For The Love of Kicks
I may not have been in the sneaker game as long as many people that I know, but it doesn’t require much to realize how much hype can influence an individual’s preferences. I guess the following is just an observation and me just thinking out loud.
Yes it’s true-Jordan 1s are one of the most popular sneakers for many, and it’s one of the dominant models that are featured on many ‘Top X’ lists. I’m not knocking that at all-the AJ1 appears on my Top 10 list a couple times too. Thing is, I came across one list that another sneakerhead had, and it literally was just all AJ1s. My initial thought was, surely they have other models that they like aside from this? They should really diversify. That being said, if I’m wrong and they only like the AJ1, that’s not wrong at all.
The thing that bothered me when I saw the aforementioned list was that it feels like we’re losing our personal preferences to hype. We’ve drifted to a mindset of ‘is this what everyone’s wearing’ and ‘will these turn heads and break necks when I wear them’ instead of genuinely liking them (at least the way I see it anyway).
"We don’t even know what we like anymore we just know what the most hype is"
Late Night in Kauai, Childish Gambino feat. Jaden Smith
For example, let’s talk about the Travis Scott Air Max 270. Lets be real here friends, that pair is just....let’s just say it’s at the bottom of the list of sneakers that Travis has done with Nike/Jordan. All I know is, if I were Travis and Nike asked me what model I’d like to work on next, the 270 would be at the very end; not even close to the top of my list.
Yet, like every other TS sneaker, it sold out and is now reselling for double/triple its retail price. Typical. Not surprised. I personally wasn’t able to win a raffle or grab one for retail. I know it’s an ugly shoe - yet I spent a good week or so fighting with the urge to pay to play and grab it on StockX/Goat etc. In reality, would I wear them? Maybe once or twice. Yet that urge to grab them for resale was prevalent within me because anything remotely related to Travis Scott is trending at the moment, and if you were to wear anything related, you’d get that attention. Granted, I’m also trying to complete my ‘gauntlet’ of Travis’ sneakers, but I’ll gladly pass on the 270s.
I guess what I’ve been trying to say is that I miss the substance when it comes to sneakers. It’s a different feeling when you listen to someone who’s passionate about something they love (this can apply to anything). Their stories are so in depth and personal that their passion somehow rubs off on you just a bit, even if it’s not your interest.
I love hearing collectors talk about the backstory on how they got their kicks, why they worked so hard to get what they have now, things like that. Those are amazing stories that really give you some insight into the mindset of the collector, compared to others that just say things like ‘these are fire so I grabbed them.’
It’s something I’ve been trying to apply myself and my collection, which in turn has also helped me cut down on pairs.
At the end of the day, make sure that the sneakers you buy are ones that you genuinely love and aren’t a cop just because they were hype-hype doesn’t last very long, and trends are always coming and going.