The Manila Sneaker Expo 12, like its previous iterations, allows sneakerheads to cop almost every pair imaginable. The event represents today’s thriving sneaker industry, from good deals to collector’s items and window shoppers to hardcore enthusiasts.
With such a high-profile gathering graced by figures like Bigboy Cheng and Private Selection, the Manila Sneaker Expo 12 is also an opportunity for local stores and collectors to flex their grails. Grails are the limited shoes the community goes crazy for; most fetch extravagant resell prices well over their market value. They’re profitable for sellers, a source of collector pride, and instant head-turners for anyone who wears them.
We toured Manila Sneaker Expo 12 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay in search of grails, and here’s what we found. Take note that there were literally thousands of sneakers at the Expo. If ever you were in the area and managed to find one we missed, comment below.
Louis Vuitton Air Force 1 (Shoe Game Manila)
Price: PHP 10 million
Designed by the late designer and Off-White founder Virgil Abloh, the Louis Vuitton Air Force 1 was created during the former’s brief tenure as the luxury fashion brand’s artistic director. Before his passing in 2021, Abloh saw an unprecedented opportunity to bridge the worlds of streetwear, hip-hop, and high fashion, and the pair was posthumously released to the public in 2022.
Manila Sneaker Expo 12 co-founder Ron de Vera told us that the handcrafted sneakers are still looking for buyers for the whopping price tag of PHP 10 million.
Jordan 4 “Manila” (Shoe Game Manila)
Price: upwards of PHP 570K (StockX)
Created to celebrate the opening of the first-ever Jordan Brand store in the Philippines, only 150 pairs of the Jordan 4 “Manila” exist in the world. Kiefer Ravena owns pair #149 as Jordan Brand’s first Filipino athlete, while DJ Khaled flexed his in 2022.
Meanwhile, local collector Jed Dulay has six of them on display at Manila Sneaker Expo 12.
Air Jordan F&F, PE collection (Jed Dulay)
Price: Houses and lots (probably)
The most insane flex at Manila Sneaker Expo 12, the collection features “Friends and Family” (F&F) and “Players Exclusive” (PE) Jordan silhouettes. According to Dulay, the rarest ones are the “Craig Sager” Jordan 1 and “Pinnacle” PE, created by MJ’s daughter, Jasmine Jordan. Dulay is tight-lipped about how much his entire collection costs, but we’re betting we don’t have enough kidneys to afford it.
BAPE x Marvel 2022 (Cop Kicks Manila)
Price: PHP 35,000 (each), PHP 315,000 (entire collection)
It’s hard enough to get a pair from the Marvel x BAPE STA 2022 collection, but it’s another to assemble the entire 9-piece collection. The lineup, which revisits the original 2005 effort, features colorways inspired by OG characters like Spider-Man, Iron Man, and the Hulk, while new designs include Captain America, Black Widow, and Rocket Racoon.
The shoes were selling for PHP 35,000 each at Cop Kicks Manila, with one of the staff revealing that an unnamed buyer called dibs on the whole collection at PHP 315,000.
Jordan 1 Dior (Good Soles PH)
Price: PHP 500,000
One of the most talked-about releases of 2020, the Jordan 1 Dior High first retailed at $2,200 (PHP120k), but now commands a resell price tag of PHP500,000 according to a pair we spotted at Good Soles PH. The resell market is definitely booming, and the pair is undeniably gorgeous.
Jordan 1 Travis Scott Fragment (Auto Kicks)
Price: PHP 220,000.
A crowd-favorite at Complex PH, we spotted Auto Kicks PH selling a pair of Fragment Highs for PHP 220,000.
Off-White x Air Jordan 1 “UNC” & “White” – (Pamper Your Feet PH)
Price: ‘White” (PHP 225,000), ‘UNC’ (135,000)
Off-White x Jordan 1s have always fetched a hefty sum since their debut in 2017 as part of a ten-part collaboration between the luxury brand and Nike. The late designer Virgil Abloh deconstructed and designed several Swoosh silhouettes which sold out within minutes, and have since been resold at prices ten times more than the original.
BAPE x adidas Dame 4 – (The Good Sneaks)
Price: PHP 30,000
Inspired by Damian Lillard’s fascination with rapper Lil Wayne, the BAPE Dame 4 first debuted at the 2018 All-Star Weekend.
Kobe V Protro “5x Champ” & “Big Stage” (Sole Avenue)
Price: “5x Champ” (PHP 19,000) “Big Stage” (PHP 35,000) – Stock X
As a die-hard Kobe fan, Sole Avenue’s Kobe V Protros left me salivating. “Big Stage” haunts my dreams. Celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Laker legend’s 5th championship, it is one of the most beautiful Mamba pairs to exist in my humble opinion. Meanwhile “5x Champ” pays homage to the championship-themed jackets gifted to Kobe after his second and third titles.
Spotted in Sole Avenue’s collection is the Air Force 1 Low x PEACEMINUSONE Para-Noise, a creation of South Korean artist G-Dragon.