NFT Sneakers: What You Need to Know in 2023 (Ultimate Guide)

NFT Sneakers: What You Need to Know in 2023 (Ultimate Guide)

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Looking for the low-down (or should we say high-top?) on NFT sneakers? We have everything you need to know below.

NFTs are a new asset class accepted by both cryptocurrency disruptors and traditional auction houses, as you may have heard.

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The passion for collecting digitalized fashion has evolved from a fringe activity to fierce competition among wealthy collectors. And the availability of rare and exclusive fashion items on digital markets has exacerbated this shift in mindset, allowing for rapid social media bragging rights.

Digital fashion is fast evolving in tandem with the increasing digitalization of our daily lives. Last year, NFTs being sold in the digital collection market was recorded to exceed $2 billion within the first three months — a massive 2000% rise over the previous quarter.

Fashion brands all around the world are taking notice of the economic opportunities that are emerging in the blooming world of cryptocurrency, thanks to the growing popularity of NFTs.

Is there a future for fashion in the digital world, when the industry it’s so reliant on what we put on our bodies?

NFT Sneakers – Table of Contents

 


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What Created the NFT Sneakers Buzz?

The NFT sneaker craze was pioneered by RTFKT, a sneaker brand that develop shoes that exist only in the digital world. The brand was founded in 2020 by Steven Vasilev, Chris Le, and Benoit Pagotto.

The company’s first release was Pagotto’s League of Legends character — which highlighted a custom pair of sneakers for the 2018 World Cup. Although Pagotto lost in the finals, he took home something far more valuable. Everyone was enquiring about his shoes. How were they going to get a pair?

That was when the realization of having a legitimate business on their hands hit the developers. And this is what led to what they considered a vision of building the brand of the future. Today, it’s the largest seller of NFT sneakers and has influenced the boom in the NFT fashion market.

Nike NFT & Gucci NFT

Unsurprisingly, other major fashion brands including Nike and Gucci have joined this trend creating their NFT sneaker collection and marketplace.

Does this hint towards a time in the future when shoppers will be more concerned with their digital assets than with their physical ones — or not?

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What are NFT Sneakers? Why Do They Cost Much?

NFT Sneakers on Rarible
NFT Sneakers on Rarible. Image credit: Rarible

What are NFT Sneakers? If you’re familiar with the concept of NFTs, the term “NFT sneaker” is self-explanatory. They are, simply put, digital versions of the physical or artistic representations of sneakers.

The footwear industry was not left out from the growing trend of owning digital assets, and many fashion firms are launching limited-edition sneakers with blockchain-based ownership management.

The existing popularity of NFTs is the major contributor to the surge these digital wears are experiencing. NFTs sneakers, as other NFT use cases, leverage on its proof of ownership technology that tracks ownership of each product indefinitely with a unique identification number.

Many fashion brands are now using NFTs to build virtual wear and generate enormous revenue because of this need for exclusivity and uniqueness.

They’re still a lot of skepticism as to why these digital wear should have value. Most people don’t feel like they own those items because they can’t touch or experience them in real life. However, the sense of ownership that NFTs have instilled in their users gives these digital assets value.

 

How Do NFT Sneakers Come into Play in The Digital World?

NFTs will become much more popular now that the Metaverse is a thing and everyone wants to be a part of it. And, of course, you’ll need a wardrobe in that virtual world, won’t you? You may now purchase a full closet for thousands of dollars, but you won’t be able to wear it in real life. And big brands such as Gucci are working towards making this possible.

As a result, NFT sneakers are becoming a part of virtual reality development, which is believed to be the ideal combination.

 

NFT Sneakers Projects: Top Brands Creating NFT Sneakers

Versov NFT Sneakers online
NFT Sneakers online. Image credit: Versov / OpenSea

People’s desire for a perfectly fitting T-shirt, nylon pants that swish-swish with each step, and the sneakers you wear out to impress friends is what fuel the fashion industry. PS5 metaverse game looks a lot like FIFA, check it out here.

This makes collaboration between the digital world and the fashion industry seem impossible on the surface because fashion relies on the physical world.

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However, this hasn’t prevented brands from attempting to make digital fashion a reality.

Many brands have taken the initiative and are actively seeking to penetrate every nook and crevice of the digital realm to overcome their physical limits. Some of the fashion brands that have dipped their toes into the NFT sneakers market include:

Nike

Nike acquired and trademarked CrytoKicks, a platform for NFTs that’s set to create footwear for the virtual world. The company later revealed that Wilson Chandler, a former NBA player, has been signed up to be the face of the platform. To take things further, the apparel giant also went ahead to make another acquisition of RTFKT studios.This shows how serious Nike is about capitalizing on the NFT Sneaker trend.

RTFKT studios is purportedly an industry-leading brand that delivers next-generation collectibles that merge gaming and culture through cutting-edge innovations. Recently, the studios made news due to an acclaimed collaboration with a teenage artist FEWOCiOUS leading to sales of 600 virtual sneakers paired with real ones. The total generated revenue was disclosed to be over $3.1 million, and the amazing fact is that the collection sold out within the first six minutes.

Gucci

While Gucci has not yet released a true NFT, it’s showing deep interest in doing so in the future. The brand is testing the water in the virtual fashion space with the development of in-app digital sneakers available to the players.

StockX

StockX is an online reseller of streetwear and sneakers. The company announced a plan to launch a platform called “Vault NFTs” where users can buy and sell NFTs tied to physical sneakers from major sports brands. This innovative movement by StockX is a means of opening a new stream of revenue in addition to their sales of trading cards and gaming hardware.

Cult&Rain

Cult&Rain, a digital fashion brand, recently released its first NFT shoe collection, The Genesis Drop, that is tied to actual high-end footwear. The NFT sneakers featured include 2,000 4K animated NFTs based on the Ethereum blockchain and can be exchanged for an identical pair of Italian-made premium sneakers.

Flowers for Society

Flowers for Society is a new shoe business that aspires to bring the worlds of sneaker collecting and digitalized sneakers together. SEED.ONE is the brand’s first sneaker, and it has a hyper-futuristic design with a midsole that appears to be 3D-printed to some extent and comes with a pattern of holes.

Arc Footwear

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Arc Footwear’s brand-new initiative, the SNKR Project, is leading the pack of unique concepts in developing a virtual fashion metaverse. And the company is hinting towards massive releases in the future.

Rare Shoe

RareShoe flooded its Instagram page with designs of a series of valuable NFT sneaker artworks. Three special NFTs are included in the collection, as well as a series of “Donks” inspired on the infamous Nike Dunks and their most recent endeavor, the “Jordan 1,” which is appropriately inspired by the all-time great silhouette the Jordan 1. The “In Bloom Jordan 1,” an NFT shoe that sold for 3.3 ETH (worth $5,592.37 at that time) is another example of how prices can vary by pair and auction.

 

  • What’s perhaps the most famous sale in the NFT sneaker world involves an artist named FEWOCiOUS, featuring three pairs of sneakers pegged at $3k, $5k, and $10k. The sale lasted for seven minutes and over $3.1 million worth of the pairs were sold.
  • NBA superstar, Stephen Curry also shock the NFT market after he listed a collection of 2,974 NFTs — replicas of the shoes he wore at important matches in his career. Each of the NFTs was priced at $333 and is currently sold out. The owners of the NFTs were able to show them off across three Ethereum-based metaverse platforms: Decentraland, Animoca Brands’ The Sandbox, and Eric Schiermeyer’s Gala Games. The generated revenue was purportedly given out as donations to different organizations that promote access to sports.
  • Other top NFT sneaker sales that broke the internet were the OG pairs and some other re-releases. The differences in prices, however, were outrageous. For example, the Air Jordan 11 Concord digital version was sold for 1 ETH while the Jordan 13 Flint was listed for a mere 0.1 ETH. The trick here was that the Concords were labeled with “Hall of Fame” status while the Flints were labeled as “Rookie” — that pretty much explains it. The OG Air Jordan 1 from 1985 is the most expensive sneaker NFT in the collection and was sold for a whopping 3 ETH.

The Relationship Between NFT Sneakers and Metaverse

NFT Sneakers on Sandbox
NFT Sneakers on Sandbox. Image credit: Sandbox

The metaverse, a live, breathing virtual world where people can interact with other users, has gone from theoretical to being a reality and is currently being hailed as the internet’s future. So, where does fashion fit in? The answer is three letters: NFT, the invention that rocked the art world.

NFTs’ blockchain-powered technique of certifying ownership has proven to be a useful application in the digital world, no wonder they are selling like a craze at high prices. Luxury brands and customers alike now have a platform to show off their virtual clothing collection as the world delves deeper into the fashion metaverse. It is not just about shoes, check this best NFT displays of 2022.

Also see our feature on the best Metaverse courses.

 

NFT Sneakers in the Metaverse

Here’re some of the ways your favorite sneakers could appear in the metaverse world:

1. Digital art and collectibles

Currently, the majority of fashion NFTs are regarded as collectibles and works of art. Sneaker fans, like the NFT community, are sold on exclusivity, which includes rare vintage items, limited-edition drops, camping outside stores, and waitlists. Your real-life sneaker may be represented on the blockchain as a virtual NFT trade card or a more traditional piece of digital art to admire, respect, or flaunt.

2. Direct-to-avatar

Direct-to-avatar (D2A) digital collections are already being released by fashion manufacturers. There’s been an inflow of new clothing firms dedicated to producing and selling digital-only apparel in recent years. Consider a system of augmented and virtual reality hubs that may be accessed through cellphones or headsets. To represent oneself in the virtual world, users can design and personalize digital avatars. In the metaverse, express yourself with NFT sneakers from your favorite brands, or buy and sell new avatars in seconds.

3. Digital images 

Digital fashion designers can now sell their designs and clients can wear them outside of video games and marketing campaigns on marketplaces. Customers pay for digital versions of clothing that they can overlay on photographs of themselves rather than purchasing physical garments. Digital things can take on qualities that are inconceivable in real life, such as iridescent or luminous items, in both static or motion versions — picture your unique sneakers really on fire.

4. Augmented reality (AR)


As augmented reality technology improves, the fashion metaverse will become much more relevant. Aside from the concept of status and bragging rights, users will be able to browse their virtual closet and try on new costumes from the comfort of their own home or wherever they are. If you’re unsure whether the sneaker you’ve been eyeing will go with all of your outfits, try it on in the metaverse and you’ll know right away. Allowing customers to virtually try on clothing before it enters the production lines saves clothing businesses money and reduces their environmental effects. With just a pair of high-tech smart glasses, your reality can be turned into something completely different.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most expensive NFT ever sold?

The most expensive NFT is a series of NFTs which sold for a $91.8 million price tag during the last year of December.

What NFT sneakers can do in the app?

NFT Sneakers can be leveled up by burning tokens. For this, you can use the STEPN app. The users can boost its performance by adding attribute points and NFT gems to the sneakers.

What is NFT?

NFT refers to Non-fungible tokens which is a cryptographic asset on a blockchain. It has unique identification codes and metadata that distinguish them from each other.

 

 

NFT Sneakers Are Dipping Toes into The NFT Market: What You Need to Know

Now you should have an understanding of where fashion stands in the future of the NFTs market and Metaverse. And many pundits as speculating this only to being the beginning of bigger innovations and use cases of NFT.

Finally, there’s no perfect time to hop on the NFT train than today — waiting on the sideline might lead to you getting sidetracked and left behind in the coming years.  If you enjoyed this article, you will love this bird-inspired art collection worth a staggering 1billion.

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