There is always a tough decision to be faced when buying a new pair of shoes. Do you go for the pair that is readily available that other people may have or do you go out to find a specific pair that will help you stand out? If you decide to go on the hunt for rare sneakers, where do you even start the search? Do you search for a limited pair that released recently or do you go hunt for a pair that released years ago?
We were able to sit down with Sean Go, a photographer and YouTuber, and spoke with him about how to get your hands on rare sneakers.
What are some of the rarest shoes that you own?
I’m the type that wears 99% of my shoes, so I tend to gravitate away from absurdly “rare” shoes that can either fall apart due to their age, or are worth the price of a new car. However, some of my personal gems in my collection include the Nike Air Max Lunar 90 “Moon Landing”, Air Jordan 10 “OVO”, Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 “Turtle Dove”, Nike Air Max 1 Atmos “Elephant”, and Nike x Off White Zoom Fly.
How were you able to get your hands on them?
I’m able to obtain my shoes through various means. Sometimes, this means being lucky in a store raffle, other times require that I camp out overnight in the cold, and in the worst case, I bite the bullet and pay a reseller. Luckily, I have friends both in the US and Canada that often look out for me and help me out when I strike out on my own.
Where would you search for your sought after grails?
I consider grails to be the one shoe I would keep if I was forced to get rid of all the other pairs in my collection. Currently, I already own my “grail”, which are the Air Jordan 3 ’88 “White/Cement”. It isn’t the most rare, nor is it worth that much on the secondary market, but it is a shoe that’s resonated with me since I can remember, and something I would hold on to over all the other more hyped sneakers that I own. In this case, I lucked out and grabbed them from Footaction, but if I did not own the pair today, I would search through consignment shops or sites (i.e. Flight Club & StockX), on sneaker marketplaces on Facebook, and attending sneaker conventions where rare shoes are often put up for sale.
What are some of the best ways to find rare sneakers locally?
In Toronto, we have a few sneaker consignment shops, including Essential Toronto and Re-Run that stock some of the most sought-after shoes on the market. In addition, there are a wide variety of Facebook sneaker marketplaces (i.e. Toronto Shoe Game, Toronto Sneakerhead Marketplace, and Canada Sneaker Xchange) where every day people are able to post shoes for sale and trade. In addition, we are fortunate to have quite a few independent boutiques, such as Livestock, Capsule and Haven, which carry a lot of rare sneakers that people often camp overnight for, along with big-box retailers like Foot Locker, Footaction, and Champs.
What are your thoughts on sneaker purchasing apps such as StockX and GOAT?
I personally have purchased from both, and it’s a good method to feel assured that the product is going to be legitimate, without dealing with the risk or dangers of face-to-face meetups, and inconvenience of travelling to physically pick up the sneakers. However, coming from the US, these purchases are usually accompanied with duties due to the high price of these sneakers that we are importing into Canada. So with that said, I usually use StockX and GOAT as a last resort when I can’t find the shoe anywhere else in the city, and am prepared to pay the extra 30% or so on top of the purchase price for duties.
Can you give us three pieces of advice on purchasing rare sneakers?
- Stay up to date on release information.
(i.e. which stores are receiving them, what time, raffle or first come first serve, etc.)
- Be prepared to put in work.
(whether that means lining up for hours, running from store to store to enter raffles, or being quick on your fingers to check out online, etc.)
- Missing out isn’t the end of the world – there will always be another “hot” shoe coming out sooner rather than later.
Would you be interested in purchasing rare sneakers?
Featured Images: Instagram/@sgo8
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