It comes to no surprise that when Jordan brand re-released the iconic Cool Grey’s IV’s there were two distinct camps. You could see both camps and how it played out in the comment sections on social media on release day. The youth were calling these J’s “Big Brick Energy” on IG since even footlocker had them readily available. But the older sneakerheads were overjoyed on Reddit due to how easy it was to get their hands on a pair.
The shoes dropped without much fanfare or hype because you could actually walk in a Footlocker and simply purchase a pair. Jordan Brand re-released a pair of highly sought after sneakers in 2004 as a general release sneaker in 2019.
It’s a rarity in sneaker culture today to find a pair of general release sneakers that generate much attention. Collaborations, scarcity, and hype have become vital to cook up a successful sneaker sellout. When any one of these three ingredients is missing for a sneaker release, it normally leads to a shoe that “sits” in stores. As silly as it sounds, shoes that don’t sell out in seconds or generate a riot are now seen as undesirable.
Sustained relevance is always the goal of any brand. But in the Sneaker industry, it has become heavily magnified due to the sheer number of releases today. When you have a hit on your hands it’s the talk of every media platform. When you have a stinker on you, it also becomes a talking point on Reddit and Instagram. Which is why shoe brands have morphed into economist forecasters. Maintaining just the right amount of supply to keep demand high has become vital. Which is why the checks and stripes have become fixated on how many pairs they manufacture and release.
Just like in life, the sneaker game ain’t fair. Not everyone can buy what they want because that’s the way they want it to be. Those sneakers that everyone is drooling over on social media but can’t afford, is done so with purpose. It keeps the chase and never-ending hamster wheel of hype continually spinning.
The retro of the Cool Grey as a GR sneaker demonstrated a sneaker brand was willing to give the people what they want. A chance for senior sneakerheads to own a cool sneaker that we couldn’t get our hands on fifteen years ago. We’re not sure what the intent was for Jordan Brand to go against the grain and make a shoe with some cool so readily available. But a sneaker brand for once finally put people over product.