Sneakers
From the ground up

We teamed up with the data wizards at StockX to present the numbers behind six big trends that dominated the sneaker world in 2017.

Today, every major high fashion house keeps a grip of luxury sneakers in its quiver. While rubber-soled shoes aren’t necessarily something completely new for haute couture, the category has definitely opened up in recent years. While adidas and Yohji Yamamoto’s Y-3 collection arguably pioneered the now-prevelant fusion of sportswear and fashion, later partnerships helped cement sneakers on the catwalk, including Raf Simons for adidas, Riccardo Tisci for Nike, and others. Common Projects can also surely be attributed with creating a space for luxury kicks in the market, which has grown substantially over the years, thanks to many imitator brands who created their own minimalist low-tops.

In 2017, luxury kicks arrived in waves, as new designs arrived from the hottest fashion brands including Dior Homme, Balenciaga, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton.

Below, we dissect the numbers behind the biggest luxury sneaker releases (with a retail price of $400+) of 2017.

Also, don’t miss our data-driven analysis of YEEZYs and Nike Air Force 1s in 2017.

Luxury Sneakers by Popularity

Featuring a triple-stacked sole made from running, basketball and track shoe moulds, the Balenciaga Triple S arrived just as the chunky sneaker trend was peaking. Designed by Demna Gvasalia for the brand’s FW17 show in Paris, the Triple S (including its many colorways and retail exclusives) dominated 52% of the luxury category sneaker on StockX in 2017, with an average resale price of $1,162.

While footwear from the divisive Louis Vuitton x Supreme collaboration was widely slept on, and rarely spotted on-foot, the Sport sneaker was the second most commonly sold luxury sneaker in 2017, selling for around $300 above retail, and securing 17% of the luxury market share.

In many ways the antithesis of the Triple S, Balenciaga’s Speed Trainer arrives in third, with a modest 12% market share. John Geiger’s eponymously named brand also makes an appearance, taking 4% of the luxury market share, more than items from Fear of God and adidas x Rick Owens’ now defunct partnership combined.

Resale Premiums

While also being the most commonly sold luxury sneaker on StockX in 2017, the Triple S was also the shoe with the biggest premium, at 52% of retail. While the Triple S seems to be one of the exceptions to the rule, sneakers that retail for over $400 generally don’t garner the highest resell, as the built-in ticket price is quite steep to start with, compared to a majority of models from Nike and adidas.

John Geiger’s 001 model achieved a 34% premium, while Balenciaga’s Speed Trainer landed after, followed by an SSENSE-exclusive version of the Vetements x Reebok Pump Supreme, then Louis Vuitton and Supreme’s Sport silhouette.

Discounts

Perhaps more interesting than the resale premiums above, many luxury sneakers actually sold for well under their retail price on StockX. The Reebok-esque Run Away silhouette from Louis Vuitton and Supreme sold for an average of 10.5% below their ticket figure of $855. Additionally, the Dover Street Market-exclusive Vetements x Reebok Pump Supreme actually sold on average for 11% below retail, while its SSENSE-exclusive counterpart went for 28% above retail.

While more accessible sneakers ($200 +/-) leave more room for prices to inflate, luxury sneakers in contrast are more expensive off the shelf, and tend to come with much lighter resale premiums.

Luxury Sneaker Market Share

It may come as a surprise, but data shows that the luxury sneaker category as a whole accounted for less than 1% of dollars spent on StockX over the course of the year, and the weekly market share for luxury kicks was just .27% on average. This pales in contrast to the market share of YEEZYs alone, which fluctuated between 35% and 50% for the last 5 weeks of 2017.

While shoes like the Triple S and the Speed Trainer from Balenciaga sometimes seemed ubiquitous when scrolling on Instagram, the statistics prove that a very small fraction of these shoes end up on the resell market. While no information is readily available with regards to how many actual numbers are being produced by luxury brands, one theory is that owners of these expensive kicks are eager to wear them, rather than flipping them.

Ballin' in Balen. #hskicks 📷: @del.ten

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  • Main & Featured Image: Eva al Desnudo / Highsnobiety.com

Vancouver-born, Berlin-based writer with a steady hand on the keyboard.

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