If you are active in the Facebook groups meant for reselling sneakers, you would probably have stumbled across comments asking, ‘Is it SBB quality?’ and if you do not know what SBB stands for, it’s the acronym for the Air Jordan 1 ‘Shattered Backboard’ which apparently has one of the best leather quality on a pair of Air Jordan 1. When the Air Jordan 1 ‘Bred Toe’ recently dropped, almost everyone started comparing the quality of the leather on the Bred Toes to the SBB as if it was the deciding factor to purchase.
Before we proceed, it is questionable to some why everyone uses the SBB as a benchmark when it comes to quality. Jordan Brand has produced various silhouettes or even the same silhouette (Air Jordan 1) with high-quality leather. If you haven’t realized, the Air Jordan 1 ‘Banned’ from 2011 has one of the best quality leather on a pair of Air Jordan 1, yet it is deemed as B-Grades by Nike. There is a collection by Jordan Brand called ‘BIN’ which focuses on producing Air Jordans using premium materials which is undeniably luxurious and beats SBB’s quality any day. When we compare quality, the question comes to light again, why do we use SBB as a benchmark as if it is Jordan Brand’s best work when it comes to premium materials? Jordanheads who have been collecting Air Jordans know that Jordan Brand usually uses somewhat cheap leather to produce their shoes usually, and most of the time hurts their feet. The SBB is one of the later releases of Jordan Brand in 2015 that was produced with soft, tumbled leather, making the shoe easier to wear with comfort and looks better with more wear. Another fact regarding the SBB is that Jordan Brand incorporated an OG detail to the sneakers in terms of its background story, where the SBB was designed based on the color of the uniform Michael Jordan was wearing back in 1986 when he shattered the backboard while dunking at an Italian exhibition game. However, the SBB is a general release like every other Air Jordan 1, but most likely, the main reason why everyone is holding it as a benchmark is due to the fact that it is a general release, but built with premium materials.
Have you ever wondered whether the question ‘Is it SBB quality?’ actually affects consumer behavior in the sneaker market? We would like to believe it does affect to a certain extent where people are less willing to pay for a pair of Air Jordan 1 just because it isn’t SBB quality such as the Air Jordan 1 ‘Black Toe’. It is rather odd as well that the resell price of the Air Jordan 1 ‘Bred Toe’ is barely even close to the resell price of a pair SBB even when the leather’s quality is exactly the same or close to its comparison. In the end, what does the term ‘Is it SBB quality?’ really justify?
We have to agree that the striking colorway is indeed attractive to the naked eye and premium materials is definitely a plus point to justify the purchase, but is it really worth the money when resellers leverage on its premium materials to hike up the price of a pair of SBB’s? As a general release, some may beg to differ that SBB is overrated and is not worth the current resell price of RM3,000 and above. Some of you may have bought the SBBs for retail but others will end up paying resell prices so we shall relate it closer to the perspective of prices in the secondary market to be more relevant.
To conclude this discussion, there are better-built sneakers out there than the SBB to be compared to. However, this statement is more commonly used and relatable to the new generation of sneakerheads as the SBB was released in 2015 during the birth of the new wave of sneakerheads when Adidas introduced their Boost technology in footwear. Besides, apart from using the statement to compare the quality of sneakers, ask yourself, are you SBB quality as a Sneakerhead?