Over here at Sneaker Miyagi we enjoy sharing our knowledge, passion and thoughts with the whole sneaker community. Today I shall be taking everyone down my memory lane with the phases of being a sneakerhead, I’ll also be sharing my thoughts on how to become a better sneakerhead and how to enjoy being one even more.
First of all, I want to get into the phases of being a sneakerhead. This is my personal journey so far! Let’s get into it!
This is where it all starts for all of us. As kids, we have the kicks that are necessary but one day we walk into a sneaker store and we just start enjoying kicks more than we usually would, it like walking into a toy store!
For me it all started with the Adidas Superstar when I was very young (8-9), I was obsessed with them, as a kid I had 3 pairs of them at the same time; the classic pair, a velcro pair with multicolour stripes and I also had a navy-blue pair!
I was a very fortunate kid and my mum and dad would always lace me with the kicks I wanted most of the time, luckily for me I loved Superstars and they were very tough sneakers that would last so my mum and dad would agree to buying them.
From there onwards I’ve always been attracted to sneakers more than anyone else around me. I had no knowledge about sneakers but I was a fanatic and everything that pleased my eye I just liked for what they were fiscally and not the story behind them or the hype.
I remember the day I stopped being a fanatic and started to become more aware and started acquire more knowledge on sneakers… That was the day I was on my iPhone 4 (cracked screen) looking for white sneakers on Google Images and I came across a pair of OG Air Jordan 6 “Maroon”, I still remember the original picture and I have it stored on my current phone!
From there I investigated and I attempted to find these sneakers for sale but that’s the day I discovered the secondary market, or the resell game as some like to call it. I came across them on Flight Club, and I went exploring the website which lead to discovering and acquiring knowledge on so many sneakers.
Hype… We all go through this and if anyone denies it, they’re lying. Even when you move onto the next phase you never completely lose that inner hypebeast and you will occasionally feel that hype feeling in the future on certain releases.
For me the hype started when I discovered Yeezy‘s on Flight Club, to be exact, the Nike Air Yeezy 2 “Pure Platinum”! I was obsessed with them and I still like them but just not as much as before, I got sucked into the hype surrounding them more than anything else.
As humans we are attracted to what is limited and what is desired by a large quantity of people, it’s natural and when it comes to sneakers it’s hard to ignore, especially when you’re going through this phase.
Even when you exit this phase you can get sucked into the hype on certain kicks, just like I did when the BAPE X NMD “Olive Green” collaboration from last year was announced/released, I loved the look of the kick and I thought they were dope as I love NMD’s and BAPE, but I also got sucked into the hype surrounding them.
For some people this phase will be longer than for others, but eventually the hype dies! You start caring less about hype.
Yes, you’ll see a pair of kicks release or that have been released and you’ll love them and maybe they’ll/they have a lot of hype surrounding them but you don’t care about that, if anything the hype is making it harder and more expensive for you to cop! Once you acquire this mind-set you move onto the next phase…
Significance and meaning… In this phase, you acquire the most knowledge and when you consider purchasing a sneaker it’s not only about the look, it can go deeper than that. Let me set a few recent examples so you understand where I’m coming from:
- Air Jordan 13 “Black Cat”: These dropped early this year and over here they’re still sitting, but do I care? No. Why not? Well to me these kicks are amazing and the reason why is because I’m a huge MJ fan and they represent one of MJ’s nicknames to the fullest! The 13’s were inspired by the black cat (black panther). The outsole designed by Tinker Hatfield was a replica of a black panther’s paw, the hologram balls on the side of the Air Jordan 13’s represent the eyes of the black panther. The Air Jordan 13’s were nicknamed the “Black Cat’s” because of all the features that were on them that represented a black panther, despite the colourways. To me these are the most relevant Black Cat’s Air Jordan’s and they’ll always be the best because of how relevant they are and the history behind them. The Black Cat colourway on the Black Cat Air Jordan’s.
- KITH X Nike Air Force 1 Low “Linen”: This is a recent drop from late last year and these also have a story to tell, originally they were released exclusively in Japan in 2001, and 16 years later KITH teams up with Nike to bring them back exclusively to the new KITH store in Miami. Why did Ronnie Fieg want to bring these back? Well Ronnie Fieg’s favorite sneakers of all time are the Air Force 1 Low “Linen” so he wanted to bring them back to life! Ronnie Fieg is my favorite designer in the sneaker industry, he is a role model of mine. For those that know me I’m a big vachetta tan and killa cam/hotline bling pink fan so these sneakers, with this colourway, my favorite sneaker designer behind them and one of the best sneakers of all time, these are grails in my eyes.
- Nike Foamposite One “Royal”: Would I cop these? I wouldn’t, but I appreciate them. Why? Well if you dig into the history behind the Foamposite’s you’ll discover that originally they weren’t made for Penny Hardaway, they were made for Scottie Pippen but he turned them down so they were given to Hardaway, and the “Royal” colourway happened to be the first colourway to drop! Even though I wouldn’t cop the 2017 release of the “Royal” Foamposite One I still appreciate them because they tell a story and the history as to how they were created is also amazing.
They’re some examples of what I’m trying to transmit and prove to you, as you can see it gets deeper and it’s no longer just about the look of a sneaker, you appreciate the story behind them. With that said, if I don’t like them visually I will very rarely purchase them unless they tell a story that I can relate to and make me feel some type of way. I love to rock my kicks with my fresh fits, but I do appreciate the story behind them, even those that are not appealing to me!
If you ask me, this is the best phase of a sneakerhead’s journey because this is where you begin to appreciate sneakers on a whole new level, and when you acquire the most knowledge! This is where you become a real sneakerhead in my eyes! As you progress through these phases there will always be times where you feel like you did in previous phases but it will never blur the bigger picture.
With that said we’re ready to move onto the next part of this article: What can you do to enjoy the sneaker culture more than you already do? This is an important topic in my eyes and since doing these four things I’ve loved and enjoyed the sneaker culture so much more. Let’s get into it!
Just Be Yourself
Don’t let other people make choices for you, be yourself. If there are some sneakers that you like but they’re sitting on shelves because the mass majority of people don’t like them, get them because you like them.
Currently in the society/community we live in, we rely on other people’s opinions and views and don’t take our own into as much consideration as we should, it’s ok to ask others for their opinion but always do what you feel like doing. You should learn to be yourself and purchase what makes you feel good.
We shouldn’t rely on sneakers to make ourselves feel good but as a sneakerhead, when you put them new fresh J’s on your feet you feel like it’s Christmas and you’re walking downstairs to see what Santa Claus has brought you! Don’t rely on materialistic things but enjoy them to the fullest, especially sneaker. With that said; do you, be you!
Quality over Quantity
This is the most important topic, always get quality over quantity. Any experienced and knowledgeable sneakerhead will tell you the same thing as I’m telling you now.
A lot of fanatics feel like the need to get quantity over quality but that’s not true, quality will always outweigh quantity and that’s not only based on the sneaker game, that’s in every aspect of life; Why have five women/men that you lust? You’re better off with just one that you love and are loyal to.
Never buy a sneaker that you like, only buy sneakers that you love; If you buy sneakers that you like eventually you’ll stop liking them, if you buy sneakers that you love, you might go through stages where you don’t wear them as much but you’ll never lose that spark. I’ll set a personal example:
- Air Jordan 1 “BHM” 2015: These are a pair of sneakers that I go in December of 2015, I really liked them at that moment in time but I didn’t love them. Now I look at them and it’s my biggest sneaker regret, after realising what I did I said to myself that I’d never buy a pair of sneaker that I just liked, I’d only buy those that I loved and would love forever.
- Air Jordan 6 OG “Maroon”: You previously heard my story about how I came across the sneaker culture and how I discovered the secondary market, well it was all thanks to these. In late 2015 they retro’d and I still remember my alarm going off on my Nexus 5 and me logging into Nike’s website and being in the que for 25 minutes waiting for it to go through, I took a W and it’s the happiest I’ve ever been when it comes to take W’s on release days. I loved these sneakers and I still love them to this date, I’d cop five pairs of these and have them stored in my closet. True sneaker love right there, and that’s what you need to find!
This was the original image I found, I have a copy of it on every cloud based account of mine and on every physical device I have, I cherish this image.
WW2? French Revolution? No no, not that kind of history. I mean the history and stories behind sneakers that you have, love, or will purchase in the future. Most people don’t do this until they reach the significance phase of being a sneakerhead, but I think it’s something everybody in every phase should do.
You’ll find that sneaker history and stories are incredibly deep and insanely interesting, here’s a prime example; did you know that Eric Avar and his team got their inspiration to create the Nike Air Foamposite One’s from a beetle (insect)? Did you ever think that it looked like a beetle’s shell?
Well it’s no coincidence, it’s a fact. That is a prime example. Details, stories and facts like these expand your knowledge on sneakers and the culture. When you acquire knowledge, and start sharing it with others you’ll be respected and you’ll get a sense of satisfaction because you’re expanding the knowledge of those around you.
You can never stop learning about sneakers because there is always something new just around the corner! Knowledge is the key to success.
Join/Create a Community
By joining a community, you have people that share the same passion as you, people that are willing to talk about sneakers all day, and people that will be willing to help you out when it comes to purchasing sneakers that you can’t get your hands on.
The first community that I joined was SneakerHeads Animo that you can download from the Play Store or App Store. While being on that platform I grew as a sneakerhead and I became a leader/curator of the app for a period of time, from that platform I made real friendships and it opened doors for me to go down new paths.
It’s not about what you know in order to grow, it’s about who you know… With that said find a community that suits you, I recommend SneakerHeads Animo to any sneakerhead out there, make sure you download it!
I hope this article has given you an insight into the journey of a sneakerhead and I also hope it has paved a path for you to grow as a sneakerhead. If you enjoyed the article be sure to leave a comment and hit us up via our social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @SneakerMiyagi.