Is this the UK’s biggest Nike Air Max collector?
Collector: Dave Castle
Dave has around 200 sneakers in his collection and believes all together it’s worth around £50,000. Most of his collection is Nike Air Max 1 trainers.
Dave Castle is a 26-year-old estate agent from Woodford Green. His footwear obsession started when he was at school, collecting as many football boots as possible so he could look his best on the pitch.
The turning point for Dave was seven years ago when he was 19. He was getting his haircut and spotted someone wearing a pair of sneakers he just had to have – the Nike Air Max 1 Milano. He loved the style and the pop of the infrared and when the man wearing them said there were only 10 pairs available in the store Size? this caught his attention.
Dave hadn’t realised sneakers could be rare and he was excited by the idea there was a whole ‘trainer world’ out there, which he didn’t know about… yet.
It was this moment, which made Dave want to become a serious collector.
Now Dave had the ‘sneaker bug’, there was no stopping him and his collection grew quickly. All his trainers are bought to wear and as his favourite shoe is the Nike Air Max, 90 percent of his trainers are in this style. He only has one Adidas pair in his entire collection.
He began buying around 30 pairs a year, a pair every couple of weeks. This has remained constant, and while Dave mainly buys his sneakers to wear, he soon realised he could also turn his beloved hobby into a profitable side-hustle.
“The penny dropped when I realised, I could sell worn trainers for more than I’d bought them for. The turning point was when I bought a pair of Nike Air Huaraches for £120 and managed to sell them for £200.”
Believe it or not, Dave has worn most of the pairs in his collection, saying:
“I usually plan what I wear around my shoes – trainers are the most important part of the outfit! I start with my pair of the day and then work from there.”
How Dave grows his collection has changed over time and when he does decide to sell a pair, he sells to buy another pair he wants, rather than spending money from his own pocket. But of course, you’ve got to get a collection going somehow.
Dave started out using his savings, but regularly swaps and sells pairs, so he thinks the costs have gradually balanced out:
“I’ve probably spent about £10,000 out of my own pocket overall, but if I include the money I’ve made from resales, which I’ve put back in I think the overall amount invested is around £15-20,000.”
When choosing which sneakers to add to his collection, first and foremost, Dave buys what he likes. He only enters a sneaker raffle if he really wants a certain shoe, as he believes special pairs should be won by people who will value them.
The three questions Dave asks before buying new trainers are:
· Do I really like them?
· Am I going to wear them?
· Are they going to hold their value?
Dave does also look out for high-profile, limited-edition releases and celebrity collaborations, as these continue to generate value over time.
As he has become a more experienced collector, Dave has become more mindful about choosing which pairs he is going to buy and conscious of not making ‘rookie mistakes’, which could lower the value of the pairs he buys.
For example, when he first started buying trainers, he was throwing away the boxes, not realising they add to the value if you want to resell them.
Dave has a lot of Air Max 1s in his collection and recognises it might be time to branch out. He wants to collect more Air Max 90s, as he originally sold all of these to buy his favourite Air Max 1s.
2020 is also a big year for this shoe, as the Air Max 90 celebrates its 30th anniversary, so he thinks there may be some exciting, limited-edition pairs on the sneaker horizon very soon.
Watch this space.
Most expensive pair
Parra x Nike Air Max 1 Amsterdam
I spent £1,200 on these at resale. Unworn these could be worth £1,500-£1,600, but I’ve worn them, so they’ve probably still retained their value, but won’t be worth significantly more.”
Most Valuable Pair
(i.e.: the pair you could sell for the most profit?)
Patta x Parra x Nike Air Max 1 Cherrywood which is now worth between £5k-6k
“These were part of a collaboration with Parra who is a Dutch artist and they’re signed by Tinker Hatfield, one of the world’s most legendary sneaker designers and currently Nike’s Vice President for Design and Special Projects. I made sure I kept the box for this pair! Without the signature, they’re worth around £2-3k, but the pair I’ve got with the signature is worth around £6,000. I love this pair though and even though they’re worth a lot of money – I wouldn’t let them go!”
Bespoke Nike Air Max 1s
“This is my bespoke pair of Nike Air Max 1s, created during a 4-hour session at NikeLab 1948 in Shoreditch. They’re handmade and you can now only order bespoke pairs at NikeLab NYC and Shanghai. “You can pick all the colours and materials used. Parts of the shoe are made from pony hair and ostrich leather and they have waxed laces. They cost around £750. I’ve worn them a few times – but I wouldn’t wear them on a night out!”
Favourite Pair Of 2019
Comme des Garcons x Nike Shox TL
“My Comme des Garcons, although I’ve had a lot of stick for buying them from my dad who hates the chain on the front! I saw the pictures of them last September and had to have them. I bought them for £230 at retail and they sold out quickly. I love the loud branding.”
Nike Air Max 1 OG “Varsity Red” 1987
“From a collector’s perspective, it’s probably the Nike Air Max 1 OG “Varsity Red” 1987. This pair is 32 years’ old and The Sole Supplier has informed me it’s one of the oldest shoes they’ve ever seen in hand!
I paid £300 for them, but their value has increased a lot. I was recently offered £1,000, but they’re a collector’s item, so I wouldn’t let them go for that little.
hey are worth pretty much what anyone is willing to pay for them.”
Nike Air Force 1 Velcro Swoosh pack in “Sail” (USA exclusive)
“I’m a massive fan of pastel colours so when I saw these on StockX I started negotiating! I only paid about £60 over the retail price and there weren’t any additional fees to pay on top. “I’ve been looking more on Stockx recently, but it’s hard to find pairs which are now worth the money, once all the additional fees are added after a sale.”
It’s got to be the Nike Air Max 1 OG.
“The red and white colourway is the symbol of Nike Airmax 1. I love the materials and they’re so comfortable. They’re the sort of shoe which transcends different ages and demographics. Anyone can wear them”
Favourite Smart Trainer?
Alexander McQueen Oversized Sneaker
“This pair of McQueens have been well worn – I love them! They go well with everything. Even seeing all this year’s Love Island contestants wearing them hasn’t put me off! “They cost me £360 at retail price.”