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Unboxing the Most Interesting Sneakers to Trade In the Last Year

Unboxing the Most Interesting Sneakers to Trade In the Last Year
March 6, 2024
Dylan Dittrich

Photo: Diego Jaramillo

This sneaker market content is produced in partnership with STYR Trade, the next-generation, instant-trading sneaker marketplace. Sign up for the STYR waitlist today.

Big picture, 2023 was a reset year in sneakers after feverish activity in the years prior. While it wasn’t a year of broad, explosive appreciation, there were still trading opportunities for those with a trained eye. In some cases, those opportunities arose from volatility, whether caused by restocks, news, or seasonality. In other cases, an imbalance of supply and demand for some of the year’s most coveted drops created unyielding positive momentum. Let’s unbox ten of the most interesting sneakers to trade over the last 12 months.

Jordan 4 Retro SB “Pine Green”

It will surprise few to find the consensus 2023 Sneaker of the Year on this list. From the moment photos started to surface, sneakerheads globally applauded the fresh take on an old favorite. Despite a few shock-drop restocks, supply was never sufficient to satiate the rampant demand that followed, particularly as the shoe continued to headline sneaker award conversations going into year-end. Per StockX price chart data, the price for the most popular size 10 hit its annual low in the days after release at $354. By year end, it was at $520, continuing to trend upwards today. Without factoring in any fees (more on fee drag later), that’s a gain of 50% for an instant classic. 

The largest outcomes came in the largest sizes. Size 13s sold for as little as $398 in the immediate aftermath of the release. Today, prices hover just below $700, improving upon that 50% gain in size 10 with a 75% gain here. Brands often offer less supply of larger sizes, so prices can rise more explosively when a sneaker is a hit. For example, size 13s had about a third of the volume of size 10s over the last 12 months on StockX.

There was no shortage of volume available to trade overall: over the last 12 months, StockX reports nearly 26,000 pairs sold across sizes at an average price of $392, amounting to over $10 million in total volume.

Photo and Price Chart: StockX

Jordan 4 Retro “Thunder”

A sneaker doesn’t need to headline any award lists to be an interesting candidate for price appreciation. Perhaps drafting in the wake of a standout year for the Jordan 4, the “Thunder” release dropped to little acclaim and low premiums in May but consistently rallied throughout 2023. Resale prices dipped below $250 weeks after release and ended the year above $310, good for 24% gains before the dreaded fees. Believe it or not, the Thunders were actually responsible for more StockX volume over the last 12 months than the acclaimed Pine Green release, with more than 43,000 pairs selling at a total volume of more than $11.8 million. 

Photo and Price Chart: StockX

Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 “Onyx”

Few sneakers have been more volatile than Yeezys over the last 18 months, and the Onyx 350 V2 is a striking example of an erratic price chart. When Ye was at his worst and the Adidas partnership was terminated, resale markets actually reacted by considering the possibility that Yeezy supply would dry up. Prices of the Onyx 350 increased from levels between $320-330 before the announcement to a January peak of $416 before a February retreat to $327 and a subsequent April rally back to $405. 

And then, the restock hit. 

Additional pairs flooding to market meant that prices cratered, reaching a trough of $235 in June. Once the market digested those pairs, a slow but steady march to higher prices resumed. While the StockX price chart shows levels around $270 for a size 10 today, recent sales on the platform don’t reflect transactions that high. 

Photo and Price Chart: StockX

Playing the restock as a Level 1 Seller on StockX -  with a 9% transaction fee and shipping charges - would make profits hard to come by. Successful outcomes in this specific case would’ve required scale (leading to more accommodative fees) and/or lesser platform friction. Generally speaking, the frictional costs on the incumbent platforms dull or even eliminate profits for sellers lacking scale and higher selling credentials; conducting both the purchase and sale transactions on one of these platforms would make many trading opportunities more theoretical than achievable in practice. 

Additionally, the pain would’ve been immense for a buyer at the top of the market who had buyer’s remorse and chose to sell after the restock:

As an aside, two-way shipping erodes profits for pure speculators who don’t actually need the sneakers in their possession, and it also poses disadvantages of time if those buyers wish to sell the sneakers quickly, as they may miss opportunities to sell while waiting on inventory to ship to them. 

UGG Tasman Slipper “Chestnut” (Women’s)

If the inclusion of the “Thunder” Jordan 4 surprised you, you’ll be floored to see an UGG slipper. But the price charts don’t lie. UGG Brand had a massive 2023, closing the year with 15% year-over-year revenue growth in the quarter ending December 31st. Among the popular products was the women’s Tasman Slipper, but if you were paying attention in 2022, that wouldn’t have come as a shock. In 2022, resale prices increased more than three-fold from a low near $50 in the summer to over $170 in the weeks ahead of the holidays. The increase in popularity late in the year accompanies the arrival of the holidays and colder temperatures, and the willingness of sellers to part with pairs in the heat of summer tells you the market is not particularly efficient. 

Inefficiency means opportunity. 

In 2023, prices once again dipped below $100 to a trough of $88 before exploding as high as $155 on December 9th. More than 37,000 pairs traded hands on StockX over the last 12 months, providing plenty of opportunity to play this seasonality-driven trend.

Photo and Price Chart: StockX

Jordan 3 Retro “White Cement Reimagined”

The “Reimagined” Jordan 3 release was predictably among the most popular and sought-after sneakers of the year. It took little foresight to expect that - even in a down year - one of the most iconic Jordan colorways would attract more demand than supply could satisfy. As is not uncommon for sneaker releases, prices for Reimagined pairs dipped in the weeks following their March release. In May, size 10 pairs reached their low beneath $250, steadily rising to follow the typical J-curve of a release. Prices finished the year near $325, where they continue to linger today. Playing the J-curve won’t always work out, but with a little patience, the right sneaker, and some opportunistic action, the industry’s icons tend to pay off. 

This was the highest volume sneaker on StockX from our list over the last 12 months, generating over 43,000 sales and total volume just under $12 million across all sizes.

Photo and Price Chart: StockX

Nike Dunk Low Next Nature “White Light Orewood Brown” (Women’s)

As highlighted in the Yeezy example, restocks can create opportunity as sellers hastily unload pairs fearing the new supply will forever reset the prevailing market price to lower levels. That sharp drawdown in price is often short-lived as the market eventually digests new supply and returns to a demand-driven trajectory. Late year restocks of the Light Orewood Brown Women’s Dunk sent prices cratering from above $300 in the first quarter of the year to a low of $119 in November. By year-end, though, prices had rebounded to $191 and they continue to hover in the high $100s today. Some might overlook the women’s sneaker space, but the category is significantly more active than it was ten or even five years ago. 

Photo and Price Chart: StockX

New Balance 990v6 “Action Bronson Baklava”

Few brands have been hotter than New Balance over the last two years, and Action Bronson’s collaborations on the 990v6 were among the most desirable releases of 2023. The “Baklava” colorway was polarizing among sneakerheads, and the initial buzz faded in the months following their March release, bringing size 10s to a low of $305 in early June. Since then, the value has increased, occasionally finding sale prices above $450 and mostly settling just below $400. Supply has largely dried up, but Action Bronson collab hype hasn’t, with New Balance 1906R releases set to hit in 2024. 

The less touted “Lapis Lazuli” colorway also offered under-the-radar upside, reaching a low under $250 and selling in the mid-to-high $300s more recently. 

Photo and Price Chart: StockX

ASICS Gel-Kayano 14 “Kith Cream Scarab”

By far the lowest volume sneaker on our list, only 442 pairs of the ASICS Gel-Kayano 14 Kith collab have sold over the last 12 months on StockX. But that low volume is in part what allowed for such significant appreciation in recent months. The ASICS Gel-Kayano 14 was among the breakout models in the mesh runner trend that took hold of the sneaker market in late 2022 and 2023. So the marriage of the model’s popularity, the demand for KITH collaborations, and the low supply pushed the price from a low of $267 a week after release to sale prices in the low-to-mid $400s at the start of 2024. Not bad for a running shoe model that debuted in 2008.

Photo and Price Chart: StockX

Nike SB Dunk Low “Jarritos”

You might have thought the Dunk phase was over as Nike ratcheted up supply on colorways like the Panda to make them more accessible than ever before. Perhaps Dunk fatigue was setting in. 

That seemed to be the belief when the Jarritos Dunk Low approached its early May release date. Before the sneaker even dropped, its resale price fell to the lowest level it would ever face, with size 10s reaching $324 on May 1st ahead of the May 10th release. The Jarritos Dunk hasn’t looked back since, spending time above $600 in July. Price action has been a bit choppy since, with some activity in the high $400s, but today, prices in the high $500s are still attained. General release Dunks may be more available than ever before, but the most exciting releases of the year remain both highly limited and highly coveted.

Photo and Price Chart: StockX

Jordan 6 Retro “Chrome Metallic Silver”

If the “Thunder” Jordan 4 was insufficient proof that unspectacular releases can still deliver appreciation, look no further than the “Chrome Metallic Silver” Jordan 6. The sneaker released in late 2022 to little hype, and its lack of initial resale momentum may have contributed to diminishing supply, as these found their way more to feet than to inventory. Only about 5,000 pairs have sold on StockX across sizes in the last 12 months, which is relatively low for this type of Jordan release. Prices in the low $200s at the end of 2022 steadily climbed into the high-$200s and low-$300s towards the end of 2023 and beginning of 2024. 

That momentum was a bright spot and a rarity for initially underwhelming Jordan releases last year. But now that releases no longer unanimously sell out immediately and deliver huge premiums on resale marketplaces, the initial reaction doesn’t necessarily tell the whole story. The composition of initial buyers matters, and when it’s less resale-driven, there’s likely to be less future supply in circulation.

Photo and Price Chart: StockX

Exhibit - StockX Data, Last 12 Months

Data compiled from StockX on March 1st

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Disclaimer: You understand that by reading Altan Insights, you are not receiving financial advice. No content published here constitutes a recommendation that any particular security, transaction, or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. You further understand that the author(s) are not advising you personally concerning the nature, potential, value or suitability of any particular security, transaction, or investment strategy. You alone are solely responsible for determining whether an investment, security or strategy, or any other product or service, is appropriate or suitable for you based on your investment objectives and personal financial situation. Please speak with a financial advisor to understand if the risks inherent in trading are appropriate for you. Trade at your own risk.

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