Goody, Two Shoes! How NFTs Are Stepping Into The World Of Sneakers

NFTs have permeated a huge number of industries ever since their boom in 2021. Whether as a marketing strategy or as an expansion to the Metaverse, several sectors have already started exploring NFTs. From art to real estate and, recently, law, NFTs have several use cases that are breaking the glass ceiling for what has, hitherto, been possible. One unexpected sector that has begun utilizing NFTs is the fashion industry.

When one thinks of fashion, what comes to mind is the image of physical garments and accessories that you can wear. So how do NFTs come into play in an industry that is so focused on the tangible? Surprisingly, however, NFTs have been making quite a splash, with fashion brands like Gucci and Louis Vuitton jumping aboard the NFT bandwagon. And one of the products garnering the most attention in the NFT space is sneakers. 

So NFT sneakers. You must be shocked. Or intrigued, to say the least! Especially since they sell for whopping amounts! Often surpassing the price of physical sneakers. And those you can wear! So wondering how NFT sneakers work is pretty reasonable. Read on to satisfy your curiosity.

What are NFTs?

So before we talk about NFT sneakers, let?s unravel NFTs. What exactly are they, and why is there so much hype?! NFTs or non-fungible tokens are, quite simply, digital tokens that verify ownership of an asset. Almost anything can be minted as an NFT, from memes to images to artwork. There are also a number of NFT marketplaces for digital collectibles. This is often very common in the case of sports collectibles. Apart from getting the chance to own your favorite collectibles, you can also sell them on a secondary marketplace and make money off your NFTs.?

Very similar to real-life fashion, NFTs boast of uniqueness. There are no two NFTs that are identical, just as there can be no two pieces that are identical. So it makes sense that NFTs are so rampant in the fashion industry. Sneakers, especially, are more valuable when they are unique. So combining NFTs and sneakers has been something of a Eureka moment for avid collectors. 

NFTs are sneaking around

NFT Sneakers are pretty recent in the grand scheme of things. They came into the picture in 2020 when Steven Vasilev, Chris Le, and Benoit Pagotto founded the sneaker brand RTFKT. Now, what made this company so novel was that all their ware was completely digital. Yes, they created digital shoes for a digital world. Their first launch release was a pair of shoes worn by Pagott?s League of Legends in the 2018 World Cup. 

What started with one character has now grown into a concept that has raked in millions. For instance, teenage artist, FEWOCiOUS, teamed up with RTFKT in 2021 to launch a collection of NFT sneakers. It featured three pairs of sneakers priced at $3000. $5000, and $10000. They sold out in a matter of minutes, 7 to be exact, and a whopping $3.1 million worth of sneaker pairs was sold. Even today, this is considered to be one of the most iconic launches in the history of NFT sneakers.

After this, several big names launched their own lines of NFT sneakers. Nike, for one, launched their first line of virtual sneakers titled CryptoKicks this year. The collection consisted of 20,000 NFTs, with one sneaker being sold for over $134,000! Another name in the space is Cult&Rain, a brand involved in digital fashion which recently launched an NFT sneaker collection. The Genesis Drop featured 2000 NFTs animated in 4K. Each sneaker could be exchanged for an identical physical counterpart made in Italy. 

Stepping up in the digital world

You might be wondering what all the hype is about. After all, it?s not like you can actually wear a pair of completely digital sneakers. But with the Metaverse coming into the picture, these NFT sneakers are actually competing with, if not surpassing, the value of physical ones. Consider this: to enter the Metaverse, you?ll need a digital avatar. And if the Metaverse is going to be as expansive and immersive as it is projected to be, your avatar will need a decent wardrobe. After all, life isn?t a cartoon show where characters wear the same clothes all day, every day! Fashion NFTs are already entering the digital world, with fashion houses like Gucci and Louis Vuitton exploring NFTs. 

Like wearable fashion NFTs, sneakers, too, can be used to adorn your Metaverse avatars. Apart from this, you can also overlay your NFT sneakers on your everyday pictures, making for a very Instagram-worthy snap. Soon, when augmented reality (AR) develops further, you might have the option of trying on your sneakers in the Metaverse to see how you like them. This way, environmental damage and production costs can be kept to a minimum by simply producing the pairs that are needed.?

And, of course, you have the collectible call of NFT sneakers. We all know that physical sneakers are much sought out by avid collectors. The same goes for NFT sneakers. Yet another draw is that you have exclusive and verifiable ownership of your asset. In certain cases, you can exchange the NFTs for the real thing, but you can also sell your NFT on a secondary marketplace and make a profit. 

The appeal of NFT sneakers is becoming clearer, isn?t it?

Tying it up

NFTs have a wide range of use cases, from digital collectibles to real estate. They are revolutionizing the world as we know it by taking the most tangible things and transforming them to suit the virtual world. With the Metaverse in the works, and digital avatars already coming into play, it stands to reason that fashion has entered the Web 3 space. Sneakers, especially, are quite a draw because of their inherent value as a collectible. With their host of use cases in the Metaverse, NFT sneakers are slated to play a huge role in our experience of the immersive virtual world.

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