Color Theory

The Color Theory: Luxury Buying and Sneaker Culture

Photo: Ryan Plomp – Unsplash

People are willing to spend high money on sneakers for the hype –  the exclusivity consisting of vibrant colors and unbelievable comfort. We can all agree, spending on luxury items (such as exclusive, high-end sneakers) can boost confidence and egos among many people in “sneaker culture”.

Nicole Anne Pore of Highlight Story points out four potential factors of luxury spending: rationale, self-esteem, accomplishment, and authenticity. 

  • Rationale: Mirrors the impulsive buying experience. Typically, we “over-emphasise the positives and ignore the disadvantages” – simply, if we see something we like, it’s hard for us to find a reason why we don’t want it.
  • Self-Esteem: Simply, we feel better when we treat ourselves. Think about when you buy a new pair of shoes, you feel like you’re floating and got all the swag in the world!
  • Accomplishment: We buy expensive stuff because we want to reward ourselves. Also goes with rationalization, we find another reason why we “deserve” this luxury item.
  • Authenticity: Quality is the main reason why we buy a higher-priced item compared to it’s cheaper counterpart
Photo: Amit Lahav – Unsplash

We all have our own “crutch” or have a collection of some sort when it comes to streetwear fashion. Some may have more long sleeve shirts than short sleeved, some may have more shoes than hats, some may have more plaid patterns than striped patterns, and the list goes on. Personally, I am a huge advocate for collecting sneakers – as you may have guessed by now.

So for all the sneakerheads and sneaker-connoisseurs abroad, how much have you spent on shoes alone in the past year? Some may say it’s worth the price of investment (especially those who plan to resell), and some may say it’s worth the price for happiness and self-esteem.
This had me wondering: Why do people keep buying these high priced sneakers?

Photo: Artiom Vallat – Unsplash

I get it, sneaker culture is poppin’ off right now. And it doesn’t seem to slow down anytime soon, as the price of sneakers keep rising.

People are willing to spend high money on luxury items for a boost on self esteem, achieving a sense of accomplishment, feeling authentic – all which ties to the absence of rationale behind the decision to do so. Jennifer Ross of The American Reporter says, “shoppers feel better about themselves if they can buy more expensive things. It’s as simple as that. It gives them a sense of belonging where there might be insecurity. It reinforces their sense of self in a way that isn’t possible elsewhere”.

Don’t be fooled, though, you can still wear expensive shoes! You don’t have to break your bank account and still find shoes that will fit your style. After all, I’m here to help you look like a star!

For instance, the Nike Kyrie 7’s come in a variety of colors (such as dark and light aesthetics) that will fit into any streetwear – also noting for my fellow hoopers, these shoes are perfect for playing basketball too.

White Air Force 7’s are the perfect fit for any occasion – ask any sneakerhead out there! The shoe design is super versatile and is a classic-look among millennials.

Finally, it may be a little retro, but a pair of Converse Chuck Taylor’s low tops can also go with anything you could possibly wear for any occasion.


Demetrius Jones is a staff writer for The Sting. He is an English major at the University of Baltimore.

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