Jordans are the most sought-after sneakers in Pennsylvania. What makes the shoe so popular in Keystone State?
Sneakerhead community, get ready for a duh moment.
Research by The Sole Supplier indicated that Jordans were the most sought-after sneakers among Pennsylvania residents in 2021. The study, which tracked the most commonly used Google keywords in each state, also confirmed that Air Force 1 was the most popular sneaker in the country.
Retro Jordans have long been one of the nation’s most popular sneakers, so The Sole Supplier’s findings shouldn’t come as a surprise. Compared to other states, however, Pennsylvania stood out as an outlier.
Jordan was the most wanted shoe in just one other state. It was Oklahoma, whose college program signed a deal with Jordan in 2018. Nike and Yeezy topped the list.
Thierry Ngutegure, data analyst for The Sole Supplier, said he tracked “about 3,000 words around the sneakers” and compiled data using a per capita model. Jordan performed an average of 60,500 Google searches in Pennsylvania. Only Nike in California and Texas had higher volume, and New York’s numbers were similar to Keystone state.
This begs the question: why is Jordan so interested in Pennsylvania?
Penn State and Pittsburgh are both Nike schools. And although Jordan is a subsidiary of Nike, the clothes at these schools have a check mark, not the Jumpman logo. Joel Embiid and Bryce Harper are Under Armor athletes. The only Eagles player sponsored by Jordan Brand is running back Jordan Howard, who was not on the 53-man roster and is on the practice squad.
“Pennsylvania, I can see them looking a lot because there are a lot of rural areas and there are a lot of sneaker stores here. [in Philadelphia]”Said Mike Molino, co-owner of Suplex sneaker store in Philly.” The Jordans are huge here. “
It seems to come down to a stylistic preference. Philly has an old school feel due to its relevance throughout sneaker history. Allen Iverson’s Reebok questions are always popular. Charles Barkley and Julius Erving have each had some of the most successful shoes in their playing careers.
Yet many Philly sneakerheads have always had a special place for retro Jordans. This fascination is only amplified by young consumers.
“These kids don’t know Mike [Jordan], I don’t care if I know Mike, ”Molino said. “They don’t buy a Jordan with him in mind. It became his own thing.
»READ MORE: Inquirer LIVE: Philly Sneaker Culture
General interest in sneakers increased during the pandemic, Ngutegure said. Much of this can be attributed to the fact that people have fewer plans and choose new hobbies, but the fascination with sneakers has also increased in the media. It’s harder than ever to walk into a store and buy a new pair of Jordans or Yeezys, so shows and markets are embracing the change.
“For [sneakerheads], we could physically search for the purpose of buying, said Ngutegure, “where now there is a whole new audience looking for the purpose of [learning] what is an Air Jordan 1. ”