[Discussion] Downsizing and/or Having a Minimal Sneaker Collection (or Quitting Sneaker Collecting Altogether) - WITH TIPS/RESOURCES

Tips and Resources
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This discussion thread might not work out, but hopefully, it does for anyone who eventually wants to or has already downsiz(ed) their collection, maintain a small or minimal collection, and/or stop collecting altogether and have questions or advice to offer others. I thought I'd make this thread as it's inspired by the downsizing discussion in the Air Max 1 thread and it went on for a good handful of pages or so. This could also include discussions of switching priorities or efforts from collecting to other things in life, too.

For those who have done it, can you share your tips on how you've done it?

For those who plan to do it or is already in the process of doing it, can you share your realization moment and/or progress?

----- RESOURCES/TIPS BELOW -----
Some resources/tips that's been shared throughout the thread that can help those looking to downsize/minimize/quit sneakers or look to keep the minimal/selective collecting motivation going. If you have tips/resources for me to add and/or want to ask us for advice/motivation, please post!

TIPS:
  • Realize your tipping point- Similar to admitting the addiction (but not always), find out what your tipping point was that made you want to change/reinvent the hobby to downsize/minimize/quit sneakers. Could be anything related to you internally, relationships and/or life priorities. Call it out and understand there's no shame in it, because you've had the chance to enjoy sneakers regardless. Examples are:
    • Can't deal with having over X amount of shoes.
    • Taken too many Ls and are sick of playing games/tired of playing catch-up/can't keep up anymore.
    • Too many uncomfortable shoes purchased just for aesthetics/nostalgia.
    • Not focused enough on loved ones/future goals.
    • Wrong prioritization (money spent on shoes rather than on other priorities).
    • Hobby became an addiction.
    • Sneaker game changed way too much to enjoy.
  • Minimizing exposure - minimize or completely stop visiting in-person stores/online stores, blogs, Twitter pages, etc. Hard to do with NikeTalk because NikeTalk da best doe... but be aware of the exposure and yourself when reading sneaker-related threads (or just stick to the General section)
    • Examples of being aware of yourself: thought process when you see someone post a deal (is this a shoe I've been wanting and now it's on sale or do I just want it only because it's on sale?), seeing your reactions to FOMO
  • Spatial awareness - See how much space it's taking up your place physically. Do you have to resort to paying for storage units or use other areas of your house to store your shoes? The less shoes you own, the more space you'll have.
    • Peace of Mind > Money/Value - don't let money/value be the reason you have less or no space.
  • Mental awareness & Decluttering - See how much emotional and mental space it takes to deal with them. Evaluate how much it sits on your mind. To reach peacefulness/bliss, consider decluttering.
    • Decluttering is a process. You'd have to start with the easy stuff (emails and then random things around the house) before you work your way up to sneakers as your last area to declutter, because it will build up emotional momentum by the time you get to sneakers.
  • Donate/sell - If you have excess that you're tired of having, either donate to local charity or charitable orgs (Goodwill, Salvation Army) or sell through eBay, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, etc.
  • "Front Door" rule - works with more than just shoes (like clothes and accessories). Method is self-explanatory: imagine having a shoe rack at the front door that can hold about 10 shoes or so as your go-to shoes that you can just pick any one of those pairs and go about your day without having to spend time choosing. Works well with the "being selective" tip.
  • "One in/one out" rule - one of the common rules of minimalism/decluttering where if you buy a new shoe, you sell a shoe out your collection. Doesn't matter how much money you get back; it's for the peace of mind to make room for something you're more interested in.
  • Being selective -
    • Current rotation: choose which ones you wear most and/or love most for the purpose of wearing. Ones in boxes almost all the time can go.
    • Future pick-ups: plan ahead, create a 30-day waitlist rule (very hard to do considering how some shoes sell out fast, but doable for some), create your own elaborate and valid sneaker checklist requirements (example: has to be an original, has to be comfortable, has to be within a specific shoe line that you love, not something that you'll get just to have, no multiples/duplicates, etc.) Just remember the "one in/one out" rule too.
    • Maybe create an ideal number of pairs you'd like to have.
  • Hype Manifestation - a fancier description of "hypebeast", hype can alter feelings towards certain shoes and it moves fast. Best way to tell that hype manifestation got to you is when you get excited about shoes because other people around you are and they keep talking it up. If you're truly excited about a shoe you want, imagine the present excitement you have while everybody else is not excited at all. If that alters your perspective, then you don't want that shoe. You just want to be part of the crowd that wants that shoe.
  • Consider your short-term/long-term life goals- Consider future life events like moving from one place to another, having a family, getting married, saving for a house, etc.
    • Time and effort of having to pack and unpack all the shoes
    • Financial goals for life events
  • Financial goals - other than life events, it could be for saving up, investing (in stocks/bonds/mutual funds, NOT shoes that "will go up in value"), paying off debt etc.
  • FOMO to JOMO - Taking Ls from raffles/SNKRS/bots (FOMO) --> saving money, less stress, more space, more life focus, you'll forget about it after a few days, etc.
  • Accept that you can't have everything - this is one of the hardest things to do, but it could be a really good one. Having a sneaker collection involves lots of pride since sneakers are part of your identity/personality and missing out may really go against that, but it will really help you enjoy what you already have, which is already unique on its own. Even if you choose to buy less, the ones you choose to buy less of becomes more meaningful because of the time and reasons you chose to pick the ones you actually want over other options.
RESOURCES:
  • Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, especially episode 7 where the husband of a couple has lots of shoes to get rid of and organize to make room for a baby in the future
  • Environment vs. Willpower - a few Reddit posts that I found that taught me personally how an environment can take over and hurt your willpower, causing people to cave and go back into buying because of the mindlessness of dopamine fulfillment.
  • J Cole interview with Angie Martinez about social media and social events/drinking - Take drinking analogy and switch it with sneakers, and it's conceptually the same thing. Understand that J Cole is talking about verbalizing the emotions in the drinking/social environment. Verbalize and understand the your feelings when you see a shoe and process how you're feeling about it (i.e. "I'm getting drawn in because there's a sale and I understand that it's a sale that's getting me tempted. However I don't need to buy it only because it's a sale, because I don't want the shoe at all.")
  • The [Dave] Ramsey Show - financial motivation for those who'd like to use that as motivation to be more selective with sneakers or stop altogether while prioritizing financial goals. Here are a few people who are in bad debt thinking they were the ****. Would also suggest other channels like Graham Stephan and The Money Guy Show.
 
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Sold most of my collection (100+ pairs) back in college. Car broke down and I had to decide between a car and keeping all of my shoes. Had so much stuff that I had kept for years but was too afraid to wear. Most of the stuff I only had because it was valuable and I felt cool owning them. Got rid of anything without sentimental value. Now I only buy shoes I like and usually wear them the next day. Sounds dumb, but was a liberating experience.
 
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long story short…minimalism> consumerism.

Covid really made it easy with not having to go to work and being home. Just realized I didn’t need 100 plus pair of shoes taking up space.

And the older I get the more I accept being washed so I wear comfortable shoes and let my kids rock with the retros and dunks.

I’m at 10 pairs and I buy 1 pair a month that I keep and just shuffle out pairs I don’t want or that aren’t comfortable
 
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One of the things I did during the early part of COVID was sell 98% of my KD collection (it was about 104 pairs) and now I’m on my final few pairs of KDs..I still have 70-75 pairs of air maxes and about 30-35 pairs of random Nike retro basketball shoes and then my 185 pair Kobe collection..I don’t think I’ll ever get rid of my Kobe collection but air maxes can come and go since they do retro them often and who knows what I’ll be able to obtain in the future for Kobe’s..

I have a shorts problem too..😂..well clothing problem in general..I need to stop buying tshirts and cut down on the shorts habit..

One of the things I did to get rid of a lot of clothing was just donate the clothes..there’s people out there that could use the lightly used clothes I owned..the shoes I just sold on Mercari/EBay/StockX and I didn’t really care about making profit as any money is good money
 
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Been in the game since the early 90s (mostly just wanting shoes my parents couldn't buy me) and then seriously in the game around 2000 when they started retroing everything. I had maybe 50-60 pairs in my prime... say around 2006 or so. Then I sold almost everything around 2011 before I got married. I had maybe like 4 pairs of sneakers total.


Then around 2018 I started buying little bits of only the stuff I wanted. Never got into that Yeezy crap. I bought Black/Cement 3s in 2018. Then Fire Red 5s in 2020. Then Adidas and Reebok started bringing out some real heat like the TMac 1 and 2 and the Dee Brown Pumps and I bought those. Then a Jordan here and there and some Simpsons adidas and Vans collabs. I'm at about 20 or so pairs right now. I make it a mission to wear everything. I wear most of my stuff at the gym. I think I'm going to keep it around 20 pairs. The great thing is some of the ones that I really wanted, like the TMacs were discounted like 50-60% off. So I'm bought those up for like $60-70 bucks.
 
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At this point only thing I want in my closet is **** I’d actually wear on a somewhat regular basis.

They’re was a moment where I wanted at least one pair of every Jordan up to 23 (except 22s not a fan at all) but after realizing I hardly reached for some models I decided I didn’t need them. That then extended to the rest of my shoes and clothes in general (losing weight also encouraged the downsizing).

Sold or donated maybe 30 pairs total and have about 9 actively on sale now.

A few other thoughts…
  1. Buying multiples is damn near pointless because these brands have no issue bringing something back if it’ll bring them money
  2. Unless it’s memorabilia or theirs some major personal attachment to it, buying something you have no intention of wearing just to have seems like a bit of a waste.
  3. Theirs just too many resellers so buying something just to flip just doesn’t seem worth it anymore.
 
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That's dope that you guys have small collections in the 10-20 pair range and some of you guys made the most of your collection to pay off for other life stuff.

HarlemShakeStory HarlemShakeStory - it is VERY liberating. I remember when I went from 63 pairs to 25 pairs after traveling light for vacation and letting go of so many shoes. It felt amazing just going on vacation in general and even better with only having three pairs of shoes with me at that time.

edshoecator edshoecator - minimalism 100%! If it wasn't for me telling my coworker about what I was going through, I would've never learned decluttering/minimalism and the 1-in/1-out rule.

perfectchaosrei perfectchaosrei - LOL, edshoecator's got a good point. I also intentionally made this thread in the General section, because if I stuck this thread in the Nike or Jordan sections, it's gonna be counter-productive and derail people. Probably less visitor traffic in this section though, but it might not be!

kickvicisous kickvicisous - see, I started thinking about whether it's worth having a double of a few shoes just because I fear of what Nike will do to those retros. Then again, a retro would be a fresh pair with new/fresh materials, which is kinda making me second-guess on my two extra pairs of Infrared Air Max 90s.

General question for everyone. Has anyone ever just chosen to downsize/minimize/stop, because it just became stressful overall for any reason? Whether it's to keep up with every release, taking Ls, having to keep going to raffles, etc.

I think I've pretty much come to that point. I stopped with the raffles stuff for a while now, but the amount of information that comes out each day AND the number of shoe releases that come out per day is just insane. A while back, I told my friend to go look on SNKRS because there were 4-5 releases EACH DAY from Tuesday to Saturday. It's just wild!
 
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I sold my entire collection around the time I moved in with my wife around 2012 and literally had a pair of Dunks and Bred XI’s and I was fine. Biggest help that kept me from buying shoes was just never venturing out of the General and Sports forums:lol:

All that got thrown out the window during the pandemic when I did venture into the Nike and Retro forums and saw all these cool running shoes Nike made and started picking up a bunch. Then it was full downhill slide when I started playing bball again Spring of 2021 and I don’t even wanna count what I currently have but for sure, it’s excessive:lol:
 
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Love this thread idea it’s gonna be helpful for a lot of us. Honestly it’s helpful for me just to see what everyone feels like is their tipping point and the transparency of how many pairs they have/had in the clip before reaching the change of mind and heart. Personally I’ve never had over 100 pairs total at one time and I feel like I’ve been buying sneakers at a strong volume yearly since 04’-05’. Definitely feelin that inkling that the repertoire really needs to become more intentional on my end. I just see too many clean fit possibilities with new and retro sneakers alike which makes it hard to forgo making those visions a reality.
 
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I agree, this is a very helpful thread. Not sure if i’ll ever get there since most of my pairs are used (most are slightly). I estimate to have about 350 pairs currently. Did sell ~75 pairs of jordans thru consignment in 2015. I just love shoes in general whether hyped or not. It’s that nostalgia and feelin fresh with some brand new pairs on feet. Im turning 45 soon but started heavily collecting in late 90s. I did some clean up recently but looking into advice that i’ve gotten here to sell some thru GOAT. I’ll try ebay next. Getting rid of them mostly to create space rather than financial gain
 
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My tipping point came earlier this year when my knees were killing me. I think Nike intentionally makes shoes uncomfortable and weird on feet so we would continually buy and buy. At one point, Nike owned Cole Haan and they made the most comfortable shoes with pretty much the same technology and materials. Some of my Cole Haan’s have lunar soles that were super soft and plush. But for whatever reason, Nike discontinued it. Just doesn’t make sense.

I’m down to about 28 pairs and almost all are based on comfort and not style. 10 of which are New Balances that I just got into.

If you own Air Max BW and 97s, you know what I mean. Time to get rid of those. Your feet and knees will thank you. 😂😂😂
 
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That's dope that you guys have small collections in the 10-20 pair range and some of you guys made the most of your collection to pay off for other life stuff.

HarlemShakeStory HarlemShakeStory - it is VERY liberating. I remember when I went from 63 pairs to 25 pairs after traveling light for vacation and letting go of so many shoes. It felt amazing just going on vacation in general and even better with only having three pairs of shoes with me at that time.

edshoecator edshoecator - minimalism 100%! If it wasn't for me telling my coworker about what I was going through, I would've never learned decluttering/minimalism and the 1-in/1-out rule.

perfectchaosrei perfectchaosrei - LOL, edshoecator's got a good point. I also intentionally made this thread in the General section, because if I stuck this thread in the Nike or Jordan sections, it's gonna be counter-productive and derail people. Probably less visitor traffic in this section though, but it might not be!

kickvicisous kickvicisous - see, I started thinking about whether it's worth having a double of a few shoes just because I fear of what Nike will do to those retros. Then again, a retro would be a fresh pair with new/fresh materials, which is kinda making me second-guess on my two extra pairs of Infrared Air Max 90s.

General question for everyone. Has anyone ever just chosen to downsize/minimize/stop, because it just became stressful overall for any reason? Whether it's to keep up with every release, taking Ls, having to keep going to raffles, etc.

I think I've pretty much come to that point. I stopped with the raffles stuff for a while now, but the amount of information that comes out each day AND the number of shoe releases that come out per day is just insane. A while back, I told my friend to go look on SNKRS because there were 4-5 releases EACH DAY from Tuesday to Saturday. It's just wild!

1000%! Sneaker Twitter, discord groups, inspirational quotes, photo shoots, “bricks”…all that made it easier, for me at least, to step away from the chase/need to go after every release. Penny 1 kinda brought me back but sneakers just became too overstimulating for me.

Like mentioned before about traveling. I can go on a week long vacation with just a carry on now. I used to have the sneaker luggage (not sure if anyone remembers that stage in sneakers)…but now I just throw in a pack of fresh ts from target, some Uniqlo shorts, socks, chanclas and a pair of walking shoes.
 
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I had around 100 when I graduated college in 2006. 95% Jordan’s. I moved cross country and sold basically everything. I needed the money. I found NikeTalk in 2002/2003 btw.
I went thru a few years of being broke AF. I never logged into NT too lol, not even general.

My thing is I love basketball- and I do love sneakers. I ended up getting my bread and career right around 2010/2011 and I got back into NT. But it was strictly for basketball shoes (Kobe’s) and I kept my “collection” bad habits at bay for years. I didn’t buy Jordan’s and was fully in control. Eventually I caved, got back into Jordan’s which is a big *** rabbit hole 🤣. But I do love it. I think knowing I’ve left the game before, has me feeling in control. Over the past 5 years or so I’ve curated my collection into something I’m very happy with. I know a few shoes coming out that I plan to buy but for the most part I’m content AF and don’t plan to OD like I’ve done before. 25-35 pairs is my happy place.

But as long as my body allows (I’m 38 )ima hoop til I die. So I’ll continue to stay up with new hoop shoes and keep a dope hoop shoe rotation. So that keeps me with like 10+ pairs for that alone. I consider those separate from my collection because I beat those on the court and then dispose.

But going into 2023 I’m definitely at that point where I could see myself checking out - which for me prob will never be 100% retiring. But just buying like 5 pairs. Who knows, probably selling 5+ pairs. And being content
 
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What helped me awhile back was selling what I considered my favorite shoe/grail

Once I did that I realized it didn’t matter

Now I do still have more than enough shoes these days but I lost the attachment I used to have.

I know people said avoid the forum but I personally enjoy keeping up with sneaker news and releases. I’m just not participating in releases just to participate anymore, or entering ever single raffle I can find, and when missing out on a shoe I really want, I literally forget about it right after
 
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Yea this sht can get toxic and out of control if you let it. Just like any hobby I guess. It’s good to respect boundaries.
It can also be totally healthy and enjoyable.
 
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