It’s a typical good news, bad news story from the sneaker industry.
The good news is that adidas will release a pair of shoes to commemorate the Toronto Raptors NBA Championship season on November 17, 2019.
The bad news is that adidas is about to release a pair of commemorative shoes.
Why is that bad news? It’s bad because the release will be an exercise in hype marketing, which means the vast majority of fans who would want to purchase these shoes won’t actually be given a chance to.
The sneaker in question is the adidas AM4 World Champs. And since it’s a Speedfactory product, it’s automatically a limited run model. In this particular case only 613 pairs, across all sizes, will be sold. That might seem like an odd quantity, but it’s meant to represent the day the Raptors won the Championship (June 13).
Intentionally limiting supply is a deplorable business practice that prays on a fundamental human weakness – the innate desire to own something that you can’t have. It’s also a practice that allows those who make a living from flipping sneakers to stay in business; ironically, those middlemen make the most money from limited releases, more than the actual shoe manufacturer.
Of course it’s sneaker buyers who are to blame for this madness. Sneaker scalping would come to a complete stop if people refused to pay more than retail for a pair of shoes, and didn’t allow themselves to become emotionally controlled by them.
It’s unlikely that it will ever happen. As long as there are those who can be manipulated by marketing, limited releases and the parasitic resale market will never go away.
Our philosophy is simple: Ignore the hype and don’t even bother trying to buy these types of shoes. You’ll be a happier person for it.
None of this means we can’t enjoy looking at the design. The adidas AM4 was first created as part of a six-shoe city pack that was used to launch the first Speedfactory in Ansbach, Germany. The design mandate for the entire AM4 model range is to provide lightweight stability and improve manufacturing sustainability. The Speedfactory’s mandate is to provide custom tailoring, or in other words, to create small, customized production runs.
The adidas AM4 “World Champs” is the latest example of what the Speedfactory does. For those still intoxicated by a Canadian team winning an NBA World Championship title, this is a clean, well-executed sneaker, one that many Raptor’s fans would love to own – even if they don’t have any chance to.