The Death of the Nike Roshe Run: What Went Wrong?

by Christian Atles

What The Heck Happened to Roshe Runs?!

Go back to 2012, when the Roshe Run first released, and ask a sneaker-head if the Nike Roshe Run will die out? You would get a big "NO" from them. Fast forward to 2019 and it is rare to see someone walking down the street with the original Siren Red or Mango styles of the Roshe Run. Ask someone who is under 20 years old "Do you know about the Calypso Roshes" and they probably never heard of them.

I was one of the first customers at West NYC (thanks Lester Wasserman) who purchased the Siren Red and Calypso Roshe Run when they first released. I was following the story behind the release on Sole Collector forums and loved the simple design and abstract colors behind them. When I tried them on, they were the softest sneakers at the time and Nike had a game changer here.

For such a fast selling shoe (I sold my extra Calypso and Siren Reds for $200+ on eBay in the following months) you would have thought that these would be a hot resale sneaker for years to come. However, as you may be aware, Roshe Runs are not "cool" (in demand) anymore. What happened though?

Economics 101: Supply vs Demand

Basic economics state that an increase of supply causes a decrease in demand. This is exactly what happened to the Roshe Run. Nike saw the "hype" from the buyers and noticed that secondary marketplaces like eBay, Roshe Runs were selling at much higher prices.

Nike started to mass produce Roshe Runs in many different colors making them easily available. On top of that, they increased the price from $70 to $75 (at the same time used a cheaper material that made the insoles and comfort feel much harder than the original release). Finally as they didn't see much demand (hype) from the core sneaker fan, they re-released the original colors again within a year.

Looking Ahead 

I think the Nike Roshe Run left a huge impact on the design and innovation part of the footwear industry. If it wasn't for this design, we possibly wouldn't have an Adidas Yeezy 350 Boost or Adidas Ultra Boost for that matter. 

Nike didn't understand the principles of supply and demand, which led to the fall of the Nike Roshe Run. Now I see the same happening with the Adidas Ultra Boost and may soon happen with the Yeezy. I believe people at Adidas are seeing how Yeezys resale numbers are being impacted and will soon cut back on producing a lot. As far as the Ultra Boost, I think its safe to say that the Ultra Boost are the new Roshe Run and we see it with the resale numbers being below retail. 

I personally consider the original release of the Roshe Runs one of softest and most comfortable sneakers I have tried on (yes it competes with Boost material). If you have one of the first releases, let me know if I am correct with my claim.


Shared by Christian


  • An increase in supply does not cause a decrease in demand. The supply/demand graph you used is to represent the point of equilibrium in which prices matches demand. Your entire theory is incorrect. Excess supply would typically lead to a decrease in price, not demand.

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