We’ve talked before about how many women are addicted to buying shoes, no matter the cost to their budgets, and ultimately, their lives. Not only do they accumulate “stuff,” but it’s easy to feed into addictive personalities. But what people don’t often talk about is the fact that men can be just as addicted to buying shoes as women are. Remember in the ’90s when all the talk was about kids getting shot over a pair of Air Jordans? Well, kids might hopefully not be getting shot anymore, but Air Jordans are still one of the most popular shoes on the market. Male celebrities are also jumping on the shoe-designing bandwagon and feeding into the trends. So is male shoe addiction real?


The Celebrity Lure

If there was a male parallel to the “Sex and the City” effect of shoe sales for women, it’s “I wanna be like Mike.” Michael Jordan, that is. To most basketball fans, he’s considered the greatest of all time, and the numbers reflect that. Just in 2009 alone, sales of Air Jordans have skyrocketed to more than $1 billion in sales, making up about 5% of Nike’s total revenues. The man himself hasn’t played in almost 10 years, but his brand is ubiquitous. A more recent bizarre example in the Jordan vein is rapper Kanye West, whose Air Yeezy II shoes just came out at the beginning of June. While the sales figures haven’t reported out yet, the shoes were retailing for $245, while the pre-ordered pairs were going for up to almost $3,000 on eBay.

The Media Hype

Of course, nothing makes this worse than the bombardment of advertising and media on the people who buy these shoes. And it starts early: I know at least for me, my older brother was obsessed with Air Jordans back in the 90s, and he used to beg our parents for a pair as soon as they came out (even though he hated the team Jordan played for!), and my parents were wise enough to tell him a big fat “no.” If your kids are wanting to wear shoes like Kanye West or their favorite basketball star, it’s a good time to teach them about why they want the shoes, and how budgeting means saving up for something other than just shoes. Teaching them early about how they don’t “need” the shoes will help them get an early start on not wanting all the latest, trendiest things later on in life.

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