How TikTok ruined sneaker culture


Image courtesy of sneakercon

TikTok has forever changed sneaker culture for the worse.

One way in which TikTok has contributed to the negative aspects of sneaker culture is by promoting the discovery of rare and hard-to-find sneakers. The app’s algorithm recommends content based on users’ interests, making it easier for people to discover rare sneakers that they might not have otherwise come across. This has led to a surge in demand for certain sneakers, which has caused resell prices for these sneakers to increase significantly.

For example, the Jordan 1 Retro High “Fragment X Travis Scott” sneakers were released in January 2021 and quickly gained popularity on TikTok due to their association with the high-profile rapper Travis Scott. The sneakers retail for $200, but due to their popularity on the app, their resale value quickly skyrocketed to over $1,500. This type of price increase is not uncommon for sneakers that become popular on TikTok, and it has made it difficult for many people to afford the sneakers they like.

The high price of certain sneakers has also led to a toxic culture of exclusivity within sneaker culture, where only those who can afford the most hyped-up and expensive sneakers are shown respect and clout. This can be frustrating for many people, as it can feel like they are being excluded from the culture and are considered “posers” or “fake sneakerheads” because they can’t afford the most hyped sneakers.

Furthermore, the popularity of certain sneakers on TikTok has led to the increased production of counterfeit or replica versions of the sneakers, where people would turn to these cheaper alternatives. These knockoff sneakers are often of lower quality and do not support the original manufacturers, which has negative consequences for the sneaker industry.

In addition, TikTok has created a platform for sneaker influencers to showcase their collections and style, which has helped to spread sneaker trends and to inspire others to start collecting sneakers. However, some people argue that this has led to the oversaturation of certain sneaker styles, as more and more people are buying and wearing the same types of sneakers. This can make it difficult for people to express their own unique style and can contribute to the homogenization of sneakers.

Overall, while TikTok has had a significant impact on sneaker culture, there are valid concerns about the negative effects of the app on the culture. The promotion of sneakers, especially the inundated styles, has contributed to the negative aspects of sneaker culture, and have made it difficult for some people to afford and express their own unique style. It is important for sneaker enthusiasts to be aware of these negative effects and to consider how they can participate in the culture in a more inclusive and sustainable way.