I Never Knew Pawn Shops That Buys Shoes Sells Them Too, Did You?
Pawn shops never fail to amaze me. I was unaware that pawn shops buy high-end designer and highly sought-after sneakers for instant cash. And pawn shops sell, loan, and trade them too.
To be honest, I hadn’t really thought about designer shoes from a pawn shop or as a collection until I was introduced to the amazing MC Hammer (Mike Hammer) from Pawn Leads. He let me know that the person who seeks to buy Air Jordan’s to add to their collection is called a ‘sneakerhead.’ This is simply amazing!
So off on my journey, I went to understand sneakerheads and why Nike, Durant, Jordan, Forces, Dunks, Maxes, LeBron are important to add to a sneaker collection and why pawn shops pay top dollar. For a stunning pair of ‘kicks.’
The Slang Word 'Kicks' is for Shoes
Unbeknownst to me, ‘kicks’ means sneakers. Possibly evolving from the expression ‘kick off your shoes as an expression to take off your shoes without your using your hands, I now have a new vocabulary word. ‘Kicks’ means sneakers.
As my word box grew with all the new lingo, I quickly learned in my research that a ‘sneakerhead’ is a person who collects shoes or sneakers, and their focus is typically on more trendy shoes.
These folks are willing to stand in long lines; you know the ones that wrap around buildings to be able to buy an exclusive sneaker like a Jordan or LeBron. They will travel to the ends of the earth, reaching deep into their cash reserves to score a one-of-a-kind exclusive brand.
If you look in a sneakerhead’s closet, there will be boxes of name-brand shoes taking up most of the space. Sneakerheads will make an appointment with a reminder, so they don’t miss new releases.
Like most collectors, sneakerheads are misunderstood by people that don’t collect shoes. I have to admit I was one of these people.
The Influence of the Hip-Hop Movement on Sneakerheads
The hip-hop movement and culture and the art movement were created by African Americans, Latino Americans, and Caribbean Americans in the Bronx, New York City.
Unique clothing and sneakers could be easily customized, so anyone wearing these items would stand out in a crowd. Followers of the movement were called B-boys and B-girls. Coordinating laces to an outfit or coloring in the stripes on a pair of Adidas achieved the style and statement needed to say ‘unique.’
Breakdancing – The beginning of the sneaker craze
Breakdancing was alive and well, and the B-boy or B-girl term originated with the influence of DJ Herc, who noticed that the dancers would react differently to a drum break in the music. He coined the name of the dancers as break-boys or break-girls (B-boys, B-girls). It wasn’t unheard of for a b-boy who found a shoe he liked to buy more than one pair of them so he could have them if the original one wore out.
The Sneaker Craze Goes Wild
By 1985 the sneaker craze went wild when Nike and Michael Jordan introduced Air Jordans. The price in 1985 was $125, and these shoes were epic and highly sought after as a status symbol. B-boys and b-girls no longer had to color in stripes on a pair of Adidas, and they could wear a pair of Nike shoes and stand out in the crowd as someone.
Until I researched the sneakerheads and pawn shops that sell shoes, I had no idea that my own children who asked me if they could buy the $125 Air Jordans could have now been sitting on something worth selling. I, of course, said ‘no’ at the time and had no idea that had I listened to the tips ‘but mom everyone is getting them’ and ‘they are so in style’ my children could have all invested in the future. Oh well, too little too late for this mom.
Nike continued to produce a new style of Jordan shoes every year, which increased its popularity. By the beginning of 1990, estimates were that 1 in every 12 Americans owned a pair of Air Jordan shoes. (Not my kiddos 🙂
With so many customers having Air Jordan’s B-boys and girls wanting their shoes to stand out and catch the eye of the crowd, Air Jordans became less important.
The sneakerheads of the ’90s began shopping shoe shops for unique styles. They would buy more than one pair so that they had them as a backup when the others wore out.
It wasn’t unusual for a sneakerhead to travel long distances to find a shoe or sneaker that would just sit in the box in the closet. Unique ‘kicks’ (shoes) were the thing, and companies started producing limited edition color schemes and materials to help further their sales and expand their profit.
Nike realized that limited edition color schemes and materials were selling points, and they produced the Dunk and the Air Force 1 as a limited edition, making these shoes a must-have.
Why are Colorways Important When It Comes to Stepping Up Your Shoe Collection?
Special colorways were limited runs of exclusive shoes that were available worldwide. Less than 500 pairs of shoes were often made and released to sell at handpicked specialty boutiques. This exclusivity heightened the craze and the need for sneakerheads to have the shoes.
There are exclusive colorways that sneakerheads are willing to travel many miles.
Nike would suggest a price, and the boutiques could mark the price up to and sell the shoes for whatever they wanted. The boutiques didn’t make deals and cut prices; typically, boutiques made a huge profit by playing on the exclusivity of the product and charging high prices.
Friends and Family Editions
Another sales ploy was to design and create an even rarer collectible shoe. These creations caused an even bigger frenzy. One rare design is the ‘Friends and Family’ editions.
These shoes were created with a specific colorway for a celebrity or company. Time and thought went into creating a shoe for a specific celebrity or person. The shoes were then given away as promotional items or gifts.
Normally there are only about 100 pairs made, making them a rare jewel for sneakerheads.
Prototype samples are also a hot item and will step up a sneakerhead’s vast collection if they can be found. But these shoes are extremely rare.
The ‘Player’s Edition’ colorways are made for high-profile celebrities for their own personal collection. These shoes are the gold and diamonds of the air sneakerhead world.
Thus far, I have learned who are sneakerheads, what impact the hip-hop culture and break dancing had on shoes, what b-boys and b-girls are, and how famous shoe brands became even more famous by using exclusivity colorways and prototype samples to build furry around finding name brand shoes. I always thought diamonds were diamonds and gold was gold, but little did I know that having the perfect kick for a sneakerhead was just as valuable.
Kicks Sneakerheads Must Get
Air Jordan IV Eminem x Carhartt
These shoes were made with a three-way collaboration between the sneaker brand, rapper, and workwear label. Only ten pairs of these shoes were made, and they were auctioned for charity in 2015. The highest bid was $30,100, and the lowest was $18,750.
Nike and Michael Jordan created air Jordan. The brand has driven sneakerheads crazy with its unique and unforgettable colorways and style.
Nike Black & Tans
Causing a little unintentional opps, these shoes were created to toast the popular drink and released for St. Patrick’s Day. The Black and Tans name also left a “bad taste’ for people on Emerald Isle for events during WWI. The misstep of naming the shoe a controversial name wasn’t intentional but also made the shoe very collectible.
Nike Low Freddy
Freddy Krueger, the star of a popular horror fill, inspired Nike to create the Nike Low Freddy in 2007. Having stripes similar to those on Freddy’s sweater, a shiny swoosh like his knife-laden glove spattered blood highlights, and melted flesh insoles are for the on-the-edge sneakerhead’s collection.
Air Jordan Retro IV ‘Eminems’
This shoe was a friend and family release, and there were only 50 pairs of blue and black Air Jordans made. The pairs were made for rap artist Eminem in 2004 to celebrate the release of his 4th album. Eminem’s name is stitched on the inside of the tongue, and the album title is on the heel pull.
Nike Dunk Low Paris
Released in 2004 as a part of ‘White Dunk: Evolution of an Icon’ art installation in Paris, France, only 202 pairs were made. All the shoes were made featuring different artwork samples from painter Bernard Buffet. Each pair is unique and one of a kind. Sneakerheads want these shoes for the details because exactly 202 pairs were made.
An unused pair could easily cost a sneakerhead $60,000.00.
Most Expensive Sneakers Ever Made
Solid Gold OVO x Air Jordans – $2 Million
Sneakerheads will get into shape if they score a pair of Solid Gold OVO X Air Jordans, with each shoe weighing 50 pounds each. Drake collaborated with Nike to make the solid gold OVO X Air Jordan. Created by American artist Matthew Senna these are worth their weight in gold.
Buscemi 100 MM Diamond – $132,000
Sneakerheads will pay whatever it takes to secure a unique pair, and this is indeed a unique pair loaded with 11.5 carats of diamonds and set in 18-karat gold. This is the ‘diamond jewelry equivalent’ to a diamond engagement ring or Rolex watch for a devoted sneakerhead.
Where are the best places to shop for exclusive designer shoes?
There are many famous footwear brands that sneakerheads are willing to pay top dollar for. Unlike Nike, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Dr. Marten, and Chanel, other designer brands are hard to find, even for the most skilled sneakerhead.
If a super active person takes 12,50 steps a day, can you imagine the steps a sneakerhead will take to find an exclusive brand or meet up with someone who has decided their Nike Dunk Low Paris is now worth selling to get cash quickly?
Online Stores, Auction Sites, and Consignment Stores
There are online stores that sell designer shoes, heels, and boots. If you decide to become a sneakerhead, do your research to ensure that the brands you are buying are authentic and are in good condition for the sale price listed. Ask upfront about return policies and if the store ships.
Online auctions may be a place where you can watch and bid on the perfect shoe that fits your collection. After deciding what pair of shoes you would like to buy, do a little investigating to know what a good price is for the shoes, so you don’t overpay.
At the beginning of the article, I said I had no idea that pawn shops would buy, sell, and loan on designer shoes as part of the luxury items they have in their inventory. Not being a sneakerhead, I didn’t know that footwear was such a thing. I knew that Gucci, Chanel, and Louis Vuitton all had luxury clothing lines but hadn’t given much thought to pawn shops having these items as part of their inventory.
Odd or Different Items at A Pawn Shop
As a business, pawn shops are among the best places to find odd or different luxury items at an affordable price, and I learned this includes exclusive shoe brands. Silly me, I knew luxury items like watches, diamonds, and handbags were a part of many local pawn shops’ inventories, but I didn’t consider searching for pawn shops that buy shoes or pawn shops that sell shoes even a thing.
Pawn shops are a great place to explore and find the items you have been looking for at a fraction of a cost. If you are looking for a fair price on most luxury items like gold, silver, diamond jewelry, sporting goods, designer accessories where customers are treated well, shop at a pawn shop.
Now I know that people who collect, buy and sell designer footwear shop at their local pawn shops.
Collecting designer shoes, heels, flats, boots, accessories, and clothing all have their place. Sneakerheads have figured out what collectible shoes are worth and which shoes will turn a profit in time.
A well-made pair of shoes is a piece of art.
They are made with foundation, comfort, and durability in mind. They give great support and padding, and they need to hug and not constrict. They have balanced arch support and provide a foundation for every activity.
But most collectible shoes aren’t worn; they are kept in new or like-new condition stored in the collectors’ closet, most likely in original boxes. The history and details of the designer shoes make them an investment.
We want you to know that Lambert Pawn is a full-service pawn shop located in Whitter, CA. Being a licensed pawn shop, the expert team is dedicated to helping all of its customers get the money they need quickly and courteously.
We have the answers you need with over 25 years of combined experience as pawnbrokers. Our luxury brands, designer shoes and handbags, diamond and gold jewelry, like new sporting goods, and extremely rare collectibles are all sold for a fair price.
We are the best place to secure a short-term collateral loan providing you with a convenient solution to your cash needs.
To help make buying, selling, and pawning easier, we have an online process where you can send us a picture and description of the item you want to sell, and we can give you a quote right away.
The saying says if the shoe fits wear it. At Lambert Pawn, we have an inventory of rare, collectible designer sneakers that changes regularly, and we also buy and loan on designer sneakers.