Some people get addicted to heroin, others gambling. While I enjoy my Newports more than I should, the addiction we’re going to delve into together is the wonderfully excessive, insanely level-headed, cooler than you know addiction to men’s shoes…er…I mean, sneakers.Classics only come along every once in awhile…that’s why they call them “classics.” Arguably the greatest basketball shoe ever conceived, the Air Jordan VI has been re-released to the public for one more tribute to the classic of classics, the men among boys. Being a self described shoe addict, or as I put it, Sneak Geek, I am here to tell the tale of the sneakerhead.
The addiction does not wait long. I still have my very first pair of shoes (seriously, my pops actually kept my very first pair, and as a matter of fact, he used to hang them from his rearview mirror in the car) with the little basketball on them: Chuck Taylor-esque baby shoes! A really interesting exercise for any real sneakerhead out there is to take a trip down Memory Lane of Shoes Past and list some of the more significant pairs of shoes you’ve owned. At the same time, the sneakerhead is able to acknowledge poorer places on this planet that don’t know (and may never know) what shoes even are. This delicate balance is what being a Sneakerhead is all about.
The special event this Sneakerhead would like to focus on first in this series is the re-release of the Air Jordan VI from the Greatest of All-Time-Mr. Michael Jeffrey Jordan. When these shoes first dropped, Jordan’s Chicago Bulls were at the beginning stages of their dynasty, and Jordan was inserting himself not only into the record books of the NBA, but also into the record books of shoe marketing with Nike and founder Phil Knight. I had the original VIs when I was a shorty in the early 90s, and I will get them again as a so-called adult in the 21st Century because The Sneakerhead is a collector, a preserver of history, not necessarily an addict. The potential for addiction is definitely present in the pursuit of a perfect collection. This pursuit keeps youth alive in every one of us. We buy the shoes with our own hard-earned money as adults, and we enjoy our ever-growing collection as children again. The balance between our inner child and our undeniable adult, the balance between our selfishness to buy and our awareness of the less fortunate, and the balance between counterculture and confronting conformity make The Sneakerhead Culture a lifestyle few take the time to understand, but those who do, enjoy life on a different level. If you have to ask, you’ll never know…