“Hidden Gems”


This past weekend I attended the Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival; and on Friday I was featured in its Juice Hip Hop Exhibition. The Juice Hip Hop Exhibition featured a dance-off, art gallery, artist performances, a beat showcase, some very impressive sets from different DJs; and of course a sneaker gallery. I am sure you can all figure out which part of the event I was involved in. I was asked to display some kicks and come up with a theme for the display. This took a little bit of consideration as I glanced at my collection. I chose eleven shoes to display that where all older than six years, with the oldest pairs being twenty, fifteen, and fourteen years old.

This is something I am actually hung up on about the sneaker game. There are so many dope shoes that will never come out again, never be re-released, and never be retired. These are those gems, sometimes they get overlooked in the hype of other releases, but when we go back and think on them, they are prized. I guess that “You never really appreciate something until its gone” phrase remain true in this case as well. Personally, I have a lot of favorite shoes that will never come out again. It is a bittersweet feeling, mainly because of the appreciation of what these shoes have led to, or the memories of the shoes; but also the fact that their availability now is almost nonexistent. Some of these gems can still be attained though. The condition may not be great, they may be falling apart, or if they are in good condition they may cost a grip, but they can be found. The knowledge of this process has actually changed my personal purchasing habits.

There are a decent amount of people involved in the sneaker universe that don’t care for anything that isn’t an OG, isn’t a retro, that isn’t being hyped like it is the greatest thing to ever happen. I feel like that is the dumbest view to have. It’s basically saying because it isn’t this or that it isn’t dope. That is insane. Some of the greatest Jordan’s released Mike never played in. Kobe’s prelude pack contains some of the best color schemes on those silhouettes and he probably won’t wear them on the court. This also applies to new color schemes that get lost in the crowd. It will take people to stop and look back some years from now to actually put them in their rightful place amongst the greats.

Throughout the 2000’s there where many Jordan’s that came out that won’t see another release date. I happen to own some of these gems. The perfect example of these gems is the Jordan brand releases of 2006. 2006 saw the Pacific VII, Flint VII, Citrus VII, Tour Yellow IV, Lightening IV, Mist IV, Olive V, Wine V, Green Bean V, Stealth V, and the DMP pack. That is just one year. There have been a few other years that had similar amounts of heat released that has been forgotten by now. I may honestly put that year of releases up against a few other great years for sneakers. And as previously mentioned none of those shoes I spoke on will come out again. That fact baffles me, as far as best colorways go, I would argue some of these shoes up against any of their counterparts.

This situation isn’t all negative though. It allows “diamond hunters” like me to get these shoes at much better prices a little while after they release. Sometimes these releases can end up in outlets, or sitting in a reseller’s collection collecting dust, because no one is checking for them. That is when they are prime for purchasing. Often they end up being a steal because they are going for far lower than retail, or maybe even retail after the hype has died. So I say enjoy the scenery while you still can. Make sure you aren’t letting these great pairs pass you by, especially when they don’t have much reason for coming back out.

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