The big news in the sneaker industry last week was a piece from Bloomberg Businessweek detailing the life of a successful sneaker reseller.

What on the surface appeared to be another cringeworthy story of a sneaker reseller scouring the country for pairs he could flip for a massive profit, it quickly turned into something much more when the author revealed that the subject’s mother, Ann Hebert—whose name was on the credit card the reseller was using to fund his supply—was a longtime executive at Nike. The optics were terrible, especially when the sneaker reseller in question alludes to the fact that it’s all about “who you know” in his hometown of Portland throughout the article. Hebert has since stepped down from her Vice President position at Nike, leading to more speculation about just how involved she was in her son’s operation.

Despite the general spiciness of the article, it’s not at all shocking. It was just a few weeks ago when the entire industry was [openly investigating]( whether Marcus Jordan, the son of MJ himself, was backdooring pairs of his Trophy Room Jordan Is, thanks to a chaotic release which saw thousands of pairs hit the resale market before the shoe even dropped.

If His Airness’ kin and Nike executives aren’t immune to the temptation of backdooring pairs for massive profit, no one is. There are millions of dollars to be made reselling sneakers and who are any of us to tell them not to? It’s just further confirmation that the sneaker game as we knew it is has changed. Call it rigged, call it unfair, but the bottom line is: The industry isn’t trying to deal with supply issues on its own—it’s clearly participating in the problem.

Buying and selling sneakers is a time honored tradition, whether you’re posting on Grailed, or doing an individual meet up or going to a local sneaker event. It’s what makes a site like Grailed hold real value to the culture at large. There was a time (not that long ago) when you had to wait in line and hope you could snag one pair of shoes, now you simply have to buy a bot who’s capable of dismantling an entire website’s checkout process in milliseconds, or make a shop owner an offer he can’t refuse.

The rest of us just hope to get lucky once in a while, or determine whether that pair we’re eyeing up on release day is worth paying a premium for on the resale market. We’re hoping that this spate of tough headlines for the sneaker industry will drive some real change from the top down. Only time will tell.

This is The Week in Sneakers, your one-stop shop for the week’s sneaker news, release info and historical context. Let’s take a look at what’s happening in the sneaker world this week.

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Lead image courtesy of Bloomberg Businessweek.

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