Shelflife
Adidas x Dragon Ball Z. Source Shelflife
  • South Africa sees only a fraction of the new and resale sneaker market.
  • Still, the local manufacturing sales value is estimated to be approximately R5.5 billion.
  • One the most expensive shoes are inspired by the anime Dragon Ball Z. 
  • For more stories, go to Business Insider SA.


Sneakers are a trillion-rand global industry. The resale market is also growing - it’s estimated to be worth at least one trillion rand.

This revenue is driven largely by big brands like Adidas and Nike and their six-figure celebrity endorsements

South Africa sees only a fraction of the new and resale sneaker market - still, this local manufacturing sales value is estimated to be approximately R5.5 billion. On the upper tier of this is a growing scene of sneaker collectors, or sneakerheads, who are driving prices of rare shoes up to surprising levels.

Sneaker store Shelflife, which has branches in Johannesburg and Cape Town, and consignment store Court Order are driving much of the hype around limited edition sneakers in South Africa. Shelflife regularly sells some of the world’s rarest and most collectible sneakers, and Court Order resells sneakers for several times their original sales price.

Shelflife’s major sneaker sales are so popular that they attract long queues ahead of the releases, and sell on a first come, first served basis.

Also read: I tried Adidas' new reflective Boost sneaker that's designed for night-time joggers — here's how it performed

For those not willing to queue, Shelflife often implements a raffle system. Raffle winners are able to buy limited edition sneakers within a certain timeframe.

Sneakers sold in this manner typically go at a fixed price. Such as the Off-White x Nike Air VaporMax White sneakers that sold to online and live raffle winners for R3,699 in April last year. 

It’s the resale market, however, that often sees exorbitant prices. Dedicated buyers often enter raffles, or queue up, with the sole purpose of reselling limited run sneakers at a profit.

Shelflife founder Nick Herbert told Business Insider South Africa that a limited run sneaker they designed in collaboration with New Balance, which sold in-store for R1,400, fetched resale prices of close to R6,000.

Although this represents a good return on the investment, these prices are low compared to some of the most expensive sneakers currently on sale locally.

These are some of the most expensive sneakers currently selling online in South Africa:


Adidas Yeezy Boost 750 Light Brown Gum - R14,999

Court Order
Adidas Yeezy Boost 750 Light Brown Gum (Chocolate). Source Court Order.

Court Order is currently selling a pair of Adidas Yeezy Boost 750, in light brown gum, for R14,999.

Local sneaker exchange store Sneaker Spaza is selling the same shoe, in a different size, for R9,999.

In 2016, Shelflife sold the original light grey version of Yeezy Boost 750, via online raffle, for R3,999.


Louis Vuitton x Supreme Run Away - R24,999

Court Order
Louis Vuitton x Supreme Run Away. Source Court Order.

There’s a R10k jump to Court Order’s next most expensive sneaker - the Louis Vuitton x Supreme Run Away.

These red sneakers retailed for R12,500 at launch, and are fetching high prices around the world. Court Order is selling a pair in UK size 7 for just under R25,000.

Online sneaker reseller giant StockX, based in the United States, recently sold the same shoe for R17,495.


Air Jordan 1 Retro High Travis Scott - R24,999

Court Order
Air Jordan 1 Retro High Travis Scott. Source Court Order.

Jordon 1 Retros are among the most popular sneakers on the resale market. The Jordan 1 Retro High Travis Scott dropped in April this year, and are already fetching impressive prices.

StockX recently sold a pair of Jordan 1 Retro High Travis Scott shoes in the United States for just under R17,000. Locally, Court Order is selling a pair of the shoes, in size 11, for R24,999.

Sneaker Spaza previously sold a different limited edition pair of Jordan Retros for R14,999.


NikeCraft Mars Yard Shoe 2.0 Tom Sachs Space Camp - R 29,999

StockX
NikeCraft Mars Yard Shoe 2.0 Tom Sachs Space Camp. Source StockX.

This Nike shoe is a collaboration with artist Tom Sachs. It originally retailed for just under R3,000 in the United States, when it launched in 2017. It has since gone on to be one of the darlings of resellers around the world.

The most recent sale of the NikeCraft Mars Yard Shoe 2.0 Tom Sachs Space Camp sneaker on StockX has it priced at a staggering R69,020.

Locally, a lightly used version of the Nike sneaker is available from Court Order, for just under R30,000.


Nike Air Force 1 BHM Africa - R29,999

SneakerSpaza
Nike Air Force 1 – BHM Africa. Source SneakerSpaza.

In 2017 Nike released a sneaker in South Africa to commemorate Black History Month. The release coincided with the 35th anniversary of their iconic Air Force 1 sneaker.

Nike’s BHM series traditionally honours the “accomplishments of black heritage worldwide, in sport and beyond”. The 2017 edition is particularly special to South Africans. Nike released only 40 pairs of the shoe, and this version features a South African flag and a gold hang tag in the shape of the African continent.

The result is that the Nike Air Force 1 BHM Africa Edition is one of the most sought after sneakers in South Africa. It’s currently listed locally on Court Order for R29,999.

A regular white pair of Air Force 1s typically retails for around R1,400.


Adidas x Dragon Ball Z (Entire Collection) - R 31,999

Shelflife
Adidas x Dragon Ball Z. Source Shelflife

The most expensive item listed on Court Order is a complete collection of sneakers created through a collaboration between Adidas and Japanese anime classic television show Dragon Ball Z.

The shoes debuted in 2018 at price points of around R2,500 per pair.

Adidas
Seven legendary Dragon Ball Z heroes and villains receive an exclusive Adidas Originals shoe design. Source Adidas.

At the time of the launch, Shelflife sold the Yung 1 'Frieza' and ZX 500 RM 'Son Goku’ shoes via a live raffle at their stores.

The entire collection of eight pairs is now reselling locally on Court Order, at R31,999.

Now read: 10 must-have sneakers, according to a South African expert

Receive a single WhatsApp every morning with all our latest news: click here.

Also from Business Insider South Africa: