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It's time to invest in sneakers

From resell to NFT, when a shoe is worth more than gold

It's time to invest in sneakers From resell to NFT, when a shoe is worth more than gold

If until a few years ago the sneaker world could be considered a niche market, in the last period its explosion has turned it into a real gold mine. According to the latest report published by Statista, the Athletic Footwear Market has reached the record level of 127 billion dollars in 2021, figures that are not surprising, given the evolution of the sector since the explosion of hype culture to date. Although a report published by Cowen & Company speaks of sneakers as a market difficult to predict, the numbers confirm that, in any case, it is a product with enormous growth prospects that, by 2030, could be worth 30 billion dollars. This growth is possible thanks to the status now acquired by sneakers, which have become the symbol of a market capable of making everyone participate through resell platforms. For better or for worse, sneakers have absorbed the evolution of an economy strongly linked to the status of a product and the value that can be drawn from it, becoming commodities with a value that goes up and down every day. For this reason the consequent development of Web3 has been a panacea for the market, which has found a further way to become an economic asset of value and symbol of the ownership economy.


Nike and RTFKT STUDIOS have created the first CryptoKick Dunk Genesis, a fully virtual sneaker, in only 20,000 NFT pieces, that can be modified via Skin Vials technology. These CryptoKicks were made available to owners of Clone-X, RTFKT and Takashi Murakami's digital project that combines Metaverse, fashion, anime and sci-fi, through "Mnlth", a virtual box accessible only after solving several questions and puzzles through RTFKT's website. Inside were a pair of Nike CryptoKicks, a vial to modify the design of the sneakers and another Mnlth - implying the arrival of another drop, while sale prices started from $5,000 to reach the $130,000 shelled out for a shoe customized by Takashi Murakami and produced in only 98 pieces. The success of Nike's CryptoKicks underscored the impossibility of being mono-sectoral in order to survive in an ever-changing market, but rather to positively embrace change. «I see the next step in the sneaker space being brands really venturing further into the concept of digital sneakers. I've always liked sneakers to simply wear them, but more than ever, we're seeing what sounded like a crazy concept a decade ago become a reality,» summarized Nick DePaula in an interview for Boardroom in 2021.

The perfect example of this evolution is Rares, the platform created by former NFL player Gerome Sapp in which every user has the opportunity to buy shares of the rarest sneakers on the market. Like a real stock market, you can sell and buy holdings, getting to earn even with budgets that start at $20. It is no longer necessary to physically own a sneaker to be the owner, but it is enough to buy a small part of it. Despite the "digitization" of sneakers, at the base of everything there is still passion and storytelling around the product, as Sapp himself said in an interview with Forbes: «Our mission is to allow culture and communities to invest in cultural assets that have somehow transcended beyond sneakers, to now being appreciating alternative assets.» It's especially the younger generation that reflects in the intrinsic and economic aspect that a shoe recalls. Being able to count on a sneaker as a valuable alternative asset has allowed them to embrace an increasingly broader and financially educated audience. Thus, in addition to becoming a profitable and culturally valuable asset, they confirm how the economy is moving towards a fractionalization of ownership in which even the smallest retailers are part of the market and contribute, every day, to make it bigger and bigger.