Whenever someone finds out that I collect sneakers, they usually ask me at least one of the following questions. This is most definitely not a rant – I love talking to people about this hobby – but I think its fun to explain why I find these questions so challenging. Besides, if I get asked these in person so frequently, lots of people might like to know the answers!
How many sneakers do you have?
This has to be the most frequently asked question I get! I find it difficult to answer for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I don’t actually know how many sneakers I own. It is a fairly high number but not into three figures. I am working towards a one in/one out policy now to keep a handle on the storage issues.
Secondly, when I do answer the question, the reaction is not always positive. Obviously the collection represents a pretty large sum of money spent. The current lifestyle trend towards minimalism kind of makes it feel a bit gauche to discuss something as maximal as a shoe collection. I don’t feel ashamed or guilty about my sneakers but sometimes I just don’t want to engage in a debate about my complicity in the capitalist system of consumerism, you know?
How did you start getting into sneakers?
This one should be fun to answer! Most people have a great story about how they started getting into it. I, on the other hand, don’t. In hobbies like this one, gatekeeping around authenticity can be rampant. Authentic sneakerheads have been into sneakers since they were kids, they have pics of themselves as 10 year olds wearing retros, they balled in high school, they have line-up war stories from the early 2000s, they remember when you could just walk into Foot Locker and pick up a Jordan from the shelf, they grabbed Urawas when they went to outlet… and on, and on. I don’t have those stories so when I try to answer the question it just feels like I have nothing to say.
The truth is that I grew up as a nerdy kid who didn’t know anything about fashion or sports. A few years ago I was obsessed with the way some bloggers were wearing Common Projects, and I wanted a pair but was put off by the $400+ price tag (LOL). Then I saw a pic of the Roshe Metrics. Love at first sight, and of course they were out of stock and very unavailable. It took me months to track down a pair and while I was doing it I learned so much about sneakers and the resale market and sneaker sites that I ended up building a new obsession. Later, after I met my girlfriend I began appreciating Jordans (sneakers I never thought I could pull off).
Which one is your favourite?
Impossible. Even just writing this now I can’t think of a favourite! Different pairs of sneakers bring so many different qualities that I can’t choose just one (or even a top 5). Right now I am in love with my Kaws 4s, my Atmos elephant Air Max, my Saucony x Baits, my Yeezy Zebras, my Breds, my Air Max Moon Landings and my Tokyo 5s. Ask me again next week and the list will probably be totally different!
What is your best pick up story?
Since I don’t camp (that is probably worth a blog post in and of itself), my stories about pick-ups are just super boring. They are all a combination of dedicated research and reading and talking to people + having money available. Winning the raffle for the Atmos x Jordan/Air Max pack was a unique experience but the pick up story was as simple as waking up to a DM and then driving to the store to buy the shoes. Not a lot of drama there.
If you could have any sneaker which one would it be?
In an earlier post I talked a lot about obsessions vs. grails. At any given time there are a bunch of sneakers I am obsessing over so I find it hard to choose just one. Actually wait, this isn’t hard to answer at all… there is only, and will only ever be, one answer. The Air Max 1 “Cherrywood”.