disappoint, with six brands (if you consider Jordan Brand and Nike separate entities) represented. Four sneakers from the most valuable ranking above — the friends and family Trophy Room Air Jordan 5 and all three YEEZY Boost 350 V2s — and Travis Scott’s Air Jordan 1 make up the top five, with resellers standing to make profits of between 381 and 2,506 percent if they managed to cop at retail.
Places six to 10 are more varied, with New Balance landing two shoes and joined by Vans, Nike, and Saucony. New Balance has benefited from signing NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, releasing his signature OMN1S Kawhi Leonard 2-Way in highly limited numbers. Here, a retail price of $140 and an average resale price of $643 give the shoe a price premium of 359 percent. As we saw in Q1, the power of athlete endorsements is not to be underestimated.
The other sneakers, ranging from the “Mixtape” Nike Air Max 90 to the white version of Café du Monde and Sneaker Politics’ Saucony Shadow 5000, netted their owners an average premium of 221 to 307 percent above retail. One takeaway here is that collaborations, especially underrated ones that sometimes fly under the radar, tend to be solid investments too.
Supply and demand
Six of the 10 most-sold sneakers on StockX during Q2 2019 were collaborations and the other four are Air Jordan retros. The classic “Bred” Air Jordan 4 might not have resold for insane amounts, with an average resell price $54 above retail, but it commanded a 13 percent market share of the top 10 most popular sneakers, coming in third overall. The only two sneakers with a higher market share were Travis Scott’s Air Jordan 1 High (28 percent market share) and the non-reflective black YEEZY Boost 350 V2 (22 percent).
The high market share of a hyped collab like the Scott Air Jordan 1 is perhaps a little surprising, especially given its high price premium. For example, the “Butter” YEEZY Boost 350 V2 and “Concord” Air Jordan 11 from last year were the first and third most sold shoes on StockX in 2018 and but didn’t sell for much over their respective retail prices. Comparatively, the Scott Jordan 1 resold for $988 on average, good for a 465 percent price premium while still managing to make up more than a quarter of sales among the top 10 most popular sneakers. A case of there being adequate supply and raging, price-inflating demand.
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