Thesis Research: Calling all sneaker collectors/connoisseurs

Hey Footwear/Softgoods Family,

I am beginning my thesis and have decided to focus on footwear display/storage. My idea is to explore how footwear is displayed/stored on a retail level as well as how people display/store their collection at home. My target market is the “sneaker collector/connoisseur”. Here are a few questions that I would like to get some feedback on:

How many pairs of shoes do you own?

Do you save your shoe boxes?

How do you store your shoes?

How important are limited edition/exclusives in your collection?

What is your favorite place to shop for shoes?

Have you ever camped out for a pair?

What is the most you have spend on a pair?

Have you ever traveled to cop a pair? How far?

Do you stay up to date on the upcoming styles/models?

What sites do you search for the latest info?

Is there a particular brand that you gravitate towards?

What is your life like outside of sneakers? Interest? Hobbies?

I would really appreciate any feedback people have even if you do not consider yourself a collector. Also, if you have any other thoughts please include them. Thank you in advance.

Hi ScriptD,

Not sure where you are going with the project as retail and home are two very different markets with different needs. anyhow, if the answers below help at all, here you go…though I can’t really see what this info will tell you about anything…


How many pairs of shoes do you own?
-200+

Do you save your shoe boxes?
-yes.
How do you store your shoes?
-in the closet, stacked up.

How important are limited edition/exclusives in your collection?
-not so much.

What is your favorite place to shop for shoes?
-Hong Kong, London, NYC, small boutiques worldwide.

Have you ever camped out for a pair?
-nope. i don’t buy into that “limited edition, collab” nonsense.

What is the most you have spend on a pair?
-$350

Have you ever traveled to cop a pair? How far?
-not specifically for getting a pair.

Do you stay up to date on the upcoming styles/models?
-yes.

What sites do you search for the latest info?
-too many sites to list. again, not so much into the “exclusives” so don’t pay too much attention to hypebeast and the like kind of sites, but browse them +crookedtongues, sneakerfreaker every so often.

Is there a particular brand that you gravitate towards?
-nike. NDC, Pierre Hardy

What is your life like outside of sneakers? Interest? Hobbies?
-graphic design, fashion, footwear (not just sneakers).


R

How many pairs of shoes do you own?

-down to 150+? I just got rid of some 60+ pairs last month.

Do you save your shoe boxes?

-just limited edt. boxes.

How do you store your shoes?

-In a big closet!

How important are limited edition/exclusives in your collection?

-about 30%

What is your favorite place to shop for shoes?

-Barcelona, NYC, Size in London, LA, Small boutiques, Zappos.com, Jacks in Huntington Beach CA, Boston, Factories in China, etc…

Have you ever camped out for a pair?

-Nope.

What is the most you have spend on a pair?

-$200+. it’s hard spending too much money on shoes when you know how much they REALLY cost coming out of the factories!

Have you ever traveled to cop a pair? How far?

-not on purpose.

Do you stay up to date on the upcoming styles/models?

-yes.

What sites do you search for the latest info?

-There’s too may to post on this page.

Is there a particular brand that you gravitate towards?

-Nike, Converse, NB, Common Projects.

What is your life like outside of sneakers? Interest? Hobbies?

-Long walks on the beach!!!


GURU

Thanks for your input R and GURU. This information is just the beginning of investigating the lives/needs/interests of the sneaker collector. I am in the first stages of a thesis which is executed over 3 to 4 semesters, thus the openness of the topic. The reason I am interested in this subject is because the idea and design of the “shoe box” has not been investigated or altered very greatly. So these questions are a first stab at collecting info towards possible solutions, be it at the retail level or at home. Who says they can not be more integrated…

I would love to collect as much data as possible, so I would appreciate any and all replies. Thanks again.

aside from the consumer/retailer side, you should also be sure to check into the logistics. ie. distribution/transportation/fty packing, etc.

for the most part, its the reason the humble shoebox hasn’t changed much in all of it’s history (not to say that a better solution couldn’t be designed).

as well, don’t forget about volume and scale. it’s one thing to have a solution for small boutiques and limited editions (a few brands have done some cool collector’s boxes), but another if you are talking about mass production and high volumes…

interesting to see where this goes…
best,

R

istribution/transportation/fty packing, etc.

The average shoebox to shipping container ratio on aprox. 7,500 - 8,000 per one container. Designing the boxes to take up less room in the container would be a interesting challenge.

GURU

65

I typically save my shoe boxes but that’s gonna stop because I’ve got a closet full of them but I don’t do anything with’em. I’m about to throw 20 out. Although I’ve still got the box for the reebok pumps my parents bought for me for 34.99 when I was five, and that’s pretty cool.

I travel a lot so I keep 20 pairs in a colapsable vertical bookshelf in my bedroom and the rest in clear plastic garbage bags in storage.

Most are LE’s

I shop online or in the brand specific boutiques, adidas store, niketown and such.

Never camped

$160 but I typically only pay around sixty

Never traveled for a pair.

Just checked up on release dates today

Instyleshoes.com messege boards, Pickyourshoes.com, and sneakerfreaker

I like off the wall Nike’s and old school adidas

I’m big into sports. Some outdoor sports, like hiking biking and kayaking, and some team sports like basketball and football. Otherwise I’m designing somthing or building furniture.

Good luck.

These are the interesting angles I want to bring out. You have definitely given me a lot to explore and think about.

Robertcj- Can you tell me a little more about this collapsible shelf? Why collapsible? Can you take it with you? Do you just collapse it while you travel?

Thanks again.

How many pairs of shoes do you own?
50 or so

Do you save your shoe boxes?
yes usually

How do you store your shoes?
3 part system: 1.if i dont wear them much-in the closet stacked in their boxes 2.if i wear them once in awhile, on a shoe rack in the closet by the door (holds about 12 pair) 3.Ones i wear all the time, dont ever really get stored, just kicked off near my desk or doorway.

How important are limited edition/exclusives in your collection?
Not that important, i get colors /styles that i like, does not matter to me if they are limited or mass production.

What is your favorite place to shop for shoes?
Internet… cant beat the selection

Have you ever camped out for a pair?
No… and never will

What is the most you have spend on a pair?
$150-ish?

Have you ever traveled to cop a pair? How far?
no not really

Do you stay up to date on the upcoming styles/models?
definately

What sites do you search for the latest info?
everything from blogs to message boards to the new styles section of zappos, once in awhile i will see something new in a mag

Is there a particular brand that you gravitate towards?
Not really, although i can say that i dont often buy new, previously unheard of brands.

What is your life like outside of sneakers? Interest? Hobbies?
Music, fitness, cars, design, fashion, home electronics, toys, movies, b-boying (thats the broad/generic description)

How many pairs of shoes do you own?

about 25…I know…I’m not really a collector!

Do you save your shoe boxes?

Only LE’s

How do you store your shoes?

bought a cheap metal shelf…kind of like this…

How important are limited edition/exclusives in your collection?

very important…

What is your favorite place to shop for shoes?

Foot Locker, E-bay, some smaller indepentend shops…Footaction…some temporary popup stores…like the nike one in berln right now…oh and frontlineshop.com

Have you ever camped out for a pair?

nope

What is the most you have spend on a pair?

160 Euros

Have you ever traveled to cop a pair? How far?

to Berlin…about 4 -5 hour drive

Do you stay up to date on the upcoming styles/models?

yes

What sites do you search for the latest info?

hypebeast, sneakerfreaker

Is there a particular brand that you gravitate towards?

Nike…it’s all about the dunks

What is your life like outside of sneakers? Interest? Hobbies?

Design, Music, Basketball, Snowboarding…and collecting vinyl records, which is probably why I don’t have a lot of money left to spend on kicks[/img]

Thanks to all those who have participated so far., and those who may in the future. I was thinking that having a little background info from each of you that have might help me learn a little more about where you are coming from. Such as:

Age
Location
Occupation
Maybe a photo…
(Anything else you might like to include about yourself)

More input/info from others is much appreciated.

In the next stages, I am investigating the life cycle of the shoebox, i.e. the different stages of its use/existence. Also, trying to identify areas where new solutions would have the greatest impact. I will definitely keep everyone updated throughout the process.

Is this really our “research”? Sorry, but can’t help but point out that all these Q&As are likely useless in determining any sort of problem. Fun info, perhaps, but I would hope that you get into more depth if this is a real project. As mentioned, the consumer side is one thing, but if you are looking at any sort of changes to the shoebox you should really start on the other end, and work your way to the consumer. Manufacturing, supply, logistics, distribution, etc.

Not to mention a Q&A by designers is a pretty limited group. Put it this way, what is the problem you currently see and are trying to solve? This sorta just looks like fluff to me.

Just trying to help.

R

I understand your concern, but trust that I am going to dig deeper into this topic. I have interviewed various “collectors” outside the design world as well. Also, this particular Q&A is to develop a sort of profile for the collector. What is their situation and how might they be affected by change? As I said earlier, this is just the first stage of research and only a small part of the first stage. I feel like collecting this data as thoroughly as possible will be beneficially in developing the end product. Also, if you read the last post, I mention that I will now explore those areas you have mentioned, "Manufacturing, supply, logistics, distribution, etc. ", through analyzing the life cycle of the shoebox. Many different people would be affected by a change in design and I am going try to find out exactly who/what.

We all know the problem already exists. Is the stacking of shoe boxes in a closet the best solution to storing shoes? Garbage bags? Might there be a better and environmentally friendly way to achieve storage? So now the question is, where should the change occur? Does it start all the way in the cardboard box factory or is it as simple as creating something that holds the current shoe box? This is kind of the stage I am in now.

Thanks for your input because the conversation helps me create the argument.