With more sneakers on the market and more special releases, the secondary market for kicks continues to boom. Big names including LVMH, Farfetch, and Foot Locker have invested hundreds of millions of dollars into sneaker reselling platforms, while reports suggest the overall athletic footwear market is expected to grow to $95.14 billion by 2025.
With that in mind, we’ve teamed up with the sneakerhead data wizards over at StockX, with illustrations by Dan Freebairn, to bring you a detailed breakdown of the most valuable shoes to hit the resale market in the first three months of this year. The results include the most expensive shoes by average resell price, the sneakers with the biggest resell price mark-up from retail, and the sneakers with the biggest market share on StockX.
Read on for our rundown of StockX sneaker sales from January 1 to March 31, 2019. And when you’re done, you can catch up on the most valuable sneakers of 2018.
Money makin' Michigan
It's no great surprise that the most valuable sneaker by average resell price in the first three months of 2019 was one that was never available to the public.
Nike's range of March Madness 2019 Air Jordan 4s included player exclusives for Georgetown, Marquette, Oklahoma, Florida, University of North Carolina, and Michigan, and it was Michigan's navy blue with yellow details that sold for an average $5,851 in Q1. College players can reportedly be seriously reprimanded for selling on these exclusives, but with this kind of payoff, the aspiring pros are clearly willing to take their chances, especially when they don't get paid by the NCAA.
In second place is Japanese label Girls Don't Cry with its friends and family Nike SB Dunk Low, which resold for an average $3,004. While the for-sale version featured a predominantly red upper, the friends and family version inverted the color scheme, with a light silver upper and subtle hits of red throughout. Founded by a designer known as Verdy, Girls Don't Cry has quickly built a cult following through collaborations with the likes of UNDERCOVER and Union LA.
Third on the podium, at $3,000, is a limited edition Air Jordan 1 custom produced by DeJesus Custom Footwear as an homage to Brooklyn. Featuring COOGI-inspired “Brooklyn camo" that nods to a similar pattern used on the Brooklyn Nets City Edition jersey from late 2018, the Air Jordan 1 customs also referenced Notorious B.I.G. (a notoriously big fan of COOGI sweaters) and his birth year, with “BIG” and “1972” on the heels in white. These customs were a perfect dose of New York nostalgia, and with only five pairs made, they are extremely collectible.
Elsewhere, in fifth, we find Virgil Abloh's basketball-style Louis Vuitton LV 408 Trainer ($1,937), which had a more than passing resemblance to the 1988 Avia 880, only reimagined as an Italian-made luxury statement sneaker. It was joined by two more Louis Vuitton kicks at eight and nine.
Bringing up the rear is the opinion-splitting Tom Sachs x NikeCraft Mars Yard Overshoe, which finally gets its full release tomorrow. Its $1,306 average resell price here reflects the clamor for a shoe that until now had only seen a limited release at Dover Street Market in October 2018.
Editor’s Note: The data collected by StockX shows that while one pair of adidas Campus “Chinese New Year” sold for $1,900, subsequent pairs sold for $85. While this sale was an outlier and might not fully represent the sneaker’s “true” value on the current market, the sale was real and therefore makes it one of the most valuable sneakers of 2019 Q1 on StockX.
Chinese cycling band Forever teamed up with adidas for a special Chinese New Year-edition Campus, which resold at the highest premium from its retail price of any shoe in Q1. Retailing for $130, its resell price averaged at $1,900 for a markup of 1,362 percent.
Jeff Staple's limited edition Nike SB Dunk Low "Panda Pigeon," which came in an engraved wooden box, secured the second-biggest price premium at 682 percent, reselling for an average $782, up from $100 at retail. Historically, certain SB Dunks such as the original "Pigeon," the "Tiffany," and the "What The" versions have been highly collectible, and while the trend tapered off in recent years, we see Dunks becoming a bigger part of the conversation, as evidenced by this new Staple version and the Girls Don't Cry edition above.
Elsewhere, this year's Air Jordan 6 from the ever-popular "Doernbecher" series secured the third-highest price premium at 407 percent, followed by the double-everything sacai x Nike LDV Waffle Daybreak in blue (389 percent) and green (380 percent), and two editions of the Slam Jam x Nike Blazer "Class of 77" (387 percent for the special pack, 347 percent for standard), which featured a cleverly inverted medial Swoosh and thoughtful detailing such as slightly cracking, vintage-style prints on the heel reading "CLASS" and "1977."
MJ vs. ’Ye
Jumpman models occupy the top three spots on our list of the most commonly sold sneakers on StockX during 2019 Q1. The patent leather "UNC" and "Turbo Green" Air Jordan 1s are followed by the 2019 retro of the iconic "Infrared" Air Jordan 6, which was released in February with "Nike Air" branding on the heel, an OG detail that we haven't seen on the "Infrared" Air Jordan 6 since 2000.
These three Jordan models add up to 43 percent of the top 10 most commonly sold sneakers of Q1. Last year saw an overwhelming 60 Air Jordan 1 releases, more than one per week on average, and the number of Jordan drops in 2019 is rising quickly.
Elsewhere among the top 10 most commonly resold kicks we see yet more Jordans, in fifth and eighth, and YEEZYs in fourth, seventh and 10th. Both Jordans and YEEZYs have historically been sound investments, helped along by limited quantities of certain editions at release and the name clout of Michael Jordan and Kanye West.
Nike's new auto-lacing Adapt BB takes ninth place, with many seeing Nike's latest tech as an opportunity to turn a quick profit.
Check out our animated recap of the most expensive sneakers of 2019 Q1 below.
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