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Sneaks Merge Physical And Digital With Their Sneaker Marketplace

With the advent of sneaker reselling hitting the mainstream, platforms have popped up across the net that allow you to sell or trade pairs in your collection. Prominent players like StockX have dabbled with web3 tech like NFTs to help make buying/selling your “assets” much easier, removing the physical aspect of collecting/selling pairs. Their system, however, is quite convoluted and doesn’t actually give the user ownership of the NFT on the blockchain. Looking to change that, Sneaks is introducing a brand new concept that will allow collectors to buy and sell physical sneakers on the Ethereum blockchain as NFTs.

What is Sneaks?

Sneaks is a new buying/selling platform that harnesses the power of the blockchain to allow users to buy, sell, or show off their sneaker collection online. Each month, Sneaks will highlight a sought-after sneaker on the market (with their first drop being the Union LA x Nike Dunk Low “Pistachio”), share its story, and release a limited number of pairs as NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain at the current market price. This system will allow users to actually own the NFT and sell it to other buyers OR burn it and redeem the physical pair itself.

How do I use the Sneaks platform?

Utilizing Courtyard as the platform's web3 infrastructure, once you choose a specific size (whether that be on Sneaks’ platform or a secondary marketplace like OpenSea) and checkout, your NFT is minted. From there, you’re free to do what you want with the pair. You could even show it off through a Connected Collectible NFT, a 1:1 3D rendering of the sneaker you can show off virtually.

Where is my physical sneaker that is connected to my NFT?

Any sneaker that is connected to Sneaks will be stored and insured in a Brink’s vault, the same high-security storage that banks and consumers use to secure high-end assets. If you do end up wanting to access your physical pair, it will be shipped out via Brink’s global shipping network and can be sent essentially anywhere on earth.

How is a Sneaks NFT different than StockX’s Vault NFT?

When you purchase a Vault NFT on StockX, the terms state that “StockX maintains custodial authority of all NFTs traded on the platform,” meaning that you don’t actually own the NFT itself, StockX does. Other clauses in their T&C even allow StockX to redeem your NFT for what they dub “Experiential Component,” removing your “ownership” of the NFT entirely.

At Sneaks, this concept of owning a digital good connected to a physical product is executed in a much more decentralized manner. Instead of being stuck on one specific platform to sell your NFT, Sneaks allows transactions to take place on platforms like OpenSea or even directly to another user's wallet. Essentially, Sneaks will just hold the physically backed sneaker in a Brinks vault while you are free to do what you wish with the NFT.

Are the sneakers from Sneaks authentic?

Sneaks only sources sneakers from established dealers in the industry. On top of this, various advisors and investors that work with the company have plenty of experience in regard to building companies that authenticate assets across a variety of collectible categories. Going back to your 1:1 3D rendering, embedded within is a photo of the sneakers themselves and the shoebox with a unique ID, ensuring your NFT is connected to that specific authentic pair.

If you’re interested in getting involved in this merging of physical and digital sneakers, head over to sneaks.world and sign up for drop alerts by clicking the bell in the top right corner of the homepage.

Our take on Sneaks

To see web3 technology merge with a physical hobby like collecting sneakers is a nice change of pace, though the long-term viability of NFT and blockchain-based sneaker transactions is still up in the air. The whole NFT and crypto market has taken a nose dive in recent months, putting into question whether or not these technologies will last when it comes to consumer markets. The decentralization of sneakers could allow for a more fair marketplace rather than a hoard of resellers, who often snatch up pairs, dictating the market price for some of the most coveted kicks. On the flip side, we've yet to really see sneakerheads (or the general public) accept NFTs with open arms as it carries a negative stigma throughout the internet. Overall, the use of the blockchain to verify transactions and connect them to authentic sneakers could help sneakerheads determine if their kicks are coming from trustworthy sellers on the secondary market. We'll have to see how this new concept plays out and how the general public will react to having their sneakers tied to NFTs. To stay updated on the latest happenings in the sneaker world, keep it locked to our Twitter and the Sole Retriever mobile app.


- Sneaks is a pioneering new application in the web3 space, allowing users to collect sneakers without the clutter, gain more visibility for their collection, and allow anyone with internet access to bid on their collection.

- Each NFT will be backed by a physical product, stored in a secure Brinks vault, and can be redeemed once you burn the NFT associated with the sneaker.

- Unlike StockX, Sneaks NFTs are owned by the purchaser, meaning you can buy/sell on Sneaks directly, through platforms like OpenSea, or directly transfer ownership to another wallet.

- Sneaks will hold a monthly drop highlighting a coveted pair of sneakers and its story while listing it for sale at its current market price.

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