Style

The Ultimate Gift Guide For The Sneakerhead In Your Life

You’re almost done with this year’s holiday shopping list, but you’ve come to one name that’s got you stuck. A cipher. An enigma. A style-forward friend who’s constantly complaining about “taking an L’’ on the Nike SNKRS app and often seen browsing StockX and eBay for kicks that are marked up to double the retail price.

Puzzle over the matter no more. You, my friend, are shopping for a sneakerhead. And to a sneakerhead, shoes aren’t just shoes — they’re a way of life.

This raises the stakes on the whole issue of holiday shopping. But fear not, we’ve got you. 2020 has seen a bevy of great drops to choose from. Plus there are always accessories, socks, and books to cop — if that’s more your price range. Regardless of what you pick, the gifts profiled below will leave sneakerheads thrilled.

And they won’t be too hard on your wallet, either.

Part 1 — Sneaker Accessories

Literally Any Sneaker Cleaning Kit

Jason Markk

Price: $10-20

Picking up a sneaker cleaning kit is a no brainer. No worry about being too precious with the brands here. Jason Markk, Clean Kicks, Dead Stock, Pink Miracle… they all essentially do the same thing — clean sneakers. So pick whichever one fits into your price range and matches the general aesthetic of who you are gifting it to.

Buy it here.

Socks

Uniqlo

Price: $3-$10

Again, no need to be precious about brands here. Just pick up a few pairs of socks in varying colors (unless the person you’re shopping for only wears white socks) from pretty much any store. Places like Uniqlo are sure to have a variety of different cuts and colors or you could just pick up a few pairs from whichever brand your friend is most loyal to, be it Nike or Adidas.

Socks help to pull an outfit together and kick up a pair of sneakers to the next level.

Buy socks here, or here, or here.

Complex: Sneaker of the Year

Complex

Price: $30

We’ve been putting together sneakerhead-focused gift guides for three years now and we’ve always made a point of purposely not including books about sneakers. Books aren’t for everyone, and they make really lame gifts for people who aren’t into them.

But this one is different.

Complex really made a book for sneakerheads of all stripes, covering 35 years of dope sneaker drops in full-color high-quality images, from the very first pair of Air Jordans to the latest Virgil Abloh Off-White collabs. This is a great book to just thumb through, no reading necessary. If you’re into the history of a particular pair of sneakers, that’s included too — in beautifully written, succinct passages.

Buy it here.

Jason Markk Repel Spray

Jason Mark

Price: $17

Repel spray isn’t so much a shoe cleaner, as it is a stain preventer. If the sneakerhead in your life likes to keep their shoes looking pristine, a good repel spray like this one by Jason Markk should do the trick. A nice long spritz of this stuff on a fresh pair of kicks will keep them looking crisp and stain-free, which is essential if the sneakerhead in your life is all about rocking white kicks.

Buy it here.

Nike/Adidas/Foot Locker Gift Card

Nike

Price: Up to you!

This is a bit of a cop-out gift, but sometimes a gift card is exactly what a sneakerhead wants. It’s hard to pick out a pair of fly shoes for someone who is obsessed with shoes, they’re incredibly particular! So load up a gift card with some cash, let them decide, and stop stressing yourself out about it.

Buy gift cards for Nike, Adidas, and Foot Locker here.

Part 2 — Dope Sneakers To Cop Right Now

Dope Sneakers For Under $100 — Reebok Club C Vintage

Reebok

Price: $70

Certain sneakers just look right in certain colors. That’s how I feel about these Club Cs in the vintage colorway of chalk, Glen green, and paperwhite. The shoe — which gives off 80s tennis vibes — is available for only $70 at Reebok.

That’s a classic pair of kicks for under $100.

Buy them here.

Dope Sneakers For Under $100 — Nike Air Max 90

Nike

Price: $93.97

Nike’s rarely dip under $100, but for whatever reason, the Air Max 90 is marked down to a cool $93. That’s a steal. The Air Max 90 is a classic sneaker silhouette, which means it goes out of style like an Air Force 1… never.

Buy it here.

Yeezy 350s… Need we say more?

Adidas

Price $220

Seriously, do we need to say more? Yeezys are still the most popular modern sneaker label and the Yeezy Boost 350 V2 is easily the brand’s most popular shoe. So pretty much any sneakerhead would be psyched to get a pair. This week the brand is dropping in a legendary BRED colorway (that might sound like nonsense to you, but your sneakerhead knows what that means) and it’s rumored Adidas is bringing a high yield this time around, so it should be fairly easy to pick up a pair.

Buy them here, here, or here.

Ultra Hyped For A Steal — Jordan 1 Retro High Dark Mocha

StockX

Price: Around $200

Right now, these are totally sold out, which sounds like a bad thing, but it’s actually good. It means your sneakerhead friend probably doesn’t have a pair. But if they’re all about Air Jordans there is no doubt they’d love to cop a pair of the high top Dark Mochas.

“Sold out” in the sneaker world means you’ll just have to turn to the robust aftermarket where these around running in the $200-$300 range. It’s pricey, but the Dark Mocha is probably the best Jordan colorway released all year, something the sneakerhead in your life will be well aware and appreciative of.

Buy them here.

Ultra Hyped For A Steal — Aimé Leon Dore 550 White/Red

StockX

Price: Around $250

Ultra hip Queens-based streetwear label Aimé Leon Dore officially brought back New Balance’s 1980’s silhouette the 550 with an elegant four colorway drop back in October that (unsurprisingly) sold out instantly.

The collection’s most popular pair of sneakers, the white and green iteration, sells for almost $500 on the aftermarket, but the white and red iteration can be copped for a much more comfortable $250, a steal considering the popularity of this line.

Buy them here.

Ultra Hyped For A Steal — NOAH Adidas Gazelle Cheetah/Duck Camo

StockX

Price: Around $250

Adidas linked up with New York-based streetwear label NOAH for an ultra dope double drop of the Adidas Gazelle silhouette just this week. Both pairs are sold out at NOAH, but they’ve hit the aftermarket for near retail price hovering just under $250 for either pair.

Both looks are dope, but considering one is cheetah print (with long pony hair) and the other is a canvas Duck Camo, it goes without saying that these two pairs aren’t for everyone. Meaning that you have to really know the person you’re shopping for here.

For the right person? A gift like this couldn’t be more fire.

Buy them here.

StockX

EDITOR’S PICK — Puma Clyde Super Mario Sunshine

Puma

Price: $80 ($150 on aftermarket sites)

The problem with IP collabs like this is that they can veer toward cheesy so. freaking. quickly. One minute, you think: “Hey, let’s do tie-in shoe,” and the next minute both companies are getting roasted for sneakers with goddamn Wookie hair on them.

The Puma x Super Mario collab veered away from all that, which was wise. Instead, they touch the Nintendo IP in light ways — a Mario sun on the heel, cloud logos on the insoles, and the shimmery blue Puma swoosh. It’s all very subtle and, as such, much more low-key than the competition.

You know why the mellow approach works so well? Because the Puma Clyde is the coolest silhouette in existence. And because people love Mario but they don’t want his face on their toes, something Adidas never quite savvied out this year.

Cop these in a hurry.

Buy them here (limited sizes) or here (aftermarket) or wait for Puma to refresh the drop.

Puma
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