Business is booming in the sneaker world. Business Insider valued the sneaker resale market at $1 billion, with other reports suggesting the overall athletic footwear market could grow to around $95.14 billion by 2025. But not every release is a cash cow. To make money buying and selling sneakers, you’ve got to know a thing or two about supply and demand in the market.
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, as well as those that grossed the most money overall this quarter.
Here’s our rundown of sneaker sales in the fourth quarter of 2018 — that’s October 1 to December 31 — with data based on sales activity at StockX.
And when you’re done, you catch up on the most valuable sneakers of 2018 Q3 here.
Air Jordan 1 reigns supreme
Of the top 10 most expensive sneakers by average resale price, six came from Nike or Jordan Brand, three were adidas creations, while PUMA’s reboot of the RS-Computer rounded out the list. Six sneakers broke the $1,000 threshold, with the black "Art Basel" SoleFly x Nike Air Jordan 1 by far the most expensive with an average resale price of $4,393.
The sail version of the "Art Basel" SoleFly Air Jordan 1 came in second, at just under $2,000. The more than $2,000 gap between first and second on the list is explained by the sheer rarity of the black patent leather SoleFly Air Jordan 1. According to reports, only 23 pairs were made available to the public, rendering them practically a friends-and-family pair.
Art Basel-exclusive sneakers tend to command a pretty penny on the resale market. So when the kick in question is arguably the most iconic silhouette of all time and limited to fewer than two dozen pairs, it only makes sense that it would cost as much as a used car.
Overall, four sneakers on the list are Air Jordan 1s, making that silhouette the most valuable of the quarter and one of the best investments if you'd known which version to cop and got lucky. The other Nike sneakers to make the list were the recently released Air Fear of God 1 (average resale price of $1,208) and the “Chicago Marathon” Zoom Vaporfly Elite Flyprint ($1,532), both of which cracked the top five.
Unsurprisingly, all of adidas’ entrants on the list were outfitted with the German sportswear giant’s 4D carbon-printed midsole technology, racing ahead of Boost as the Three Stripes' most in-demand and valuable sneaker tech.
The Daniel Arsham-designed Futurecraft 4D in fourth was the most valuable adidas sneaker of the quarter, with an average resale price of $1,216. Next came the ZX 4000 Futurecraft 4D “Grey One,” which went for an average $1,016. The last adidas kick on the list was KITH’s collaborative “Aspen” Consortium Futurecraft 4D sneaker.
Paying a premium
Like with the list of outright most expensive sneakers of the quarter, the Air Jordan 1 dominated the list of highest price premiums with five entries. This list reflects which shoes' prices had ballooned the most from their MSRP.
Both of the SoleFly "Art Basel" Air Jordan 1s were on top again, with the black pair's price jumping a terrifying 2,645 percent. Likewise, the sail pair enjoyed a not inconsiderable price premium of 1,150 percent. The other Jordan 1s on the list include the varsity maize "Not For Resale," the “Blue Toe” Union collab, and the special box edition of the Spider-Man "Origin Story," which had price premiums of 490 percent, 346 percent, and 342 percent respectively.
The high price premiums for each of the Air Jordan 1s comes down to a number of factors, one of which is the relatively low retail price the silhouette commands ($160 for standard models and $190 for most collaborations).
The same is the case for the shoe in third place, a relatively surprising entrant. Due to Post Malone’s Dimitri Clog Crocs' low retail price of just $60 and a ridiculously (for Crocs standards) high resale price of $383, the clogs had a price premium of 539 percent. Those who were switched on and copped Post Malone's Crocs were laughing all the way to the bank after flipping a foam clog for three figures.
Three OFF-WHITE x Nike designs, both Blazer Mids and the “Menta” Air Max 97, also made the list, with price premiums ranging from 300 to 362 percent. Virgil Abloh’s Nike designs have been a staple on these lists since the collaboration’s debut in late 2017, and Q4 of 2018 was no different. This time, the highest-ranked effort was the "All Hallow’s Eve" Blazer Mid in sixth.
Rounding out the top 10 is the special box "Green Lobster" Concepts x Nike SB Dunk Low, the ninth Nike-owned shoe to make the list.
Jumpman back on top
The graphic above shows the top 10 bestselling sneakers of Q4 and their respective market share (calculated as a share of the top 10, not all sneakers sold on StockX during the quarter). Whereas YEEZY was the biggest hitter in Q3, Jordan Brand took the top two spots this time around. The “Concord” Air Jordan 11 was by far the most popular sneaker sold on StockX, making up 19 percent of the market share. The “Rookie of the Year” Air Jordan 1 followed in second with 12 percent.
Two YEEZYs, the “Sesame” Boost 350 V2 and "Mauve" 700, follow closely with 12 percent and 10 percent respectively. Nike and its subsidiaries Jordan Brand and Converse make up the rest of the top 10.
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