Jumpman Will Be Limited in 2018
By Matt Frey
The year 2017 was one the most controversial years in sneaker history. Collaborations were booming but at the same time sneakers were sitting. Retro sneakers were passed on by consumers and improved, modern models were found. This year, high-quality sneaker releases will become more exclusive with smaller releases, which is a rising topic within the sneaker community.
In the last season, many sneakerheads had complaints about the materials used to make the sneakers, such as nubuck, patent, and suede. For instance, the Jordan Chutney Thirteens were highly expected to be sold out in minutes of the release day in June 2017. However, collectors complained that the use of buttery suede material did not match the original 1998 model with long hair suede, which ruined everything for the release. This enraged sneaker fanatics everywhere. This also occurred with the release of the Timberland-Silhouette 13, which sadly was a sleeper because the material on the upper section of the shoe was wrong, according to collectors.
In the return of an unexpected and unwanted shoe, Jordan released a fully “wheated-out” Thirteen in November 2017 in an attempt to rekindle the interest from last June. Any real sneakerhead knows that Jordans never had any controversy over quality, nor did original buyers of the earlier models even think about it. Seeing this model sit on shelves all over sneaker shops was a negative for the brand. Therefore in 2018, the Jordan brand will return to limited a limited stock.
Over the last few years, it has not been so easy to pick up Jordans. Everything sold out and sold out quickly. Honestly, with the technology of bots and the greed of resellers, it has been a pain in the rear to snatch a pair. It was uncommon for buyers to make purchases at releases. Fans were screaming for Jordan to make releases more accessible. Today, one can walk into a Footlocker or Shoe Palace and buy almost any Jordan without hassle. This has been great for sneakerheads who only rock hyped up shoes and resellers. The Jordan brand supplied the people what they wanted although the people in the sneaker community had a change of heart as talk about the diminished quality became apparent. Although the quality of Jordans have never been considered top quality, the manufacturer has improved in this area, putting a bit of a stop to picky sneakerhead complaints.
Another downfall of the brand is that due to the mass supply, collectors say they do not want to wear the same kicks as everyone else. Yes, that is a complete understatement of what Jordan Brand and Nike have been promoting in the last year: Equality.
First off, one is buying a Jordan, a mass produced Nike shoe, not a high fashion piece. No matter how many Jordans are distributed, people are still wearing a shoe that a lot of other people have on their feet. So if the shoe says premium on the box, stop thinking that a limited shoe will make an outfit cooler, It means nothing. Honestly if a true sneakerhead will buy a shoe, it is not about if it will hold its value or the hype of the release, but an appreciation of the actual shoe. One can say a mindset like that produces the most flex because it seems like it doesn't mean anything, pay a high price and the buyer sees it as tennis shoe more than a designer grail. For anyone who thinks differently, what are you talking about? It is a pair of shoes meant to play basketball in. They go on the feet to walk around on the sidewalk or at the mall. It's not an investment like Apple stock, Coca Cola, Bitcoin, a piece of art or real estate. It is merely a piece of rubber, leather, flyknit, plastic and air - it is just a shoe.
Another problem in 2017 that must be discussed is the Nikes 3rd improvision. Barron’s.com states that Nike plans to “recommit to maintaining the Jordan brand's image of scarcity.” For this, thank all the people who passed on a shoe they wanted because of the mass production of pairs. In this case, if the Jordan brand is logical, they will follow this rule forever. This means it is not so much about building hype but protecting their greatest asset: the retros.
Jordan brand also has non-retros, such as the 32 from last year, and included trainers, slides, and updated models. Jordan will always protect the retro because that is what drives customers to the brand. Therefore when a sneakerhead walks into a Footlocker and sees a Jordan 3 sitting on a shelf, it kills the image. If retros die, the Jordans die. Jordan brand has recently verged scarcity meaning Jordan will make pairs limited since the stock already on the shelves is not selling out and not making money. It also edges scarcity because of consumer demand and building up a secondary market of resellers. This adds fuel and interest to the next big releases because no sneakerhead wants to pay for the overpriced resell. It’s an ongoing pattern; build hype, build a brand, increase market share and then finally see the Jordan brand back to its original roots.
As common buyers are complaining about bots, back-dooring and how they could not swipe a pair! Sorry not sorry, the sneaker community had their chance, no one really jumped on it. Now everyone is back to limited releases every Saturday. This limited supply will come into effect beginning in June of this year. So for all the sneakerheads out there, enjoy the lasting months of unlimited stock.