I posed this question on my Instagram stories yesterday:
Should certain storied or classic shoes (think along the lines of Air Max 90 “Infrared”, Air Max 95 “Neon”, Air Jordan 1 “Bred”, Air Jordan 3 “Black Cement”) always be stocked on shelves and be available to purchase in stores akin to a general release? Or sold sparingly over the years in limited numbers?
The results after the 24-hour voting period ended were extremely close, with Team Always Available winning with 52% of the 1012 total votes.
Personally, I stand with the Always Available camp. I jumped into sneaker culture in the mid-2000s when things were way different. Perhaps it was just Toronto’s scene simply being too young rather than a reflection of the culture as a whole, but things at that time were a lot more genuine. For the most part, people who bought sneakers bought them out of love and passion for the shoe, whatever those feelings of love originated from. Not to sound like an old man yelling at a cloud, but today it seems to be much more about stunting on others, reselling, or wearing “grails” once and moving on to the next heat drop (don’t worry, there’s moments where I’m guilty of this too).
I get that certain shoes are inevitably going to be, and by all means, should be limited in nature. Certain collaborations, special edition releases (like an NBA Championship pack), and unique twists on classics. But in terms of some of the all-time staples like the Bred & Royal 1s, and classic Air Maxes (that in the past, mind you, have sat on shelves and been on sale racks), I firmly believe they should always be readily available.
These kicks earned their renowned status by being ground breakers, game changers and risk takers in their time and the adoration they’ve gained since then hasn’t been due to artificial means or planned scarcity. In short, let’s unleash these classics, fill up store shelves and allow sneaker fans of all ages, shapes and sizes to enjoy them, rock them, beat them to the ground before re-uping on the next pair!