Why Right Now Is The Best Time To Buy As A Sneaker Lover

Right now is the best time in recent memory to buy sneakers. No, we’re not talking about sneakers as an investment, we mean it’s a good time for true sneaker lovers, people who just want to build up their collection with the sort of silhouettes and colorways that pull eyes to you when you step into a room and get you those “love your shoes” compliments when you’re out on the streets.

You might be asking, “Why?” That’s a good question! There are a lot of reasons, from shifting trends to an over-saturated market, to a direct effect of greedy sneaker resellers scooping up everything they can the second a new shoe drops only to find an audience that is either disinterested or just tired of taking L after L on the Nike SNKRS app. We won’t go as far as saying the sneaker bubble has burst, people still care deeply about shoes and they remain the centerpiece of a lot of fits, but it’s never been easier to pick up an iconic pair of shoes without breaking the bank.

But just because we won’t say the bubble has burst, that doesn’t mean other people aren’t saying it. Last summer Bloomberg published a piece titled “The Sneaker Bubble Is Bursting Around Nike,” which pointed out that the 60%+ premium enjoyed by the Jordan 1 on the aftermarket in 2020 was now at a 2% discount on the resale market. Bloomberg credits several things for this sharp drop, namely inflation, but also, an innovation slump.

If you’re a sneaker fan you’ve probably noticed fewer Swooshes on the streets and more Adidas, Saucony, Hoka, New Balance, Puma, and Asics. It’s telling that one of the biggest sneaker drops at last year’s ComplexCon was the Jae Tips x Saucony Grid Shadow 2 and even more telling that that same release is selling for $4 less than the retail price on StockX.

So to help you build up your collection, we’re offering some tips and tricks for navigating the modern sneaker market. We hope you leave this article armed with the tools you need to finally get that dream pair of sneakers for cheaper than you ever thought possible.

Tip 1: Hit Up Outlet Stores

Nike Outlet

Buying online is tempting because it’s so easy, but you’ll be surprised at what you can find if you hit up an outlet. Scroll through the Reddit board r/Sneakers and every few posts you’ll find someone posting about a rare find they stumbled upon at any of the big brands’ outlet stores.

You’ll generally know you’ve stumbled upon a brand’s outlet if the word “Factory” is in the title. Most of the people who shop at outlets aren’t collectors or hardcore sneakerheads, they’re just people looking for a sale so you’ll be surprised at what you’ll find at these stores.

Just last month, sneaker YouTuber Seth Fowler posted a video where he picked up a handful of “sold-out” Air Jordan releases from the last year for at or below retail price by hitting up the Nike Factory store.

If you hit up an outlet hoping to find a specific pair, you might leave heartbroken, but if you’re not hunting for anything specific, you just might leave the store with something you didn’t know you always wanted, and those are the best surprises.

Tip 2: Hit Up Discount Stores

Stores like Ross, TJ Maxx, and Marshalls are the subject of many an article and forum thread, and that’s because these stores can be an absolute steal.

Take last year’s Jordan White Cement Reimagined. This sneaker was one of last year’s best with a colorway of legendary pedigree that sold out on the SNKRS app in minutes. The retail price was $210, typical for a Jordan drop, but at Ross many shoppers were finding pairs for just $84.99. That’s cheaper than its current StockX price of $325 (according to “last sale”).

So if you’re turning your nose up to discount retail stores, you’re messing up and potentially missing out on some surprising finds and the thrill of maybe paying way below retail.

Tip 3: Low Ball On The Aftermarket Sites


Resellers scoop up releases just because they’re on a brand’s release calendar without giving much thought to the actual demand. In previous years, this worked, but because there are a lot of great brands out there leading to more diverse tastes in footwear, the demand for any one release is lower than it used to be. So a lot of these releases end up sitting around on aftermarket sites collecting digital dust and take it from someone who has sold shoes on the aftermarket in the past — no one likes a product they can’t sell.

Just because an asking price is high doesn’t mean a shoe will sell for that price. You’d be amazed at how many pairs of sneakers can be had for a much more attractive price if you just ask. Make an offer lower than the asking price and you’ll find many sellers who are willing to unload a fresh pair that isn’t selling like they had hoped.

But remember, the sneaker market fluctuates, it won’t always be this way, so get the goods while you can because you never know when a new generation of footwear enthusiasts will spring up and shift trends once again.