It’s not easy being a sneakerhead. Constantly having to keep with the latest trends, the emotional turmoil of balloting for limited releases, choosing between two drops when you only have a budget/space for one – it’s all part of the game after all. While there is an unmistakable rush from cracking open a box and laying eyes on a pair of sneakers you’ve waited three months for, we all know that even the best of us gets buyer’s remorse every now and then.

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Having one’s sneaker collection run from wall to wall may seem cool on Instagram, but it’s mostly inconvenient in real life. A 2014 StockX survey showed that the average sneakerhead owns around 34 pairs of shoes. Whether it comes to thinning out the herd or being more selective in your buying process, having less kicks in your collection doesn’t make you any less of a sneaker connoisseur. In fact, doing so might just elevate your appreciation for the game! Here are some ways you can curb that desire to sneaker-hoard.

Care for your kicks

Any honest-to-goodness sneakerhead should already be doing this, but it bears repeating nonetheless! For shoes that use woven or knit textiles, the accumulation of dirt particles can accelerate structural deterioration. A good doff of a shoe brush should allow you to dislodge any lingering debris. For leather sneakers, invest in a conditioner to keep the material supple and moisturised. Mud stains should be cleaned off as soon as possible as the salt content can end up doing some permanent damage. The longer your shoes last, the less frequently you’ll have to replace them!

Evaluate your rotation
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As much as we’d like to make our collection of shoes dwarf that of Imelda Marcos, we only have two feet to put them on and seven days in the week to wear them out. With numbers like that, it doesn’t really make a lot of sense to own 30 pairs of sneakers. If your weekdays are spent in a corporate environment, then the veracity of this line of thought only becomes more apparent. A good starting point is for you to have enough sneakers in your rotation to avoid wearing the same pair on consecutive days – some variance is fine as long as you don’t go overboard with it!

Pick style over trends

That bright neon sneaker you’ve been eyeing may be in vogue now, but will that be the case a year down the road? You don’t have to grab every sneaker that drops from your favourite brand/designer. If you’re thinking of solidifying your collection, prioritising the classics (e.g. Air Force 1s, Jordan 3s, etc.) will keep your sneaker game relevant and fresh. The same goes for the colourways – you can’t go wrong with a pair of all-white Stan Smiths! If you want something a bit more hype-worthy though, go for a limited edition release/collaboration instead. Let your sense of aesthetics guide you towards a better choice instead of just focusing on who-did-what.

Try catch-and-release

Managing a revolving door of sneakers can be tricky. To avoid being buried under a mound of boxes, consider selling your under-utilised kicks on the second-hand market. The same goes for more recent purchases that turn out to be ill-advised or poorly fitted. You probably won’t recover 100% of the cost, but it’ll be a good lesson to you on making better decisions in the future. Furthermore, successful sales mean that you free up more space and funds for other things.

written by.
Evigan Xiao
Evigan is an avid fan of bench-made boots, raw selvedge denim, single malt Scotch and fine watches. When he's not busy chuckling over image dumps on Imgur, he can be found lifting heavy objects in the gym or fussing over his two dogs, Velvet and Kenji. He dreams of one day owning a cottage in the English countryside and raising a small army of Canadian geese to terrorise the local populace.

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