Limited is a relative word, especially when it comes to shoes that are released to the masses: the “limited” cream Yeezys released in the hundreds of thousands, and still sold out in seconds and commanded high resale prices.
Nike and adidas are in a war with each other to capture the attention of sneakerheads, just like Coke and Pepsi are in a war to win the taste buds of the general public.
To keep the hype going strong, every year, Nike and Adidas drop exclusive releases in low amounts that serve both as works of art and unattainable grails to the ordinary individual.
With 2018 being such a strong year for sneaker reselling of rare shoes, at the time of this writing, only just halfway through in June of 2018, we already have 4 models, 2 from each of the titans in the footwear industry (feel free to scroll past this text straight to the list if you want to see the list right away.)
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It’s highly reviewed and full of happy students who actually make money after their education.. unlike students at your local college in America ;).
Joking aside, selling shoes is a wonderful business opportunity and makes economical sense.
In perfect accordance with basic economics, the law of supply and demand, the price for sneakers on the aftermarket increases in a linear fashion with relation to how restricted to sneaker release number is.
Ok without getting too nerdy, to put it into plain English;
…And the more limited they are, the more expensive they get.
Imagine if shoes were truly limited, not in the hundreds of thousands, but simply hundreds, or less?
We’ve identified 4 shoe models that have numbers so low that it’d make you wonder why they didn’t just hand make these things (maybe they did?).
How much would these cost, and how would one acquire a pair?
Although the prices won’t quite reach the six figure levels like these 5 shoes did, it turns out the cost ranges from somewhat within reach, to not even on the market (so basically impossible to get, even with an unlimited budget).
Here are 4 pairs that had quantities so low that you’re more likely to spot someone driving a Bugatti Chiron in Ohio than to see someone wearing a pair in real life:
1. adidas Pharrell NMD HU China Pack Happy (Gold) (Friends and Family)
All that glitters isn’t gold, but in this caae we’ve got shoes that are gold, glittery, and about 5 times more expensive than an ounce of literal gold.
Adidas, the brand with three stripes, made a golden splash with arguably one of the most aesthetically pleasing shoes to release to date.
Appropriately inscribed with the word “Happy” knitted on the right foot, those who were lucky enough to get a pair of these shoes for the retail price in China were probably smiling ear to ear whether they kept or sold.
2. adidas Futurecraft 4D Friends and Family
Always on the cutting edge, adidas made news last year in 2017 by 3D printing a shoe.
This sleek model ended up costing as much as it looked at a retail price of $400, but a wider release remained elusive for most.
A super cool mint green and white colorway with 3M reflective stripes hit the press with much anticipation and hype, but only 300 pairs made it to market, so it’s actually interesting to see that the price tag is actually somewhat within reach, ranging from $1000-$2700 as seen below according to website stockx.com:
3. Nike Epic React Flyknit Belgium
If you wanna spend a lot of money on shoes that most people won’t even recognize as particularly expensive (they just look like a rainbow version of another $150 Nike Running shoe), by all means, do so by buying a pair of these Nike Epic React Flyknits that are interestingly called “Belgium”.
We don’t know what’s so special about Belgium (if you do , please enlighten us), and this shoe of many bright colors barely resembles the Belgian flag which is an austere black, red and yellow.
Either way, Nike made good art with this pair of kicks and limited it to only 1888 pairs.
They can be had for around $1000, which puts it in the most affordable of the list, although its original retail price was $150 for those that purchased in store.
4. Nike Epic React Flyknit Ali Cha’aban “Dusk To Dawn” Saudi Arabia
Rare shoes always come with a release date, but it’s rare that they also come with instructions. According to the artist who designed this pair of Nike’s Instagram, you must “Complete two night runs with the Nike+ Run Club app for a chance to win one of the 30 pairs of the exclusive Nike Epic Reacts. “
If that isn’t enough incentive to kick someone’s butt off the couch to get into shape, we don’t know what else is.
These are so limited that they have not been seen on the market yet, but if they are, we would not be surprised if they hit the five figure level of $10,000-$20,000 or even more.
Interestingly, all 4 of these shoes can be classified as running shoes, none as basketball shoes. All Jordans are basketball shoes, and the fact that no truly hyper limited Jordans have released this year indicates that rare sneakers are trending away from basketball shoes and more towards basic trainers and running sneakers.