Everything You Need To Know About Sneaker Grails

You might have seen masses of young people sitting on benches with sleeping bags tucked up to their ears, crowding the streets. The scenario looks much like a concert ticket line.

In reality, people are going gaga over a pair of shoes and are willing to wait long hours to pay the price. What justifies this craze for footwear? It’s the public excitement. Although the footwear industry has flourished tremendously and sneakers have become a fashion statement, that’s not all there is to shoe brands.

In sneaker culture, a hyped product is something everybody is willing to purchase regardless of its aesthetics or other key features. These are sneaker grails. We’ll explore the background of grail sneakers, their profit potential, and how resellers can benefit from the trend.

You can use the table of contents below to skip ahead if you’d like.

Sneaker Grails and What They Mean for Consumers

Sneaker Grails and What They Mean for Consumers

Grail sneakers are incredibly rare and almost impossible to get. Generally, any rare and nearly impossible-to-purchase shoe is considered a grail, but the individual characteristics that make a sneaker “grail” vary. For instance, when searching for grail sneakers online, you might stumble across a list of expensive shoes, but they might not be someone’s grail.

Technically, a grail would be costly because of its high market demand. Yet, rarity is the critical factor here, and the extravagant price is simply a byproduct. Considering the expression “grail” in a broader sense, what people think is costly or hard to attain might differ from one person to another.

What’s more, a kick doesn’t have to be a grail to be the most pursued pair. In fact, several popular and commonly available sneakers are sought after. But if the shoe is both costly and rare, it falls into the grail category.

What drives this hype around sneakers? Why are people willing to pay hefty prices for a pair of shoes? Someone new to the sneaker culture would probably question the obsession.

A whole new world drives the sneaker market: a society of passionate individuals who adore shoes and seek to own an extensive collection of newly launched pairs.

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Why Are Some Sneakers So Hyped?

Why Are Some Sneakers So Hyped?

Call them runners, kicks, trainers, joggers, or sneakers; they mean the same for sneakerheads. Even if you aren’t one, I bet you own a pair, and most of us don’t wear them to play sports or ride a skateboard, even though that’s what they were designed for.

Our shoes mean more to us than function. They are depictions of hard work, art, and unique designs. We can take them wherever we want and blend them with our preferred style. They aren’t just footwear; they are part of our body language. Shoes affect how we walk, talk, and carry ourselves in society.

It’s surprising to see how the shoe industry has evolved in the past few years. Initially, shoes were merely a material to protect our feet. Today they are a fashion statement that defies the boundaries of gender, age, and race.

Sometimes, it feels like the world has gone crazy over the shoes. You’ll come across wall-to-wall displays of several newly launched pairs from popular shoe brands. However, the world of sneaker lovers is exclusive and somewhat tricky to understand. Their universe is led by passion, and they seek to collect shoes with a story that’ll hold monetary value for years to come.

If there’s one thing common among all sneakerheads, it’s the emotional attachment to their grails. Whether they bought a pair after standing in line for days outside the sneaker store or purchased one after 24 frustrating hours on their PCs, every sneaker has a story. What makes sneakers hyped is the appreciation of shoes, their value, and purchase competition. It isn’t about the money, but how the shoes make them feel.

Check out the list of ridiculous paintings that sold for millions, and you’ll understand people also purchase art because they like it. The more value associated with the art, the more expensive and rare it gets, and the more people wish to buy it. Consequently, they are willing to pay extravagant prices.

Sneaker grails are not about the design alone. It plays a part but isn’t always a deal-breaker. For instance, the Travis Scott Air Max 270 was incredibly hyped, but the kicks certainly compromise looks. You might not think many people would be into them. But their average reselling price is $1,180, a lot more than the retail price of $160.

To sum up, sneaker lovers do not always purchase sneakers because they like their appearance or want to wear them to play basketball or run 4 miles every day. Instead, they buy a pair because they are passionate about having a massive collection of valued items. Their passion makes the sneaker industry thrive, and it benefits resellers too.

The Profit Potential of Holy Grail Shoes

The Profit Potential of Holy Grail Shoes

Selling shoes is a concept similar to the stock market: value based on perception. The more people talk about a particular product, question its availability, and ask about the collaboration, the higher the value.

The excitement surrounding holy grail shoes turns them into a massive business. Hundreds of people are willing to spend a pretty penny to get that unique pair before it runs out of stock.

Brands understand sneaker lovers’ pain points and are successful in targeting them. To create hype, brands will collaborate with artists, celebrities, etc. and release a limited number of pairs that drive crazy sales.

Buscemi 100MM Diamond

In 2016, the Italian fashion designer Jon Buscemi launched a pair of limited edition white sneakers. It was designed with 11.5-carat diamonds and contained an 18-karat gold plated hardware. The shoe also included a lock similar to the one on the Hermes Birkin bag.

An anonymous client bought the holy grail for a whopping $132,000.

Micheal Jordan’s 1984 Holy Grail Sneakers

The pair of shoes was worn out and looked awful. You wouldn’t expect anyone to spend a penny to purchase it. But guess what? It went for auction in 2017, and the sale closed at $190,373.

What drove the hype around these sneakers? Value.

Micheal Jordan wore this pair in a basketball game against Spain during the Los Angeles Olympics of 1984. Naturally, a well-off Micheal Jordan fan wouldn’t hesitate to pay a hefty price to purchase the shoe with the signature of their favorite athlete.

Nike Air Yeezy 1

The Nike Air Yeezy is an official collaboration project between Nike and Kanye West.

He wore them to the Grammys in 2008, the same year the first Air Yeezy was released. This led to public excitement around the product, and the pair sold for $50,000.

They weren’t the exact sneakers Kanye wore to the Grammys; those had a black Nike logo, and the sold pair had a white logo.

The actual sneakers Kanye wore during the Grammy awards were listed for around $10,000.

Air Jordan 4 Retro

Eminem wore Nike Air Jordan 4 Retro shoes in “The Fall” music video, reason enough for sneakerheads to go crazy over the pair.

What’s more, Nike made only 50 limited-edition pairs. The shoe had a black and blue upper with a red Jumpman logo, unlike the ones Eminem wore. The last pair of Air Jordan 4 Retro sold for $37,500 plus shipping charges ($14).

Air Jordan 12 OVO

Air Jordan 12 OVO was a copy of sample kicks designed for hip-hop artist Drake and a few members of his escort. A pair was given to a lucky fan during a Raptors basketball game in his Toronto hometown.

The sneakers sold for $100,000 in 2015 on eBay.

Nike Mags

Nike Mags were yet another limited edition pair designed by Nike, modeled after those featured in “Back to the Future Part II.” Micheal J. Fox, who portrayed the character of Marty McFly, wore the kicks in the movie.

Nike collaborated with the actor in 2016 and launched only 89 pairs. These shoes were primarily raffled to raise money for Parkinson’s research, and the highest-paid price was $32,275 on StockX in 2017.

Air Jordan 2 OG

Jordan Air 2 OG created a whole new era of footwear. They were officially released in 1987 in Italy and were designed by Nike’s director of research and development, Brice Kilgore.

Unlike most Nike sneakers, the sneakers had a lizard skin appearance and didn’t include a Nike logo.

Although the pair’s bright red and white upper had faded significantly, it was sold for $31,000 in 2014 on eBay.

Imagining a shoe selling for the price of a car sounds like an exaggeration. But it makes sense when you understand the consumer’s excitement. The price isn’t for the shoe alone. It includes feelings, personal value, collaboration, and cultural relevance. Of course, design and innovation matter, too. But that’s a small part. If style were all that formed buzz around a product, Michael Jordan’s less-than stellar looking sneakers wouldn’t sell for $190,373.

The Holiest Grail Sneakers of All Time

The Holiest Grail Sneakers of All Time

Currently, there are 25 most sought-after sneakers around the globe, and we list some popular ones below:

  • Craig Sager Air Jordan 1. Nike designed these kicks to honor the basketball commentator Craig Sager who passed away in 2016. Like always, the company released only a few pairs, and the market value today is $15,000.
  • Air Jordan 11 Jeter. The suede sneaker pair was designed to honor the retirement of Derek Jeter, an American baseball shortstop and businessman. The Jordan brand launched only five pairs, and they’re worth $50,000.
  • Dunk High LE. Nike was smart enough to place Wu-Tang branding on the School of Iowa Dunks and share colorways between the university and rap group. This happened in the pre-social media era, but if social media platforms had existed back then, the collaboration would have gone viral in seconds. Currently, the shoes are sold for around $15,000, and it is believed that only 36 pairs exist.
  • Air Jordan Kobe Pack PE. Nike wanted Kobe Bryant to sign a shoe contract from 2002 to 2003, coming up with this design. The sneaker grail is worth $20,000, and Jay-Z owns a pair. Some believe he is a reseller.
  • Tom Sachs X Nikecraft Mars Yard. Artist Tom Sachs made the pair with NASA employees in his mind. Although they were first released in 2012, Nike produced updated versions later. The varieties were inspired by the team working on Mars, and a pair can be yours for $6,000.

Holy grail sneakers have a story to tell and a history that causes their popularity. Not only do collaborations make sneakers pricey, but they also make them unique.

What’s Up With Grail Shoes Reselling?

What's Up With Grail Shoes Reselling?

Reselling has its pros, from profitability to flexibility to easy expansion. However, the sneaker industry takes reselling to a whole new level. As stated earlier, some people in the sneaker world know how to benefit from the individuals who obsess over sneaker grails. They are resellers.

Resellers know how to take advantage of sneakerhead fixation and maximize their profit. Even before a sneaker launch, they take steps to buy several shoes and sell them for more than the original retail value. Consider the limited edition Adidas Yeezys. The pair was resold for four times more than its initial retail price.

While there’s no secret sauce to becoming a sneaker reseller, you must know some clever hacks and handy tips to make your way into the ever-evolving sneaker world.

The Basics of Finding Holy Grail Sneakers

The Basics of Finding Holy Grail Sneakers

It’s 2022, and the sneaker obsession shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. This creates an opportunity for resellers to target sneaker lovers and step up their reselling game.

However, not every newly launched pair is worth the flip. Most are average releases, and only a few go hyped. So, before your money goes down the drain, you need to know a few basics of finding grail sneakers.

Picking the right brand

Usually, an individual sees sneakers; resellers view them as items that can make thousands of millions in resale profit. The sneaker market gained more traction with the expansion of the digital world, social media in particular.

Resellers have taken up this opportunity and are making millions through reselling. A college graduate, JV makes six figures by reselling sneakers as a side hustle. He made up to $10,000 per month during his most successful months.

While the profit potential of sneakers is tremendous, there isn’t a magical entry to it. You must pick a brand carefully to make reselling successful.

There’s no point in going for a brand that doesn’t have a history with sneaker grails. If you explore the most sought-after holy grail shoes, you’ll realize only a few brands dominate the sneaker market.

Nike, for instance, leads the game alongside Jordan, Adidas, and Balance. A look into the background of these companies will help you discover some of the most successful collaborations and the most expensive shoes sold at auction.


Exclusiveness is a win-win in the sneaker world. Readily available Converse and Vans sneakers lose their value in the reselling market. However, brands like Adidas and Nike utilize exclusivity to their maximum advantage. For instance, Yeezys have been the most exclusive runs at different times.

Nonetheless, exclusivity isn’t a long-term hype strategy. Today, brands opt for region-exclusive kicks. This tactic allows them to maintain the sneaker hype without sacrificing availability.

Checking shoe background

It’s not the aesthetic or exclusiveness alone that matters in the sneaker game. Instead, the sentimental value of the kicks holds significant importance. Simply put, some sneakers become holy grails merely because of their history.

One example is the Jordan brand. Since sneakerheads are into stories, Jordan mastered the game by dropping several pairs during Micheal Jordan’s playing days. Each pair has a legendary story, making Jordan the king of endorsements.

Aside from positive popularity, controversy sells too. A popular saying goes, “all publicity is good publicity,” and Kanye West took the statement seriously regarding the controversy over his Yeezy line, particularly the 450s slides. They wouldn’t have sold under a different name.


Collaborations are massive deal makers in the sneaker industry. However, not all collaborations are successful, but they are worth the money you invest. When a reputable brand collaborates with an equally popular company, the results are astounding.

A pair of kicks can likely go hyped because of such collabs. One example is the Fear of God X Vans Era 95 DX Marshmallow collaboration. Its initial retail price was $90, and it resells for $1200.

The Off-White X Chuck 70 Hi collaboration was also pretty successful. The original sneaker price was $130, and it resells for $3,000 on average!


Generally, people prefer buying from brands that associate with famous public figures. Psychologically speaking, humans look up to individuals who do better in society. Brands understand the human psyche and design their marketing strategy accordingly.

Consider endorsements. Almost all popular sneaker brands pick an athlete to step up their marketing game. Consumers will purchase the product even if they aren’t into sports. Most of us wear kicks as casual wear.

However, note that, like collaborations, not all endorsements are worth the flip. The right athlete counts, and the Jordan endorsement speaks volumes about that. Initially, he didn’t want to sign with Nike and wanted to collaborate with Adidas. However, because Adidas couldn’t design basketball runs, the brand dropped the valuable offer.

In the end, Jordan ended up signing the deal with Nike. Before the endorsement, the brand estimated roughly $3 million in sales. However, the effective collab made them $126 million!

Although Jordan was a newbie in sports, the public adored and looked up to him. This love led to crazy sales with the release of Air Jordan in 1985, a year after Jordan made his debut at Chicago Stadium.

Holy Grail Sneakers Reselling Tips

Holy Grail Sneakers Reselling Tips

In the sneaker world, one thing is certain: people will spend thousands of dollars on their favorite products — good news for resellers who can benefit from the frenzy.

So, if you want to make your way into the sneaker reselling world, you must know a few tips to make your efforts successful.

Get familiar with sneaker slang

Can you solve a mathematical problem without knowing the right formula? Probably not! The same goes for reselling grail shoes. Sneaker lovers would be quick to banish you for using the wrong terminology.

So before you lose the chance of reselling sneakers, check out these commonly used terms in the sneaker world.

  • Sneakerhead. An individual is highly passionate about investing in sneakers and knows the background and history of kicks.
  • Kick, Runs. Alternative terms for sneakers.
  • Sneaker Copping. It indicates a successful sneaker grail purchase. Retailers do not allow an individual to buy multiple pairs of sneakers. However, copping enables you to get your hands on several shoes which you can resell and earn profit.
  • Deadstock. It’s an entirely new kick from an old launch, and nobody has worn it yet.
  • Grail. It is the rarest and highly sought-after sneaker.
  • Quickstrike. This refers to the limited-edition pairs launched without prior notice. This tactic creates a sense of urgency, and more people are willing to purchase the new release.
  • Double Up. When individuals love a sneaker pair so much, they’re willing to buy another similar pair.
  • Drop. A drop is when a brand releases an entirely new sneaker style.
  • Fire. Consider them the coolest of all sneaker pairs.
  • Player Edition. These are custom-designed sneakers for particular sports players.
  • Coke White. An entirely white sneaker.
  • Friends and Family. The F&F sneakers are released only for the close relatives of collaborators and designers.

Buy low, sell high

Buy low, sell high is an investment strategy that supports the idea of purchasing goods at a lower price and selling them for a higher price. When you invest in a $50 grail shoe, you can expect to earn a $30 profit as a reseller.

However, note that this isn’t conclusive but only a rough estimate. The profitability largely depends on the value and emotions attached to a shoe pair. You can expect to make thousands of dollars from a single shoe pair.

Here is the secret behind the entire reselling market: when a brand is about to release a new product, resellers dash to it and buy multiple pairs.

As soon as the company launches new sneakers, they go out of stock. Consequently, sneaker lovers turn towards resellers and are willing to buy their favorite pairs for more than the original retail value.

Learn sneaker copping

Sneaker copping refers to the successful purchasing of sneakers. While it sounds like a straightforward process, one might assume it’s easy to buy kicks. But purchasing the most sought-after sneakers is pretty challenging.

Buying multiple pairs is one of the hardest things to do as a reseller. You plan your budget and decide on the kind of shoes you’re willing to purchase. But you won’t be able to buy them on the brand website. Why?

Because resellers already bought them pre-release.

Most retailers do not allow you to purchase more than a single pair, so reselling comes with a few restrictions. However, there are strategies to buy multiple sneaker grails, and we’ll discuss a few below.

Use a sneaker bot 

Sneaker bots automate the buying process of limited edition sneakers. It is challenging to get your hands on multiple pairs in a single go, especially when plenty of other online retailers have the same business.

Bots, however, are speedier than humans, allowing you to beat other buyers.

Typically, when a new hyped product releases, it sells out in minutes. As a result, it becomes almost impossible to purchase one without bots.

Besides, even if you see any available shoes, they’ll probably sell out during the slow checkout process. From the moment you pick the product and drop it in your cart to the moment you complete the checkout process, the hot sneakers sell out like magic.

So, instead of running into out-of-stock products, it is better to use a sneaker bot. It expedites the buying process, and you can purchase the desired pairs.

While efficiency comes in handy when buying sneakers for reselling, it is not all that counts. You must pair a sneaker bot with an effective proxy to purchase multiple pairs without getting blocked.

Enter sneaker raffles

Another way to make your way into the sneaker reselling game is to enter sneaker raffles. Brands use this strategy when shoe demand exceeds the supply. Raffles allow everyone a fair chance to purchase a pair of runs.

Consider it like a lucky draw where sites pick who’ll be the first one to purchase the shoes. So, the more entries you have, the higher your chance to buy the kicks.

Once the period ends, the retailers inform the winners about their winning entry. The only way to boost your chance of winning a raffle is to enter multiple raffles. Although the sneaker raffle varies from retailer to retailer, its concept remains the same.

Generally, the raffle falls into four categories.

  • Online. The winners of raffles falling into this category receive their sneakers via shipping. So, you do not need to visit any store or outlet to claim your prize. However, a few online raffles require you to pay. Make sure you read the terms and conditions thoroughly.
  • Social. The raffles falling into the “social” category means the process will occur on social media. Generally, the store’s Instagram or Twitter account hosts the raffle. Standard social entry requirements include comments, likes, and shares.
  • In-store. This type requires you to physically pick up your sneakers by visiting the store. Make sure you visit the outlet on a dedicated day to claim your prize.
  • In-App. A few stores host their raffles on mobile applications. A few in-app raffles may require a charge similar to online raffles. However, some allow you to claim the sneaker without any upfront charge. Again, make sure you get familiar with the terms of each raffle before entering.

Use paid proxies

A sneaker bot gives you the speed you need to step ahead of your competitors, and sneaker raffles offer a chance to win the desired pair of sneakers. But as a reseller, is that all you need to succeed in the sneaker world and earn profits? I bet not!

While these methods allow you to buy a sneaker pair, it isn’t enough to run your entire business. Indeed, you need multiple holy grail sneakers to target your audience. For this reason alone, you must learn about proxies.

They allow you to purchase several kicks without getting tracked or blocked. A proxy hides your identity, enabling you to use the web anonymously. As a result, websites cannot monitor your IP address, and you can buy multiple sneakers.

Although a few people recommend using free proxies, they are certainly not a way out. While free proxies save you money upfront, they are not a reliable option. Perhaps you do not want to get blocked when buying the second drop. Therefore, it’s best to go with paid, credible proxies that allow you to purchase sneakers seamlessly.

Below are some proxies you can use with sneaker bots to level up your reselling game.

  • IPS proxies. These proxies combine the best features of residential and data center proxies, making them an ideal fit for sneaker copping. They provide an optimal speed and allow you to buy sneakers before your competitors – without getting banned. The Rayobyte proxies follow ethical procedures and strict quality control. With 1 Gbps speed, you can get your hands on multiple pairs in a single go.
  • Residential proxies. Residential Proxies provide IP addresses from actual internet users, making them a more reliable option for sneaker copping. This reduces the chance of websites becoming dubious about your request. You can use Rayobyte ethically-sourced residential proxies to cop several kicks on the go.
  • Data center proxies. The IP addresses of data center proxies come from data centers. They slightly compromise on authority compared to the residential quality. Data center proxies are more speedy than residential proxies, helping you purchase the holy grail shoes before they run out of stock. The Rayobyte data center proxies can be your best bet, offering almost 300,000 IP addresses in 26 countries!

Best places to cop sneakers

While the combination of proxies and bots will help you beat your competitors and get your hands on the holiest of grails, you need to know where to buy the sneakers. Here are the best places you can turn to when purchasing sneakers:


You can find hot shoes from different retailers on the sneaker marketplaces. Popular sites include fight club, GOAT, StockX, and more.

While they are not the official brand website, you’ll find everything there, from new releases to sneaker grails.

Retailer websites

Retailer websites are the most obvious places you can buy sneakers from. Adidas, Puma, Jordan, Nike, and other retailers run their websites. As soon as the product launches, you can view them on the official sites.

However, you have to keep yourself on your toes. The buying craze for grail shoes drives millions of people to the websites. Besides, your resellers are also online, which means more competition for you.

Social media groups

Ideally, it is best to make your place as a reseller in the sneaker world. Joining social media groups helps you understand the hype around a particular sneaker. Besides, you also get a chance to stay updated about the new releases and get in touch with fellow resellers.

This offers an opportunity to understand their reselling tactics and improve your marketing game.

Invest in an HD camera

You got your hands on some holy grail sneakers, and they look great. Good for you. But the only way your customers can see them is through pictures. Product photos significantly impact their buying decision.

While you might assume you can take pictures from the retailer’s website, we do not recommend it.

First, your buyers want to view the actual sneakers they would purchase from you. Second, several third-party sites ask you to upload the original shoe photos rather than the ones copy-pasted from the websites.

But what will make sure your sneaker grail pictures stand out in the era of filters? You do not need to be a professional photographer to click some eye-catching photos, but you must invest in an HD camera.

Once you have one, follow the tips to capture some attention-grabbing shots:

  • Use a well-lit room. It makes pictures clearer.
  • Use a solid background to take photos. However, you must adjust the background with the shoe color. For instance, a black background is pretty solid, but your black sneakers would not stand out against the same color. Make sure you pick the appropriate combination.
  • Take photos from all angles, including front, back, top, and bottom. Take a few slanting shots, too.
  • Consider including the brand’s box, tag, and receipt for credibility.

Know where to resell sneakers

What good are the bought sneakers if you aren’t sure where to sell them? Now comes the best part of it all: making profits.

There are no specified places strictly meant for sneaker reselling. Of course, you can sell them at the same places you purchased them from, excluding the retail websites. However, you must keep a few things in mind:

  • If you choose to resell sneakers on third-party marketplaces, they might have a few policies you must comply with. For instance, they may ask you to ship the sneakers to their head office instead of sending them directly to the consumers.
  • Third-party marketplaces would also keep a share of your sneaker sale. While you cannot escape paying them, you can go for websites that do not take a hefty amount out of your profit. You can always read the terms and conditions of third-party sites before choosing to sell on one.
  • If you want to sell on social media websites, take preventive measures to keep yourself from fraud. Make sure you hold transparent communication with the buyer because there’s no intermediary to prevent fraudulent activities. Social media groups have admins, but they cannot do much in the event of fraudulent activities. The maximum they can do is block a member, but it’s too late if the buyer cheats you beforehand.

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Final Words

Final Words

With instant sold-out items and overnight campouts, the obsession over sneakers doesn’t seem like it will calm down soon. Instead, the passion is thriving with each passing day. People are willing to spend crazy money to purchase sneaker grails regardless of how they look. The value and emotions connected to them matter, and many past examples are living proof.

The sneaker industry is booming, and you have a chance to make your way into the reselling market and make thousands of dollars overnight. However, make sure you follow the tips to avoid getting blocked on your road to success!

The information contained within this article, including information posted by official staff, guest-submitted material, message board postings, or other third-party material is presented solely for the purposes of education and furtherance of the knowledge of the reader. All trademarks used in this publication are hereby acknowledged as the property of their respective owners.

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