ARTICLE BY Minh Vuong

One Night in the Life of an Insomniac Sneakerhead

Person Backlit by Computer Screen

I never sleep on a sneaker release. Literally. The ease of browsing (and sometimes buying) sneakers on the Internet has resulted in over a decade – almost 4000 nights – of sleepless sessions sole searching in just about every corner of the World Wide Web. And I’ve taken just about as many Ls. But that’s another story.

What am I looking for as I hop between time zones on eBay, Gumtree, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, et al? Sometimes, I don’t even know. Probably scratching an itch that isnt there by looking for sneakers to buy that I definitely dont need.

Well, it’s time to cast my dark baggy eyes onto my seemingly endless Watch List in tonight’s hunt for who knows what.

1955 HOURS

It’s five minutes until the Nike SNKRS drop happens in my region. I’ll have a quick scroll on social media until it hits eight on the dot.

Nike SNKRS You're In Line
The greatest lie ever told

2001 HOURS

… And it’s gone. My fingers were not quick enough to checkout in that slim 30-second window that the product is actually available. Oh well – the night is still young. There’s another release tonight, which is dropping at a local boutique at the stroke of midnight. But before that, time to wade into international sneaker waters and hit up Japan.

Person Looking at Yahoo Japan Auctions Computer

2230 HOURS

Japan is only an hour behind me, so it’s prime time on Yahoo Auctions Japan. Only problem is… I can’t read Japanese. However, some grainy pictures and centimetre sizing is enough to at least entertain me and kill a couple hours, without spending a single yen.,

2300 HOURS

Off the computer and onto my phone. A prompt reminds me at 11pm that it’s time to switch off. I press the Ignore button. ‘Just a few Gumtree searches,’ I lie to myself. The search for [insert Grail here] in size 9 and reasonable condition – with absolutely no intention to purchase – goes on.

2359 HOURS

It’s time for that midnight release at the local boutique. Fingers crossed I don’t miss out again.

0001 HOURS

Dammit, another L. The item was in my cart and sold out before I completed payment. There’s the quick, and the dead (checkout cart). Who knew people were so keen for a retro that tanked last time it dropped?

Facebook Marketplace Messages

0143 HOURS

The adrenaline of losing out on two sneaker releases hasn’t quite worn off yet. I’ve been on Facebook Marketplace for the past 90 minutes, scrolling to find something vaguely interesting. I’m sure the sellers will respond to my request at this ungodly hour for more detailed photos in a timely manner.

0230 HOURS

Over 45 minutes and a couple of precariously heavy head nods later, all I’ve gotten back from these FB users is radio silence. Looks like the early bird doesn’t always get the worm.

eBay Screen iPhone Buy It Now

0310 HOURS

Back into the eBay rabbit hole. My mild delirium – a side effect from a decade of no sleep – has my thumb hovering over the Buy It Now button for a $2800 pair of Jordans, but I stop myself. There’s another auction I’ve been watching for a while that’s coming. Will I finally get a W tonight? Third time’s the charm…

0342 HOURS

Nope. The fatigue is too much to handle for an all-out bidding war. A third pair missed tonight. All there’s left to do now is continue scrolling in search of a consolation purchase to impulsively buy.

Insomnia GIF

0420 HOURS

Ahhhh… I give up. Time to lie in bed with eyes wide open rueing the latest nine hours I’m never getting back. Maybe it’s time to buy general releases instead.

Check out the Real Talk section here for more sneaker introspection.

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