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Heat vs. Hype

Updated: May 23, 2019


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Before I get into this topic let me give you a definition of the words so that there are no misunderstandings.

Heat – A shoe that tends to be extremely popular in the Sneakerhead community and highly sought after. Most are rare and/or very expensive adding to the reputation of the shoe.

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Hype – Pertains to a sneaker that receives a lot of attention before the actual release date. The sneaker has a lot of “hype” around it, normally because it is a new release. Nothing extremely rare or classic, just a new shoe in most cases. But, in some cases, there are some sneaker collaborations and designer shoes that receive the “hype” and those kicks are usually rare and exclusive.


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Okay, now that’s out-of-the-way let’s get to it. I personally prefer heat to hype because I am a fan of the classics. Heat is usually unique and classic in its style and colorway. A lot of heat tends to be OG (original release) which means it came out years ago and are hard to come by. Sometimes it’s just a unique colorway that has only been released once. So there have been more of that particular shoe made, but not in that specific color. Heat is rare, exclusive, expensive and worth having in your collection. There are Sneakerheads who won’t be into a certain brand of shoe, but would enjoy owning something from that brand if it’s heat.

When talking to Sneakerheads, new and old they will say that heat is a matter of preference and it’s all opinion based. In some cases this is true….but there are particular styles, brands and colorways of shoes that are recognized as heat throughout the Sneakerhead community. For example, pretty much all OG releases of Jordans  1 – 17 are considered heat. Why? Because they are hard to obtain in this day and age. They were the original & first installment in the generation of Jordans. The quality on them was at the top of its game (at the time). Then you have shoes like the OG Nike Foamposites that originally released in 1997. Then you have rare heat, because of limited amount of shoes released like Nike Air Yeezys (which I am not a fan of) and even newer style of heat; such as Kobes and Lebrons. Kobe is in his 9th installment of shoes with Nike while Lebron is in his 11th. A lot of shoes previously released in these two lines are unique and are considered to be heat. They are artistic in design, the colorways are exciting and most have a story or theme behind them.

Then you have your hype (sighs), shoes that are widely hyped because they are new or never before seen. A lot of these shoes are not quality made or they’re a play on an earlier release and really hold no unique aspect. For example, the Jordan Gamma 11s; while it is a decent colorway it cannot be considered heat. It is a play on the OG “Spacejam” colorway for the Jordan 11s. But because everyone wasn’t able to obtain the “Spacejams” when the “Gammas” released they were all over it. They weren’t even limited in their release, everyone and their mother has a pair of Jordan Gamma 11s (except me and mines). Another hyped shoe is the “Asteroid” Foamposites. The quality and texture were less than stellar, they weren’t limited in their release and the color way wasn’t anything to brag about. In short, no one was truly checking for those. But because it was a Foamposite you had your hype-beasts out there thinking it was a must have. Now you might be asking what a hype-beast is, well let me tell you:

Hype-beast are Individuals who are new Sneakerheads sometimes they’re not even Sneakerheads. They buy shoes based on how many people say they are nice or a “must have”. A Hype beast consumes hype and reacts accordingly, they don’t act on their own thoughts or opinions alone. Now as I stated earlier with shoes that are releasing, heat and hype are a matter of opinion in a lot of cases. But if you’re a true Sneakerhead not only can you tell the difference, but you know better. That doesn’t go to say only try to buy heat, no not at all. Buy and rock what you like by all means, if you like Nike Cortez wear Nike Cortez….just don’t try to deem a pair of Nike Cortez as heat.


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