Sneakers
From the ground up

Sneaker fever hasn’t just gripped the world, it’s gripping the economy, too. The American market for deadstock sneakers has now eclipsed a colossal $1 billion, with the thriving resell community netting millions of dollars a year by flipping rare kicks for profit.

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 resell market, as well as those that grossed the most money overall.

Here’s the rundown for 2018 Q2 (that’s April 1 to June 30) — with data based on sale activity on StockX.

When you’re done, catch up on the most valuable sneakers of 2018 Q1.

Pharrell Strikes Gold

Highsnobiety / Dan Freebairn

By a long shot, the most expensive sneaker of 2018 Q2 was Pharrell Williams and adidas Originals’ gold, China-edition NMD Hu, which was rumored to be limited to 300 pairs and only made available to friends and family of Williams and adidas. Reselling for close to $8,000, the blingy NMD was outfitted with neck-snapping gold-colored hardware, lofting it into the echelons of ultra-collectible kicks rather than something most of us would wear daily.

A Williams-led design also lands in second place on our list: the second N.E.R.D. NMD Hu, which features a colorful blue, red, and neon yellow color scheme, plus the group’s brain logo on the heel. These considerably high resell prices might help to explain the fights that broke out during campouts for Pharrell’s NMD designs in the US and Asia. We’re not really sure the scuffles are what Pharrell had in mind when he wrote “Happy.”

Occupying third and fourth place (and sixth, and seventh) we find Versace’s Chain Reaction sneaker, designed by Salehe Bembury. With retail prices starting at $995, the sneaker flipped on StockX above its in-store price tag, but not drastically so. The spotted colorway resold for an average $1,517 on the aftermarket, while the red edition fetched an average $1,375. High-fashion sneakers typically don’t resell for exponentially more than their retail price, unlike hyped collaborations involving Nike and adidas, but 2 Chainz, who was involved in the initial product launch and debuted the sneaker back in January, most likely helped boost the shoes’ popularity.

Fifth and eighth spots are occupied by Balenciaga’s chunky Triple S sneaker, while the list is rounded out by tech and fashion collaborations, namely Sneakersnstuff’s adidas Consortium 4D collaboration and Virgil Abloh’s redesigned Converse Chuck Taylor All Star.

The Jumpman’s Hangtime Still Beats All

Highsnobiety / Dan Freebairn

Climbing the ranks to number one, the most-flipped sneaker by market share on StockX during 2018 Q2 was Virgil Abloh’s University of North Carolina-inspired Air Jordan I, which accounted for more than a quarter (27 percent) of all sneakers sold among the 10 top-selling sneakers. The third Jordan model from Abloh and Nike, following the “White” and “Chicago” versions, these deconstructed Is are notorious for being big-ticket sellers.

In second we find the asymmetrical “Homage” Jordan Is, which secured 13 percent of market share, followed by another Jordan, Travis Scott’s much-anticipated “Cactus Jack” IVs, at 12 percent. Jordans also occupy fourth, fifth, sixth, and ninth spots on the list, showing how much of the resell market is currently dominated by Jordan Brand: in total, an incredible 76 percent of the market among the 10 top-sellers. Further down the list, we find additional Abloh designs, the white VaporMax and Chuck Taylor All Star, meaning three of the 10 most-sold sneakers in Q2 came from Abloh and Nike’s “The Ten.”

The recent “Butter” YEEZY 350 V2s landed in eighth on the most-sold list, but nowhere on the most-expensive list (a quick check of the StockX website shows the last US size 9 sold for $251, only $31 above retail), indicating that YEEZYs are becoming more readily available for those who want them.

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

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