The addiction that can’t be kicked

The addiction that can’t be kicked

To the average person, the terms “Yeezy” and “Foamposite” sound like gibberish; but to some students, it makes perfect sense.  We go by “Sneakerheads,” and I can admit I’m one of them.

Hours are spent poring over sneaker blogs, groups, and pictures, desperate for the newest shoe to appear on eBay.  And every Saturday morning, I wake up at the ungodly hour of 7:59 a.m. to prepare for the newest shoe release at 8:00 o’clock a.m. Yes, teenage boys actually have their eyes wide open before 8 a.m. on a weekend- for sneakers.

The most common question asked of us is “Why?”  Why would anyone in their right mind ever care so much about something that goes on your feet?

Many guys invest in sneakers because each pair has its own story.  Sneakerheads buy signature shoes from their favorite basketball players, like Michael Jordan or LeBron James.  Some kicks are centered around events, such as Black History Month or Christmas.  Others are simply for a good cause, like pink ones for Breast Cancer Awareness.

I can understand why some think it’s strange.  But really, it’s no different than someone trading and collecting baseball cards or sports memorabilia,  except people who collect cards; don’t have the perk of getting to wear them each day.  Sneaker collecting is a culture, and only Fellow Sneakerhead, Gabe Leitner ’17 explained he can strike up a conversation with anyone who is invested with sneakers, because sneaker collecting is a culture.

That culture offers many interesting lessons, especially in history.  Sneaker brands have always been tied in to prominent historical events.  For example, in the 1992 Olympics, the USA Men’s National Basketball Team covered the Reebok logo sewn into their gold medal jackets on the podium because many of those players had contracts with Nike.  At the time, it produced a huge controversy, with headlines splayed across U.S. papers such as “Cover-up Discloses Nike Won Shoe War Barcelona 1992.”

It’s normally girls pining for new shoes and clothes, but now that guys are sharing in their enthusiasm it’s possible the obsession with kicks could make its way to t-shirts or pants.

Only time will tell, but for now Sneakerheads will stick to what they know best– kicks.