My dad is the greatest man I know. He works crazy hard, is super good at what he does for a living, and has always been the one to provide shoes for me when I was younger. In 2016, he started collecting sneakers (thanks to yours truly). I decided to interview him about the topic that we share a love and passion for, sneakers.
What was the first pair of shoes you remember getting excited about?
Shoes were always a big thing to me. The three were Adidas Superstars, which were huge at one time. Getting a pair of those was huge for me. I was in grade school, I was in 5th or 6th grade, but they were THE shoe. Prior to that, it was the Chuck Taylor All Stars, so it was always a big deal for me. Everybody wore Chuck Taylor’s high-tops to play basketball in. That was the only basketball shoe I can remember was considered a basketball shoe that I can remember. I will always remember my first pair of Nikes, which were the Cortez’s, they were so different. I mean, they were such a different shoe, they were kind of a game changer. I can remember all of those happening, the Chuck Taylor’s in grade school, the Adidas Superstar’s at the end of grade school/beginning of middle school, and the Nikes at the end of grade school and beginning of middle school.
Before “collecting”, what kind of shoes were you buying/wearing?
I have always been a Nike guy, so I’ve always been a Nike guy. Except for in college I liked K SWISS, they were just a little different. They were a really great shoe – comfortable – so I wore K SWISS. But, for the most part Nike. Because there was enough of a diversity that you could have a different look, different style, utilize them in different ways. It was always Nike to me. I can’t remember ever getting ways from that. In college there was a company that was out for awhile that were called Pony’s. I wore Pony’s in college to play basketball in.
Why did you start collecting at 55 years old?
I always have loved sneakers. Always. I loved them as a kid, it was always a huge deal when I got sneakers as a kid. The funny thing is that I have never had a time were I was excited about a dress shoe. It’s funny because I wear dress shoes 6 days a week. I have never been excited about dress shoes, never been excited about shopping for dress shoes. But, I have always been willing to spend around $150 on shoes that I can wear about once a week. But, that brought me more satisfaction than the dress shoes, and that is still the case. You have always had an interest in shoes, and you would email me these Jordans because you knew I had an interest in them. At first I was thinking “what is he doing looking at these things because there is no way he can afford these!” I started looking at them and was like, “You know what? I want a pair of these!” It dawned on me that they were expensive, but I was in a position that I could afford it and I started collecting them. It was only made possible because I wouldn’t have collected them if I didn’t feel I had someone that I could turn to and trust on whether something made sense or not. I don’t know if I am really a collector because I don’t do it for the resell value, I am not doing to show off. I always get them in my size and I always say “I won’t have a shoe that I wouldn’t be willing to wear.” There are a few that I don’t wear because I feel like they would look weird on a 55 year old guy, but it isn’t like I can’t wear these because they are rare. You had a huge impact on me doing that and it has become a lot of fun now because you know what’s coming out and I began to understand how to look for them and what’s coming out. Although this has led to me buying even more shoes I don’t need! But now I think of them as a wardrobe statement, not a collection.
What is your favorite pair in your collection?
No question, my favorite pair is the Jordan 3’s. It would be very hard for me to pick a certain colorway. I love the “True Blue” color, though. But that is like picking a favorite child!
What is your go-to pair of shoes?
I have a go-to for just comfort and a go-to for a good look. For the good look, I would say the Air Force One’s. I think they’re clean and good looking. The other ones I would add to that are the Westbrook Zero’s. They are just classy, good look. Both of those are comfortable as well. If you are going for straight comfort, I couldn’t beat the Presto’s or the Lunarcharge’s.
When you wear your shoes, how do they make you feel?
They effect how I feel a lot, because shoes connect me to freedom, in the sense of days off, of doing what I want to do, of the things I enjoy. When I am putting on a pair of dress shoes, it subconsciously means that I have to do something for somebody else. When I am putting on a pair of shoes, that generally subconsciously means that I am going to do something I want to do.
Thanks to my dad for answering my questions, being okay with me getting him into sneakers, and for promising all his shoes to me when he dies!
What do sneakers do for you? Let me know in the comments!