Ever since Run DMC rapped about “My Adidas” back in 1986, sneakers have been inextricably tied to hip hop culture. A year earlier, Nike released its first pair of Air Jordans, linking the world’s best known Air Jordan 2 athlete with what would come to be the world’s most coveted shoe (an original $65 pair of Air Jordan recently sold on eBay for over $2,000) [source: ‘]Time].Between the Air Jordan 3s cult followings that formed around Adidas and Nike in the 1980s, Air Jordan 17s athletic shoes went from being Jordan Winterized 6 Rings practical accessories to fashion statements and even political statements. Run DMC’s lace less white Adidas, for example, not only looked cool, but were a nod to prison culture, where laces were often confiscated [source: YouTube].Sneakerplay is the largest and most active sneaker culture social network online. Members can create MySpace like profile pages with embedded MP3 music files, blogs, and of course, plenty of pictures of their sneaker collections. There’s even a section on the site for sneaker battles, where visitors to the site vote between two pairs of prized footwear.Sneaker culture is fueled by an obsession with limited edition releases and rare retro shoes. Nike keeps Air Jordan 2 Retro the craziness alive by releasing extremely limited editions that are only sold in one store, one day, and that’s it.For example, Nike manufactured just 140 pairs of its Cowboy Air Max 180s and sold them at a single store in Miami [source: Time]. People have been known to camp out for days to get their hands on these rarities. Some simply add the sought after shoes to their collections, while others turn around and sell them online for huge profits.