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Column: Collecting kicks for my sole

'So when it's over bury me with my sneakers and know I was the realist.'

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"Being a sneakerhead is just another extension of myself I can use to reach out to people, which is why I’ll remain inspired to keep wearing the greatest of all time shoes."

Photo by Edna Hernandez

Photo by Edna Hernandez

"Being a sneakerhead is just another extension of myself I can use to reach out to people, which is why I’ll remain inspired to keep wearing the greatest of all time shoes."

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Throughout my life, I’ve seen people go out to the store and buy new kicks for comfort. They’ll put on anything with no specific desire to fit into society’s standards to look cool, based off the fact that shoes are just something to wear.

To me, shoes mean so much more. They’re gateways to expressing myself through specific tastes and styles, all without saying a word. When I was young, I was always fascinated in the features each shoe presented. It didn’t help much that I was raised around people who sought out the same detail. ‘Sneakerhead’ was a term introduced to me by my older brother. It means someone who admires, collects and values shoes.

Now that I’m older and maintain a stable job, I can afford to treat myself every once in awhile with new shoes. I only pick out what I think is best for myself and prefer to buy shoes that can match with any outfit. I’ve spent countless hours searching for the best deals and brand new kicks to show my personality. Appearance is an important part of my life. When I look good, I generally feel good.

After a while of collecting an assortment of shoes, I’ve found my particular taste consists of adidas and Jordan’s simply because they don’t make me look like Goofy from Disney because of my shoe size. It’s never been easy for me to obtain what I wanted because of the size of my feet. I find it best to not go in the store and search because more than likely, the store will not carry a size 15 and if it does, it’s not in the color I want.

I always take extra precautions to maintain my shoes. By buying shoe protector spray, I no longer have to worry about weather damage from dirt, rain or snow. Stains won’t be an issue either so I don’t need to hold back on having fun for the day. After two years or so, when the shoes are not in style and using a toothbrush to clean them just doesn’t cut it anymore, I sell my shoes to friends. I appreciate my friends who indulge in the same hobby as me because they know the value of shoes. If money is ever low, selling my old pair is a great way to recoup money for the next pair of shoes.

I find myself casually complimenting strangers who might not even know what models of shoes they’re wearing. Sometimes I find out they own shoes that I tracked for weeks and set up notifications on my phone to await their arrival; only to hear they just walked in and bought them with no sense of urgency or effort. Laughing at my failures when it comes to shoes has been beneficial because it has helped me get over the dread of not having what I wanted when I wanted it.

This hobby can be expensive, but when I play it smart, I don’t have to stand in line for shoe raffles anymore hoping my number gets called. Now, I choose to wait in line online and most times, for a better deal.

The world is advancing, making it easier to buy shoes. It is now more efficient and customers have a wider variety to pick from. I remember the feeling of defeat when I tried to get a pair of Air Jordan’s in a raffle at the mall. I’d rather know the feeling of clicking ‘buy’ online and receiving the pop up saying it’s sold out, than being told in person after spending a significant amount of time waiting that it was all for nothing.

Being a sneakerhead is just another extension of myself I can use to reach out to people, which is why I’ll remain inspired to keep wearing the greatest of all time shoes. So when it’s over, bury me with my sneakers and know I was the realist.

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Column: Collecting kicks for my sole