In a world where any sneaker is pretty much a Paypal transaction or eBay posting away, the self proclaimed sneaker head is at an all time high. What does it mean to be a sneaker head? Do you go to your local shoe store and fill out an application for this status? Do others call you this? Do you just know? How do you know?
For years I’ve been purchasing sneakers. As a freshmen in high school on a budget, I would go into my local shoe store searching for a deal with my “allowance money.” Eventually I would get a job at my local CVS making a fortune of $7.75 an hour. Now I could walk in and buy a pair of Premium Air Force 1s at $125 retail, and buy a matching hat if I was lucky. At that time my sneakers really allowed me to be an individual. Walking through the hallways in a sea of the past weekend’s Air Jordan retro release, Nike Baltoro boots would stick out like a sore thumb. Leaving football practice and walking into the Varsity Basketball game in Send Help SBs would break many necks during a close playoff game. Before I knew it I had 20 pairs of sneakers. My mother thought I was crazy. So crazy, that I ended up having to sneak many of my sneakers into my house as my modest 20 pairs doubled, tripled, and then some. The feeling I used to get walking into my local shoe store after school and seeing a shoe that I’ve wanted for 6 months is $50 dollars under retail. The excitement when you told the sale’s clerk, ‘Hold those for me, I’ve only got $80 on me’ and they let you slide. The rush of running 20 minutes each way up hill on your 30 minute break to get a pair of sold out sneakers your local pusha is holding for you. The memories that rush through your brain when you get those shoes in your 20s that your parent’s couldn’t afford to buy for you during your adolescence. That’s the moment you realize your a sneaker head.
Being a sneaker head isn’t having all the latest releases, spending your rent on shoes, or instagramming all the sneakers you have on ice, it’s about the experience, connection and memories. Being a sneaker head isn’t about impressing other people and never wearing your shoes. Every shoe tells a story and definitely has a memory behind it. Some shoes are more nostalgic than others, but every step I take I will be true to me. Do it for yourself. Your holy grail may mean nothing to the next man, but as long you like them, that’s all that matters. –wn?