British Columbia

It's not easy to get Yeezys: 'Sneakerheads' line up overnight to buy Kanye West's new kicks

Kanye West's latest shoe collaboration with Adidas, the Yeezy Boost 350 V2, went on sale Friday morning. Hundreds of people staked out the Adidas store in downtown Vancouver for a chance to purchase for their personal collections or flip them for profit.

Hundreds of people waited outside the Adidas store in downtown Vancouver for anticipated shoe release

Jeaoh Lee, left, and Tim Angeles, right, prepare to spend Thursday night in the neon glow of the Adidas store on Granville Street in hopes of scoring a pair of coveted shoes on sale Friday morning. (CBC News)

Kanye West's latest sneaker collaboration with Adidas went on sale Friday morning and you're unlikely to find a pair left on the shelves if you got up after dawn.

Hundreds of self-proclaimed "sneakerheads" spent the night in downtown Vancouver outside the Adidas store on Granville Street hoping to get their hands on a pair of the new Yeezy Boost 350 V2, which to a non-discerning shoe shopper is simply a black running shoe.

To those in the know, and in line last night, it's an essential part of their personal collection — or a way to make an easy buck.

Tim Angeles, 18, was first in line and said that although he's flat broke, he plans to flip the shoes online. He secured his spot at noon Thursday and camped out until the store opened Friday morning.

According to Angeles, the shoes retail for $336, including tax, but can be sold online for almost twice that. He said he would likely re-sell the shoes on Stock X, an app primarily for selling street wear and sneakers, or on a local Facebook group.

He didn't end up first in line intentionally though; it happened because he couldn't afford a bus ticket home.

A pair of Yeezy Boost 350 V2 already posted for sale on the app Stock X. (CBC News)

Angeles said he had enough money after work Thursday for a hot dog and a bus ticket. After he ate the hot dog he realized he didn't have enough cash for public transit, so he borrowed a chair from his downtown employer and decided to make some money with a little sneaker side hustling.

Angeles was joined in line by Jeaoh Lee, 20, who estimated the store had about 80 pairs of shoes in stock. He's lined up at least half-a-dozen times before for previous sneaker launches.

"You can create friends, build up a lot of relationships. It's fun," Lee said about lining up overnight.

Hopeful customers began lining up at noon the day before the sneakers went on sale. (Rehmatullah Sheikh)

'It's decent profit'

Lee was "just chilling" because he figured he was too far back in line to have a chance at scoring shoes, but he was in good spirits with his new friend Angeles.

"I met him today and we are good friends now," said Lee, who enjoys lining up and meeting other "sneakerheads."

If he did manage to get a pair, Lee said he could keep them in his personal collection.

Gabriel Dias said if he can't find a pair that fit, he'll buy some and flip them for profit. (CBC News)

Gabriel Dias, 18, who had counted 105 people in line in front of him, was open to keeping or selling depending on what stock was left when he got into the store. He figured if he got a pair his size he'd keep them, but anything else he would sell.

According to Angeles, selling is a smart plan because Yeezy has never released a completely black shoe and the resale value is higher than other shoes from rapper West's sneaker line.

"I'd say it's decent profit for having fun," said Angeles, before hunkering down with his new pal Lee to wait for sunrise and new shoes.

Rehmatullah Sheikh


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversationCreate account

Already have an account?