What is special about the New Balance 550?
New Balance mainly offers running and leisure shoes. The models don’t have names, they have numbers. The New Balance 550 originally came out in 1989. The model, which was then called the P550, was particularly popular with basketball players. However, the hype surrounding the shoe only started three decades later, when the cooperation with the luxury streetwear brand Aimé Leon Dore came about. Its founder and chief designer, Teddy Santis, launched a special version of the 550 in 2020 that sold out in minutes.
To date, the model is very popular. In the meantime, the shoe was available in several color variants. The New Balance 550 “Syracuse” was also quickly no longer available. For weeks I looked in vain for the shoe in my size at retailers. On the resale platform StockX, the shoe was traded for more than double: 260 euros! A lot of money – but it was the last chance to get the sneaker I wanted.
When does a sneaker increase in value?
The most obvious factor for increasing value is the limitation of a shoe. The principle of artificial scarcity works just as well with sneakers as with other collectibles. Due to the excess demand, the price for the existing copies shoots up. It is also important who designed the shoe. But good storytelling also makes sneakers popular.
How do you get limited sneakers?
There have been platforms on which limited edition sneakers have been traded since the mid-1910s. StockX is the leader, where other collectibles such as watches or clothing are also bought and sold. Like stock exchanges, prices on the platform are determined by supply and demand. The higher the demand or the more limited the model, the higher the purchase price.
Should you really spend that much money on it?
I am often asked why I need 100 pairs of shoes and why I am willing to spend 300 euros for one shoe. Very few are satisfied with the answer: It’s my hobby. And no, I don’t see my shoes as an investment. Collecting sneakers, wearing them, swapping them, selling them and immersing yourself in the whole sneaker culture – that’s my passion. I know it’s not sustainable. That’s why I’m glad that more and more manufacturers have recognized that something has to change, especially in production. And what do you collect?
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