DM Kicks: The Unwritten Rules of the Sneaker Community

Read below to discover some of the unwritten rules in the sneaker community that lots of sneakerheads recognize. 

unwritten rules sneaker
Image: Alex Savidis

Just like any other organizations, sneaker communities from all over the world follow certain rules. Whether these are common beliefs or practices, gazillions of sneakerheads actually live by these rules. 

While not all sneaker enthusiasts are faithfully observing every unwritten rule, some are too obsessed with them, and this leads to disputes and discrimination. Now that social media platforms are rampant, it is more convenient for the “faithful” sneakerheads to criticize the “unfaithful” ones. 

Well, it’s not really a mortal sin not to observe all these rules, but some of them are actually sensible. At at the end of the day though, sneakerheads have their own preferences and rules to follow.  “Suum cuique” — to each their own.

Whether one will faithfully follow or not, being knowledgeable about these unwritten rules is vital for every sneakerhead, new and old, as they move forward in the sneaker game.     

Hence, here are some of the most common unwritten rules in the sneaker community.

No Brand Mixing

Have you seen anyone donning their precious Air Jordan sneakers but with adidas socks? Or their fresh Yeezy pairs partnered with Nike drips? 

Well, these are scenarios, to name a few, that raise the eyebrows of many sneakerheads. While some outfits are honestly good, it still feels different when brands are getting mixed. 

To be clear, brand mixing when rocking streetwear is rampant and acceptable. In fact, many prefer to mix brands when it comes to fashion though their reasons may vary. 

However, when it comes to rival brands such as Nike and adidas,  wearing a pair of sneakers along with the rivals’ products would seem a bit off in the sneaker community.

In a nutshell, wearing Nike or Air Jordan sneakers will not co-exist with adidas’ apparel or vice versa. This so-called “rule” is also applied to other rival brands.

Counterfeits are a Red Flag

Probably one of the unwritten rules that all, if not, the majority of sneaker enthusiasts will agree with. For obvious reasons, sneakerheads do not accept counterfeit sneakers in the sneaker game.

While counterfeit manufacturers promote budget-friendly kicks and many self-proclaimed sneakerheads actually patronize such products, fake sneakers basically promote fraud and treacheryMoreover, authentic and counterfeit sneakers are nothing alike, and they’re not even close as others claim.

No to Creases

A lot of sneakerheads are perfectionists. They always want their hard-earned sneakers to be in perfect shape. Thus, whether worn or displayed, constant checking and cleaning are imminent.

However, getting their sneakers creased is one scenario that the sneakerheads get really frustrated with, and makes them feel as if it’s the end of the world exaggeratedly speaking. Getting the sneaker creased is like receiving a battle scar. While other sneakerheads are hurt when having it, some actually claim that creases make their sneakers more appealing.

White Air Force 1 Supremacy

The Nike Air Force 1 is one of the most timeless sneakers that ever existed. Since 1982, the classic pair has been circulating throughout the season, matching any outfit, and rocking on any occasion. 

With its clean-looking triple white silhouette to its leather uppers and midsole encapsulated with Nike Air cushion, who can say “No” to this all-time sneaker? In fact, sneakerheads always put a space on their racks intended for a pair of Air Force 1.  The classic sneaker has even starred in various collaborations such as Supreme, Off-White, NOCTA, and Louis Vuitton, to name a few. 

However, when Nike started incorporating other silhouettes into the classic white design of the Air Force 1, it garnered mixed reactions from the sneaker community. One notorious silhouette that continuously receives a lot of hate from the day of its announcement is the “Triple Black” Nike Air Force 1. For some reason, it feels off to wear a pair of this silhouette.

Perhaps, the all-white, clean-looking Nike Air Force 1’s reputation and identity have been built so strong that other silhouettes, especially the “Triple Black”, could not replace them.

No Love for the Air Jordan 1 Mid

Speaking of hate, one sneaker in the history of the game that continuously receives too much hate from the community is none other than the Air Jordan 1 Mid. Ironically, the most hated sneaker came from one of the pinnacles and cornerstones of the sneaker game, the Jordan Brand. 

There are various reasons why countless sneakerheads “hate” the Air Jordan 1 Mid. Find out more about those reasons here.

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