Some people collect stamps, some collect trading cards, and others collect sneakers. Although most of us choose to wear them out of comfort or necessity, more and more people collect and trade sneakers as a hobby. Dubbed “sneakerheads”, these fashion fanatics spend a great deal of money and time building their collections and are often extremely knowledgeable about industry trends as well as the origins and history of sneakers.
That usually makes buying a gift for sneaker enthusiasts relatively easy. But, before you splash out on the first set of high-tops that hit your explore page, there are a few tips you should follow to find the perfect pair.
1. Buy for your budget
One thing sneakers typically aren’t is cheap, with the average price of a pair coming in at $110.15. And, considering sneakerheads usually seek out rare or limited edition releases, these purchases can set buyers back a pretty penny.
Fortunately, there are several ways you can secure sneakers for less. For instance, instead of buying them brand new out of the box, you could opt for a cheaper pre-owned pair. You could also try online designer outlets to snap up sale items, or make the most of coupons – most brands offer discounts just for creating an account or subscribing to their email newsletter
Alternatively, you can spread the cost of a purchase over several weeks. For example, Zilch allows you to split the cost of buying shoes by paying 25% upfront and splitting what is left into three further installments over a six week period. If you do go down this route though, it’s important to spend responsibly.*
2. Suss out their style
There are few things more awkward than an unwanted gift. From the buyer’s perspective, this means either wasted money or an uncomfortable conversation about a return down the line.
To help you avoid this, it’s important to work out exactly what your sneakerhead’s taste is. Look closely at what they wear and, if possible, try and get a good look at their current sneaker collection to get an idea of things like:
- Their preferred type and style (for example, designer vs basketball sneakers)
- Their go-to brands
- Whether they go for wider or narrow-fitting sneakers
3. Find the right fit
Ensuring you buy sneakers in the right size is key to making a successful gift purchase. You can either follow the above step of looking at their collection to work this out, or try a more subtle method like asking their friends or family members if you don’t want to risk ruining the surprise.
It’s also important to bear in mind that different brands often use different sizing charts, so be sure to do your research. For instance, an Adidas size 9 may be slightly different to a Nike or Reebok size 9.
There can even be sizes differences within a brand’s collection. You might expect an Adidas size 9 basketball shoe to fit the same as a size 9 Adidas running shoe, for example. At the very least it should be the same length, if not the same width. But due to the manufacturing methods and the varying properties of the materials used, there can be subtle differences.
Keeping the receipt is highly recommended should the shoes still not quite fit, particularly considering 70% of all footwear doesn’t fit true to size based on measurement. However, if you follow all of the above steps, you’re sure to find a pair of shoes that will put a smile on your sneakerhead’s face.
*Spend responsibly, spending more than you can afford could seriously affect your financial status. Credit subject to status, 18+, UK residents only. Representative APR 18.1% (fixed) based on total spend £240 (+£2.50 fees). Total repayable: £242.50 paid over 6 weeks, 1st payment £62.50, then 3 payments of £60.00 every 2 weeks. T&Cs apply.