I’m not a sneakerhead at all, but when I see something I like I tend to get a little obsessed until I own it.
So when I saw a certain color of Nike Air Max 97‘s, I knew I had to have them, but Nike was sold out in my size. I wear a women’s size 8, which is equivalent to a men’s size 6.5. In my experience, Nikes run half a size small, so I always end up with a men’s 7. I tend to shop in the men’s department because women’s colorways are never so cool. Why Nike doesn’t offer the same colorways in both departments has always baffled me.
Online, Nike offers men’s sizes up to size 3.5 (equivalent to a women’s 5) and up to size 15 (equivalent to a women’s 16.5). But the extreme sizes sell out fast because they make so few pairs, which happened in the case of my Air Max 97s. I was distraught that I missed this colorway, so I spent days googling , hoping to find them on Footlocker or Zappos or some resale site at a price that wasn’t ridiculous.
What I ended up discovering was a hack that changed the way I shop for sneakers.
Nike doesn’t always make the men’s colorways in women’s sizes, but they do sometimes make them in “Big Kids” sizes. And adults buying kids’ shoes isn’t something Nike discourages. In fact they have a size chart available that helps you convert children’s sizes to men’s and women’s sizes. This is great for people with small feet that lack their size in the adult version. It’s often the exact same shoe with perhaps a minor variation in detail here and there.
As a bonus, you’ll often end up saving at least $20 by switching from men to kids. You’re essentially getting a discount on the almost exact same shoe, which more than makes up for the extra effort you put in to grab them in the best colors. For example, right now the React Presto are available for both men ($120) and older kids ($100) in two overlapping colorways, just like the Huarache EDGE TXT (men’s and the big kids) and the Air Max 720 (men and Big kids’). These are just a few examples, but there are tons of examples of this on Nike’s website, so if your favorite colorway is sold out in your size and you have small feet, do your due diligence and check out the children’s section.