The Case For Less Sneakers (Or, You Can Still Have Too Many Sneakers)

Hi, it’s J-Play again, with a friendly reminder that you can have absolutely too many sneakers.

As spring turns to summer out here in The United States, many of us partake in a traditional purge of our material things commonly referred to as “Spring Cleaning.” For sneakerheads, fashionistas, <insert collectible item here> collectors, and other glorified hoarders, this isn’t usually something we would do with any real intent unless we absolutely have to, for a myriad of reasons.

“It’s an OG”

“They don’t make this anymore”

“I’m waiting for the right moment to xyz”

“It’s (gonna be) worth some money.”

The list can go on for days if you let it. And a lot of times, these reasons make sense. But this year and years hereafter, I actually want to challenge you to do a little spring cleaning. Here’s why:

You Get To Refresh Your Collection

First, consider what happens when you get rid of some of your sneakers: you have more space in your collection, and you’re likely going to purchase some new sneakers anyway. If you replace old sneakers with new ones enough times, you’ll have a completely different rotation, which unlocks more fits and pics. Since I’m making a case for less sneakers, ideally you’d want to get rid more than you bring in.

I purged a lot of my sneakers throughout the pandemic and have since replaced those old sneakers with other sneakers I’ve wanted for a while and/or go with my style. I might have gone a little too crazy with it, hence why I find myself getting rid of some sneakers again as of late.

On the topic of style, when getting rid of sneakers, you’re likely parting with the ones that you aren’t wearing much, don’t like anymore, felt buyer’s remorse from, got plenty of use from, etc. That leaves all the sneakers that you like and/or still want to wear. This then gives you an idea of what kind of sneakers you like to wear, which helps shape and reinforce your personal style.

You Can (And Should) Spend That Money Elsewhere

Yes, I know, I’m the man that wrote a piece saying I’ll gladly spend my money on sneakers if I wanted to.

But that was me 5 years ago. At the time of that writing, I couldn’t necessarily afford to spend $200+ on sneakers, I was buying primarily from the sale sections, and often lamented at how expensive things not considered a sneaker could be.

At the time of this writing, my paradigm shifted. As I continue to part ways with sneakers, I use my money to invest in other parts of my life instead of on a pair of sneakers that will sit in the box for years, possibly never being worn. Let me provide a small example.

Suppose we spend an average of $200 on a pair of shoes. Let’s also suppose that we buy 4 pairs in a month, so roughly one pair a week. That means we spend an average of $800 a month on sneakers. $800!

I can think of a lot of things to do with that $800. Nowadays, I’m open to making more expensive (read: quality) purchases in other parts of my life, especially if I know I’m going to get a legitimate use out of whatever I am buying. Flights, clothes, electronics, classes, etc. My limit for a single purchase as it pertains to sneakers is generally no more than $250, and even then it’s really $200. That being said, when it comes to other things in that range, I nowadays often find myself saying “if I can spend $200 on some sneakers, I can spend $200 on xyz.” It’s the same money, just put to a different (and often better) use.

Less sneakers = more life.

You’ll Actually Wear Your Sneakers

Seriously. Ever since I’ve started to reduce my load of sneakers, I found myself breaking open some new pairs. And actually wearing (and enjoying) them.

I can imagine like many people (and like myself), you probably don’t wear a lot of your sneakers because of how rare or special they may be. And so understandably, you don’t want that cash value to drop, you don’t want them to get dirty or ruined, so on and so forth. While you probably may never wear certain sneakers, reducing your collection will eventually lead to you trying out a new pair in your collection simply because you’ll have less familiar/usual options to choose from. We all love novelty. So why not find a little bit that’s already sitting in your collection? You bought the shoes for a reason. If you bought them to sell, you’re better off selling as soon as you get them, that’s when resell value is usually hottest for shoes. Resell value after that window is a gamble. (Also, consider one to rock, one to Stock…or StockX)

If you bought them because you actually like them but are waiting for the right time to break them out, there is no right time. You’re gonna “right time” yourself into holding onto hundreds of sneakers, while you still wear the same 5 for months, even years. Even worse, you might decide to get rid of them, and that case, you could’ve saved yourself the money and space in the first place altogether.

You Become More Selective

This is a good thing. Time, space, money, and other things considered, you won’t have interest in every other sneaker dropping just because it looks cool. You’ll start to become picky about what sneakers you want to buy moving forward. You’ll only enter draws for sneakers you are really, really, feeling. You’ll sit and wait on the ones you’re not so strong or confident in, which, after enough time will either become a pair you’re no longer interested in, or one that you’ll buy at the right place at the right time, and at the right price. This too, will eventually lead to the other aforementioned points above.

Your Collection Is Easier To Manage

This is self-explanatory on a lot of levels, as there is nothing fun about having a bunch of sneakers to maintain, clean, transport, organize, etc. A collection with a lot of sneakers requires a lot of time and/or effort, even if you aren’t wearing most of them.

Hopefully the points I made here in this article have given you a little perspective on downsizing your collection. Maybe my article on donating will offer more perspective.







One response to “The Case For Less Sneakers (Or, You Can Still Have Too Many Sneakers)”

  1. Veemac Avatar

    Nicely said.

Leave a Reply