Tell us about the one pair of sneakers you couldn't live without?
Currently, I would have to say my Vans Skate Hi (Model 38) in the original black and white colourway. There were definitely a number of other pairs that I had in mind, but the deciding factor for me was the frequency of which I was wearing each pair. In this case, my Vans Skate His definitely take the cake. I've had this particular pair for just about a year, and they've been in my consistent rotation ever since. They're super easy to wear, and even though they aren't the most comfortable pair of shoes at first, once you break them in they're amazing. I've also been skating this particular pair on and off since like March of last year.
How did you come across them?
I originally ended up getting this pair last year shortly after I had gotten a new pair of A.P.C. Petit New Standards. I wanted a shoe that I could wear with my new denim that I wasn't afraid to ruin, because I knew that there would be some dye transfer and I didn't want to ruin any of my other shoes. So as a result, I decided on getting a pair of Skate His, and the rest is history. What's kind of cool about how I came across them too, is that my friend Jake had gotten me back into skating last year. I started skateboarding in middle-school and continued skating on and off until my sophomore year of high school. After that I lost interest in skating, even though I still felt very connected to it. Long story short, this was my shoe of choice when I got back into skating last year, and they've done me rather well ever since.
What led you to sneaker collecting?
I would say that my interest in sneakers and collecting was sparked in middle-school. At the time I was just starting to skate, but I was also playing basketball and soccer so I was surrounded by sneakers rather frequently. As far as skate shoes went, I really liked Lakai. I don't remember the exact model, but it was a navy pair with silver laces and silver Lakai branding. They were super bulky and ugly but I thought they were so cool at the time. As far as basketball shoes went, I think the most memorable shoe I had growing up was the black Del Sol Kobe 4. I got them during my freshmen year of high school, and at the time they seemed so revolutionary to me since they were a low top basketball shoe. It was shortly thereafter that I got a job working at Champs, and as a result, my interest in sneakers exploded exponentially. I was surrounded by them 24/7 so I think it was only natural that my interest in them would grow as well. That being said, I wouldn't necessarily consider myself a collector. I've heavily downsized my collection over the last year and a half which I'm actually very satisfied with.
If given the chance to collaborate on one sneaker design, which brand and model would you choose? What would the finished product look like?
The immediate answer for me would be an Air Max 1. It's one of my favourite silhouettes/sneakers of all time, and I honestly think it would be an honour to collaborate on an Air max 1. One of my favourite recent pairs is the Germany SP pair (black canvas with the camo hyperfuse upper) from the country camouflage pack. While I wouldn't want to do a camouflage pair, I would like to use military infused materials like ballistic nylon, military grade canvas, and hyperfuse to create a durable and low key pair of shoes. Most importantly, I'd need to make sure that the toe box shape would be A-1. I'd hate to have to call the shape police on my own collab.
Tell us about the most memorable sneakers from your childhood.
I mentioned it a little bit earlier, but I think that one pair of shoes that I really remember having growing up was that navy pair of Lakais. I got them from this board shop called "The House", and I remember getting them with a pair of white and black DC's that sort of looked like a Jordan 1 low. I know that sounds so lame but those Lakais were honestly so cool to me. I remember that they came with a sticker sheet of Lakai and Crailtap stickers which I threw on just about everything.
Were there any sneakers you couldn't afford growing up?
I would say that my parents, in particular my lovely mother Denise kind of kept me around a certain price point growing up, but she would buy me some more expensive pairs occasionally. That said, once I got my first job and started making my own money, I was able to start buying whatever I really wanted. It was nice to know that I could buy whichever pairs I wanted through my own hard work.
What is your biggest sneaker pet peeve?
Oh without a doubt it would be toe box shape, and in particular it would be on the Air Max 1. It's one of my favourite silhouettes of all time, and I think it's a shame that Nike is okay with putting out pairs that have such an awkwardly shaped toe box. That said, I think this applies to any pair of shoes. Personally I prefer when shoes have a more fluid and streamlined shape in the toe box, but of course this isn't always the case with many shoes. However, if I catch you wearing some badly shaped Air Max 1's I won't hesitate to call the shape police on you.
Tell us about your most recent pickup.
My most recent pickup is the all black pair of the Nike SB blazers. I really wanted a new pair of shoes to skate for the spring, and I also really wanted a pair of all black skate shoes, so the blazers seemed like a perfect fit. I really like the shape of the shoe, and they're super comfortable to wear and skate in. Other than that, I haven't really picked up much in the last few months. Now that I think about it, the last pickup I had prior to these blazers were the black and white pair of Adidas Palace Pros which are phenomenal in person.
What pair of sneakers continues to elude you?
Currently I feel as though I have just about every pair of shoes that I really want. However, there are a few pairs that I would like to find at some point in the future. I would love to have a pair of the olive Wtaps x Vans Skate His. I think that shoe is incredible, and I would even love to have the navy pair too. I'd also really like to find a pair of HOA Air Max 1's from 2005 in the OG University Red colorway. That pair is still so fire to me, and everything about the shoe from the shape to the materials are perfect!