THE HOUSE IS ON FIRE AND THERE IS ONLY TIME TO GRAB 5 PAIRS OF SNEAKERS
I read a List the other day about which stylish boots best attract women. Fuck boots. I hate boots. Is it snowing in LA? Am I one of Mumford’s sons? The thing with sneakerheads is that they are totally disinterested in appealing to the females. Sneaker culture is all about dudes rubbernecking on your feet heat. Daddy issues. This one's for @dev.
- •Air JordansYou can trace sneaker collecting back to the Air Jordan. Basketball's all-time MVP forever changed how we view the tennis shoe - His extraordinary career, Nike's rise, and the idea of sneaker as status symbol are all inextricably tied. Like many guys (and girls) my age, my parents never bought me Jordans. As soon as I could catch a paycheck, I was directing them towards the Jumpman (collectively, this is how sneaker culture exploded). My #1s? Fours, Fives, Sixes, Sevens, and of course - Ones.
- •Converse All-StarWhy doesn't the Converse All-Star die? The All-Star's classic basketball silhouette - shared by PF Flyers - is the skeleton, the bare bones, of what you need in a sneaker: Cavnas, Rubber, Laces. Transcending generations, cultures, and class, it's the People's Shoe. The Chuck is simultaneously the least and most comfortable sneaker ever. They work on the Ramones, tuxedos, and on my feet most every day. Maybe it has to do with the fact that Chucks only get better with age. The alpha and the omega.
- •Reebok Tennis PumpTennis Pumps? Mmmhm. There was this bizarre chapter in sports history when tennis started deviating down an alternative path, led by the lion-maned Andre Agassi. Nike capitalized with his signature Air Tech Challenges, dressed in safety neons and splatter paint. For some reason, Reebok responded with Chinese-American churchboy Michael Chang (?!). On the tails of their popular basketball Pump, they introduced Chang’s Tennis Pump. I dunno, I was Asian, I could relate. Plus, the ball was.. furry.
- •The Hundreds X ???At some point, my love for sneakers and my job converged. Over the years, I not only developed our own footwear collection, but have had the fortune of collaborating with some of my favorite shoe brands. adidas let us incorporate our logo with their famous trefoil. For the first time ever, Reebok allowed us to manipulate their Pump! Next up, The Hundreds Timberlands (and some more Reebok and adidas projects on the horizon).
- •adidas Ultra BoostSneaker collecting is as big as ever. Mine was the first generation to pour the cement. We hunted for shelltoes, Dunks, and Agassis. Now, we're competing with the next class who have grown up post-Jordan-era. Today, it's about Foamposites, Kobes, and Buscemis. My favorite modern sneaker is the adidas Ultra Boost. Typically, the higher EVA running soles perform, the less comfortable they wear. adidas solves that with Boost soles (tiny EVA balls): technology inspired by car dashboards.
- •The truth is...I stopped collecting sneakers almost ten years ago. I came home to my then-apartment and my door was riven. Come to realize that while everything's in its place, my sneaker closet's ransacked. I completely lost my head for a good five minutes, and then it struck. How could I let something as inconsequential as SHOES get the better of me? I was ashamed. I felt really silly. After that, I never again confused matter with what matters.
- •WHAT ARE THOOOOOSE!?BONUS: Okay, I do still collect one piece of footwear, but they’re not sneakers. They’re Locals™ flip-flops from the Maui Longs drugstores. Since I’m out there a couple times a year, my first stop is to grab a pair of $5.99 sandals. They always offer rare and limited colorways, and the sizing is mad confusing (I’m an 11, but wear a 9.5 or 13?!). They’re the most comfortable and practical slippers and you can only get them in Hawaii. I’m very proud of these.