The H-Word


If you were to ask just about any “sneakerhead” what they think is killing the game right now the answer is going to be one of two things: resellers or hypebeasts. Resellers are a problem in and of themselves. Not all resellers are bad, not all of them charge terrible prices, some of them actually do their best to get as close to box price as they can because they realize that no one gets rich off one pair of shoes. We aren’t here to talk about resellers whether they be good or bad, the focus of this article will be the dreaded hypebeast.


Are they the people who lick soles on saturday morning? Are they the people who wait for a blogs opinion to decide how they feel about a shoe? In todays sneaker culture being called a hypebeast is like being called a terrorist. It involves a lot of surface based profiling and the word  gets thrown around so much it loses its meaning. The first step to curing the hypebeast is getting a working definition of one. Therein lies an even bigger problem, the H-word has become such a subjective term virtually anyone can be accused of being one. Just because someone likes a shoe you think is hyped or overrated doesn’t make them a hypebeast.

A hypebeast is essentially a mindless consumer. Someone who buys because they see someone else likes it or because its limited. They never develop sneaker sensibilities of their own. If you think of it that way we all started out as hypebeasts. Whether we saw our older cousins, friends, uncles, or even your father rocking certain kicks and emulated that style or we saw MJ doing his thing and wanted to be like Mike. The line between the hypebeast and sneakerhead is knowledge, developing your own style, and having standards. Copping a kick by any means necessary at any price point doesn’t make you a sneakerhead.

hype buzz

The flip side of that coin is the guys who have all the sneaker knowledge but instead of saying “Hey man those aren’t black Concords they’re called Space Jams because those are the shoes he wore in the movie” they say “STUPID HYPEBEAST! KILL YOURSELF! (insert tags of all friends here so they can bash this person as a group)” These guys apparently hold the keys to all things sneaker related and they aren’t sharing. This is how the cycle continues, if those who have knowledge dont want to share or make it so that knowledge comes at the cost of humiliation then people are going to remain ignorant. Dont complain about the hypebeasts if you’re feeding them.

What we need to realize is that to cure the hypebeasts and soothe the savage consumer we need to encourage them to form their own opinions. Instead of trying to alienate them, we should invite them in for a cup of tea and a chat. Give them the information most of them weren’t alive to get. Let them see that while sneakers are one of our main interests, there are bigger things in life than a pair of shoes. Tell them that no blog should make decisions for you. Show them that a collection is not built over night and that all that swooshes isn’t gold.





One Response to “The H-Word”

  1. Very nice article. Too much hate going on in the sneaker culture nowadays. People need to share their knowledge instead of criticizing others.

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