10 Ways You Can Break Away from Sneaker Purgatory

Giancarlo Ferrari-King@@GiancarloKingFeatured ColumnistJanuary 21, 2016

10 Ways You Can Break Away from Sneaker Purgatory

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    Image via Nike

    Let's define sneaker purgatory. More than anything else, sneaker purgatory is a state of mind. It's a place where consumers get stuck battling the same old pattern of purchasing, wearing and enjoying kicks.

    People's minds turn into hype-driven machines, leaving them pining for exclusive releases.

    Luckily we're here to help. The slideshow you're about to embark on features 10 ways you can break away from sneaker purgatory and ensure your collection is robust, diverse and always on the cutting edge. Mash the orange button below and let's begin.

Utilize Sources Like NIKEiD to Bolster Your Collection

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    Image via Nike

    One sure-fire way to safely remove yourself from the grasps of sneaker purgatory is by using customization platforms to your benefit.

    The most popular one out there has to be NIKEiD. Built to give customers the luxury of implementing their own designs on various Nike shoes, NIKEiD as a program has turned into a profit machine, per Forbes.

    It's a logical conclusion when you think about it. Any service that gives consumers the chance to reimagine timeless and modern kicks with unique materials and diverse color patterns is always going to cause a stir.

    For those sneakerheads out there who are sick and tired of sporting the same old stuff, why not spend your money on custom designed products?

Take Chances on Models You'd Normally Pass over

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    Image via BrandBlack

    You don't always have to follow the convoluted path of sneaker hype. Sometimes it's best to find a fraction of light at the end of that tunnel and go for it.

    Take a risk with your sneaker collection and pick up a few shelf-dwelling kicks like the Curry 2, J. Crossover III, Adidas Ultra Boost or Nike Roshe One instead. Those are four examples of diverse silhouettes that deserve plenty of attention.

    Remember, sneaker purgatory starts by strictly following trends. Mixing and matching your kicks is the only way to break that terrible chain of events.

Learn to Separate Performance Kicks from Casual Footwear

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    Image via Adidas

    One of the biggest challenges sneakerheads face is separating basketball or performance-driven shoes from casual footwear. Blame it on Jordan Brand. The Air Jordan line has constantly blurred the lines between casual and on-court performance, clouding consumers' minds.

    When you're in the market for a pair of sneakers, first map out exactly what you want. Plot out how you're going to use said kicks before you drive yourself crazy.

    Shoes like the Adidas D Rose 6 may be a brilliant on-court worker, but their design doesn't hold up in a casual sense. That's why the real key becomes dividing your collection up into sections. Finding a sweet spot between casual footwear and performance kicks will turn your collection into more than a closet full of sneakers that serve to collect dust particles.

Learn More About Sneaker Customizers

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    Believe or not, there's a lot of excellent work going on within the sneaker community that doesn't involve any major brands.

    Sneaker customization has taken on a life of its own thanks to the work of guys like Dominic Chambrone—The Shoe SurgeonMache and others. This "Rat Pack" of customization has destroyed social media on its way to turning its members into household names.

    Even if you can't get your hands on a custom pair, appreciating its work and ability to push the industry past corporate boardrooms is a sufficient formula for exiting the barren wasteland that is sneaker purgatory.

Pick and Choose 'Exclusive' Kicks Wisely

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    Image via Adidas

    We all want to get out there and gobble up every "exclusive" sneaker the universe has to offer because, let's face it, aesthetics rule the world. However, being able to step away from that train of thought and instead think strategically is always a better decision in the end.

    Unless your pockets are lined with cash, being selective can work to your advantage. Consumers who go after pairs they really want love those particular shoes that much more.

    It's like when you're a kid and your parents tell you to pick out one gift. You're forced at that time to make the right decision. The same logic can be applied to kicks. Holding off and going after the one shoe you want makes the end result so much better—and makes your collection significantly more vibrant in the process.

Find out What Each Brand Is Offering

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    Image via Under Armour

    It's easy to get caught up in the brand wars. Nike and Adidas are still out there pining for purchases, while Under Armour is rising through the ranks thanks to that incredible Stephen Curry partnership.

    Even if your loyalty lays somewhere between those battle lines, it's important to find out what each brand is up to. Great shoes aren't limited to a logo.

    The technologic boundaries alone that are being pushed demand your attention. It feels like every day we're getting a new foam-based cushioning system or lightweight knit material to lose sleep over.

    Avoid sneaker purgatory by finding out what each brand is offering these days.

Refine Your Social Media

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    Image via Nike

    The last thing sneaker freaks can afford is to miss out on a restock or a general release they really wanted. In today's digitized world, there's no excuse to fall behind the curve.

    Purging your social media feeds and making sure you follow only the best sources is a crucial way to stay on top of the game and not miss a thing. Destinations like Bleacher Report Kicks, Nice Kicks and Jordans Daily can provide a wealth of information.

    Not only that, it's also an efficient way to express your opinions. Commenting on new releases, leaked designs and brand pictures can open up a dialogue you didn't anticipate.

    All of this can happen if you remove the clutter and refine your kicks-based social media.

Understand the Technology

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    Image via Adidas

    We can talk about technologic advances all we want. Those buzzwords sound great mixed together with copy. The real key here is actually taking the time to learn about each piece of technology.

    What is Adidas' Boost platform? How does it benefit the consumer? The more questions you ask and research you put in will result in a better sneaker experience. You'd be surprised how learning about something makes the end result that much more satisfying.

    The good news is that sites like Popular Mechanics and others have given people a chance to learn about what goes into these kicks. 

    So get out of that dreary way of aesthetic-only thinking. Embrace this tech wave we're currently engulfed in.

Appreciate the Classics

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    Image via Adidas

    Lost within this influx of new kicks has been an appreciation for the classics. We're not talking about retro releases from the Jordan camp either.

    The classics we're talking about are shoes like the Adidas Superstar or the Nike Air Force One—timeless pieces that get buried underneath layers of modern-day hype.

    It's important to appreciate the history and design of these shoes. Make sure you keep a heavy rotation going in order to give your sneaker collection a boost. Trust us, you can remove yourself from sneaker purgatory with a proper nod to the past.

Wear Your Kicks

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    Image via Nike

    The final and defining step in order to climb out of sneaker purgatory is actually wearing your kicks. Too many times people get into a pattern of purchasing and stashing shoes.

    What's the point in spending all of that money if you're not going to enjoy the product? Sneakers are meant to be worn, displayed and treasured.

    Look, there's no harm in putting a pair of kicks on ice for a special occasion. But don't let your closet fill up with boxed leather. Rocking what you have takes that feeling of sneaker purgatory away.

    It's the ultimate cure.

    All Nike/Jordan product information via News.Nike.com unless noted otherwise. All Adidas information via News.Adidas.com unless noted otherwise.

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