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The sneaker game has changed over the years. Now with pricepoints flying past the $200 threshold quite often on the second-hand market (resellers!) people are much less inclined to wear their kicks on a regular basis. Sneakers are a commodity, and every pair you put in your closet can be viewed as currency. You can buy/sell/trade and continue to build your collection, but at the end of the day, they are still just sneakers! They are meant to be worn, they crave the warmth of your foot and they want to be seen by the outside world. That being said, at some point you have to make that bold decision to break out your shoes for the first time and here are 10 reasons to UNDS your kicks and let them get out and breath the fresh air.

10. Retro’s – So you just copped those J’s and you snap your Instagram pic and let the world know they’re going straight to your closet to stay “on ice” for a few years so all the Hypebeasts can beat their pairs, right? Well if you’ve been collecting for some time now, you know that lots of shoes get retro’ed, like, A LOT, especially Jordans because they are so popular. If you were sitting on your Cement 3’s from 2011 only to then see the 88’s drop this year, you were probably salty.

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Image via Long-7

9. Vintage/OG/Classic’s – Sometimes a little yellowing gives a shoe some character and sneaker companies pick up on this and the vintage craze is in, with all of these re-releases getting hit with the VNTG or OG or Classic tagging that pretty much just makes them look worn. WELL, you can do that YOURSELF! Just put them on, wear ’em, and when that pair gets released again with the worn-in look, you can cop another pair that’s ready to wear.

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8. Aging – Similar to #9, over time your shoes will begin to show signs of age, even if you just have them sitting in your closet. You can Zip-Lock them to your hearts desire, vacuum seal, and seaglow them, but eventually you can’t stop mother nature from taking her toll. Icy soles will yellow, midsoles will oxidize, and sometimes your kicks will become straight up unwearable. Take advantage of them while they are in good condition and don’t let your closet rob them of their best years.

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Image via scash9

7. Re-selling is Overrated – The secondhand market for kicks is the firsthand market for a lot of people when it comes to the more limited versions that drop. Unless you have a connection or don’t mind wasting time and money to attain certain pairs, your best bet is to cop from someone who does. Well in order to truly make a living from re-selling, and many people do, you have to buy in bulk or truly have a hook-up to make a consistent profit. With sales tax ranging from 7-10% in some large cities, sneakers cost a lot to buy in the first place, and add in seller fees for paypal and eBay and you’re not looking at a big return on a lot of shoes. Just save time and money and buy the ones you intend on wearing and let others do the same.

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6. Trends – Everything comes and goes in cycles, and what is hot today is not necessarily going to be hot tomorrow. With certain shoes it’s pretty safe to stash them and break them out years down the line, but don’t you find yourself digging in the closet and finding something and wondering, what was I thinking? Is it still cool to wear see-through sneakers? Will glow in the dark be corny in 3 or 4 years? Who knows? Just wear what you like, when you like them.

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5. Value – The price for buying sneakers has gone up. Shoes barely cracked the $200 barrier back as recently as 2-3 years ago, but now we get $260 Elite models, we pay extra for limited versions, and then we have to deal with absurd re-sell pricing. Foams used to retail at $170! If you have the disposable income to buy nearly $300 sneakers and are able to put them away and wear them at your leisure, do it! You have every right to stunt when you want, but some people struggle to muster enough dough for just one pair. Just wear ’em — you spent your time and hard earned money might as well have something to show for it.

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4. Tougher Materials – Over time, we get blessed with technologies that are meant to enhance the products we purchase. Some work, some don’t. The truth is though that many of the newer shoes hitting shelves are much more durable and have longer life-spans, and are built to withstand the rigors of the sports they were intended for, so walking around casually should be a piece of cake. Flywire, Gore-tex, Foamposite, Hyperfuse, and many other new tech’s have made shoes hold up with wear much better then shoes from previous generations, so you can wear them with confidence and not have to worry about them still being in decent shape years down the road.

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3. Real Sneakerheads Have TOO Many Kicks – Wear your kicks now because the longer you collect, the more pairs you’ll forget you have! A true sneakerhead loses count of his or her collection, and while this isn’t a competition, most people that have a passion for buying kicks continues to do so for a LONG time. That being said there has definitely been a time where you were trying to find the right shoes to go with your fit for the day and stumbled on a pair you totally forgot you had. How many times could you have worn those to match those jeans that go with nothing else you own. Out of sight, out of mind. Just keep wearing your kicks and this can all be avoided.

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Image via @FeetHeat

2. The Future – No not the rapper. Only one person knows what the future holds, and that’s Marty McFly. Other than that, you DO NOT know what’s going to happen tomorrow. For kid’s just starting out to collect, your foot might grow bigger. You might get a job that requires formal dress and not have the time to wear sneakers on the regular. There will be a time where you will get older and maybe don’t wear as many different styles as you used to. Or you can be like me, and have half of your collection stolen (eek)! Don’t try to be a fortune teller and just do what you like. If you have the urge to wear those kicks the day you copped, you know what, DO IT!

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1. There’s No Better Time To Be A Sneakerhead Than Now – There’s a lot wrong with the sneaker game, from rampant re-selling to people letting the Hypebeast machine dictate what they buy and wear. But there are a lot of good things also. With so many people embracing the sneaker culture, there’s plenty of new and refreshing styles coming out seemingly every day. Social media has made the average sneakerhead a superstar thanks to deep collections and just a passion for showing off their kicks. Photography has come a long way and people take creative shots of how they wear their shoes. It’s fun to just see what the next person is wearing and just enjoy everything there is to loving kicks. So don’t miss out because you’re too busy stashing your joints for the future. Have a little fun, enjoy them, and remember, at the end of the day they are just shoes. They are built to be worn and that’s what you should do.

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Third World Born Chicagoan pursuing all things pursuable. Follow me on IG: @oscar_castillo
  • Darnyill

    AMEN

  • PREACH

  • air ruiz 23

    What a great read! I just bookmarked this page, truly inspired me to pull out the pairs I have kept on ice for so long.  I’m definitely going to share this read with others in the sneaker culture so that they can also just “wear their kicks” and buy what they like.

  • iamthedonald

    Lawd, preach it brother. I am a 40 year old who kept ALOT of shoes on ice just thinking I would sell later. I did here recently and as I was selling I told myself I would never just “stock em” again. Since then, Ive picked up Fighter, Eggplant, and Cough Drop Foams and UN-DS em. Got the restock of the BRED XI’s and the same. Picked up the Bunnies and I will keep them DS as they were never a fave of mine. My new purpose is to get shoes I WANT to wear. If I get a pair I dont like Ill just trade to a pair I want. The game has changed so much since I first started collecting 15+ years ago. The resellers, although I can see their place, kill me with this no low ballers BS. I hate to see people who actually love the shoe not get it because some kid stood in line just so he can flip em. Special place in hell….

  • supalokes

    BEST POST EVER

  • Ralph_Lifshitz

    While we’re getting high and mighty, pay for your stock images (#5).

    • eloera

      Ralph_Lifshitz WORD!

  • HARRY_HENDERSON

    great post…. A SNEAKER DOES NOTHING FOR YA IN A BOX… WEAR EM ALL!!!!!

  • TheAxe_Effect

    Love this post

  • kevinandrock

    Take it from a person who has lost over 600 kicks having worn MAYBE 30% of them  Doubling up and many being 1 of 16’s or Samples… They can ALL be gone one day.  I still buy multiple pairs of what I like but thats so I can wear them after the previous one wears out.
    Be it a Fire, Flood, Natural Disaster or not paying your storage fees.. you can always lose all that you have amassed so appreciate them while you have them.

  • florin

    reading this made think about wearing mine. I’m a fiend for the nike cortez, and a a little bit of AF1s. But why do people recommend not wear them if they are more than 5 years old ore more? (especially the cortez and the AF) An answer would be helpful.
    Cheers! Florin

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  • Lynette Rice

    This entire article is Da Truth!! Thanks!