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Buying Hard-to-Find and Unique Shoes Only Available in the U.S

Buying shoes only available in the US used to be impossible. Maybe you had a friend who was able to buy them and ship them directly to you. Shoes are a global thing. Pretty much every country in the world relies on them, some actually see them as a status symbol (remember Imelda Marcos?) and lately sneakers have become quite the item, many of them hard to find or unique and fetching quite a bit of money. A lot of brands are based in the US and only allow local purchasing so those located in other countries often miss out until they are posted back online on a marketplace other store.

Trainers, tennis shoes, sand shoes, kicks, flats, runners, joggers…whatever you call them, have become an obsession for a lot of people and resales have become a multi-billion dollar industry. Buying straight from manufacturers or well-known distributors is definitely the way to go given the number of counterfeits and scammers that are operating. Increasingly though, some of the “middlemen” like StockX and GOAT offer authentication guarantees.

What Shoes Should I Buy?

For most of us it’s a personal preference. You’ll need to ask yourself what you want to do with your purchase. Some really just want some new kicks to cruise around in. Others are in it as a passion project, wanting to accrue and collect as many shoes as possible whether as an investment or just to show off to their friends. Some see it as an opportunity to make some money by buying and selling.

As Fashion Accessories – if you’re choosing to buy shoes to wear, you may be looking for shoes that simply look good and are considered the height of fashion. Maybe it’s a brand you desire or simply a certain comfort level or even just something you want to show off.

For Collectors – most like to collect sneakers in their size so typically starting a collection when your feet are finished growing is a good idea. Also make sure you have a decent amount of space to store your shoes so they won’t get damaged. Do not wear the sneakers. Doing so will jeopardize their potential resale value. Do your research and go into with an idea of what you want to collect. Some will stick to a single brand, others will look for a variety. Either way, have some idea when you’re starting out to and have a rough plan.

For Flippers – the buying and selling game can be pretty intense. Signing up for raffles, waiting in lines, online auctions…the marketplace is incredibly competitive. Obviously there are well-known tips like befriending store staff, recruiting friends to help with bidding but for the most part, it takes a decent amount of hustle and plenty of research especially to avoid getting scammed.

So where can a shoe lover go when you live outside of the U.S and the shoes you want are only available there? That’s where the US Unlocked prepaid card has come in handy for so many and has been the secret to the collector’s success. So where can one shop to access the hard-to-find and unique shoe?

Where to Shop for Shoes?

Foot Locker – they might not be the sneaker powerhouse of yore, but Foot Locker still brings the goods every now and again. Occasionally they will still get a version of the shoe you want once the actual retailer has finished its run. Maybe not the go-to it once was but definitely an option.

Nike – Going directly to the source is still one of the best options and the Nikestore often runs their sneaker releases at 10AM EST.

Adidas – the Adidas store offers up a release date option for shoe drops and you can even set reminders to email you. It’s also a good idea to join the rewards club to get first access. Again they typically roll at 10AM EST.

Eastbay – for many years, Eastbay has been at the forefront of the sneaker world. While also not the powerhouse they once may have been, there’s a chance you can find something on their website.

Nice Kicks – while not specifically a spot to buy shoes, Nice Kicks is a great source for information and will provide key links directing you to the stores. The website may be full of ads but you can get some real insights.

Champs Sports – these days Champs is a subsidiary of Foot Locker which gives them quite a bit of clout with shoe retailer partnerships and they will often have unique collections available. They list their release dates on their website.

Zappos – probably not your go-to but their New Arrivals section does give you access to some unique collector opportunities.

To get access to these websites, get yourself correctly setup.

  1. Be a US Unlocked Cardholder! Sign Up
  2. Make your first card load payment
  3. Once your load clears your account is set up
  4. Set up your Merchant-Specific Card settings if you plan on being a frequent shopper or use the One-Time Use Card to shop on one-time purchases
  5. Connect over VPN from a U.S. IP address
  6. Enter US Unlocked Card details and make payment at the Amazon website.
  7. Make sure the billing and shipping address are correct
  8. Start shopping!

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