Absolutely! While your local pawn shop likely isn’t interested in your favorite ratty old pair of sneakers, they would be interested if you’re looking to pawn or sell a fancy pair of designer shoes in good condition.

Exclusive or rare designer shoes that have been kept in like-new or mint condition are highly sought after in today’s resale market. Sneakerheads and fashionistas alike are always seeking the best deals on extremely hard-to-find or exclusive shoes that can fetch big money as part of their collections. Are you sitting on a potential investment? Let’s find out a bit more about designer shoes and why they’re so popular.

Valuable shoe brands

Business analysts estimate the sneaker resale industry is currently worth $2 billion in North America alone and could become a $30 billion global industry by 2030. As brands continue to get more creative in targeting consumers and hyping the products they create, the value of designer sneakers continues to skyrocket.

Specific brands, styles and colors are considered icons in the industry, with the potential to consistently fetch high prices and increase in value over time. These designer brands are ones to consistently watch:

  • Jordan
  • Coach
  • Jimmy Choo
  • Tory Burch
  • Christian Louboutin
  • Michael Kors
  • Nike
  • Gucci
  • Chanel
  • Louis Vuitton
  • Valentino
  • Prada
  •  Adidas
  • Versace
  • Burberry
  • Dior

Because many designer brands release limited quantities of special edition shoes, low supply and high demand among collectors often drives shoe values up quickly. Shoes designed for key historical moments or in partnership with high-profile athletes and celebrities also boosts demand, driving values even higher.

How Nike changed sneaker culture

Take Nike’s Air Jordan brand, for example. Even if you’re not a huge basketball fan, you likely know about the extreme popularity of Air Jordans. In 1984, basketball legend Michael Jordan single-handedly revolutionized today’s sneaker culture. As a rookie, he wore a signature pair of black and red Nike sneakers during a pre-season game. The NBA claimed the shoes violated the league’s policy, which stated “shoes had to be 51% white and in accordance with what the rest of the team was wearing,” and fined Nike $5,000 per game that Jordan wore the shoes.

Nike, in return, embraced the controversy, and the company’s distinctive Air Jordan 1 instantly surged in popularity. Just two months after its initial release, Nike sold $70 million worth of Air Jordans. By the end of 1985, the shoe line earned Nike more than $100 million in sales. The partnership revolutionized high-profile athlete endorsements, paving the way for other athletes to cash in on exclusive sponsorship deals. In today’s resale market, rare models of Air Jordans sell for upwards of $120,000.

How do I know if my shoes are valuable?

Your best bet is to do your homework. Not all designer shoes will resell for thousands of dollars. However, they may still earn you good money, especially if they are in mint or near-mint condition.

Before taking your shoes anywhere, check out online resources, such as popular resale platforms and auction sites, to determine how well shoes in similar condition to yours are currently selling. If you have a highly exclusive pair hiding in your closet, finding a reputable pawn shop that specializes in luxury products will help you get a fair deal.

Also, make sure they are clean and in the best possible condition. Look for any stains, tears, damage, or other issues that may affect your shoes’ value. Take some time to clean your shoes carefully, using a damp cloth or a high-quality shoe cleaner and brush, and ensure your shoes are free of any strong or offensive odors. Investing time in making sure your shoes are as clean and fresh as possible, even though they may have been worn, can help you get a decent price when you pawn or resell them.

Also, don’t forget the packaging! Designer shoes still in the original packaging or wrapping—or even better, if they come with the original receipt—can go a long way in increasing your shoes’ value. It also makes it much easier for you to prove the shoes’ authenticity, making your chances of pawning or selling them for more money much more likely.

How much can you pawn shoes for?

As stated earlier, the value of designer shoes relies heavily on several key factors. First, not all pawn shops deal in designer shoes or sneakers. So be sure the one you are working with does.

When it comes down to the shoes themselves, details matter, such as:

  • The style number
  • Year of production
  • The edition (limited, exclusive, etc.)
  • Colors and designs of the shoes

The pawnbroker will offer you a percentage of the current market retail value, considering the shoes’ condition and any original packaging. The pawnbroker will also carefully examine the shoes and ask questions to determine the shoes’ authenticity. Pawn shops may vary greatly in what they’ll offer for specific designer shoes, so it doesn’t hurt to be patient and visit several shops to get the best deal possible for your designer shoes.

Where can I sell my shoes for cash?

Pawn shops are one of the best places to sell your designer shoes if you are in a financial pinch. Pawn shops are highly regulated businesses that provide a valuable service to their local customers, and as customers continue to look for great deals on gently used items, more and more pawn shops are becoming specialized in dealing in luxury goods.

If you are looking for a dependable place to pawn, sell or buy designer shoes, Gene’s Jewelry & Pawn is ready to help! Visit one of our locations in North Charleston, Moncks Corner or Goose Creek, SC, today to see how we can help.