The rise (and maybe demise?) of the sneaker

Although the movie trilogy suggests that 1985 is possibly the most famous year in ‘history’, for me, it was 1989 when a 13 year old boy fell in love with sneakers. Marty McFly headed to Hill Valley in the year 2015 and his best friend, Dr. Emmett Brown gave him, for free (best friend in the world. EVER.), what is arguably the most desired sneaker of all time.

The Nike Air Mag had power laces. Shoes that tied themselves.

It was from that moment on that I became obsessed not just with sneakers but Nike sneakers. Air Max, Air Force Ones, Jordans, Dunks, Huaraches, Rifts – I could go on…

Whilst my first branded sneaker was a grey and maroon Puma Laser MKII, I don’t particularly remember people going wild for shoes dropping in Nottingham. You went to a store, saw them on the shelf, asked your mum nicely to buy them and if she said OK – you were King of the World!

The Original Hyped Sneaker Drop?
16 years later, according to designer Jeff Staple, his ‘Nike Pigeon Dunk SB Low’ realeased in February 2005 could have been the original ‘hyped sneaker drop’. People camped out in the freezing cold for a shoe that no one had even seen. Fights broke out in order to get a place in line and once the store opened, they let people through the front door, make the purchase and then let them leave through the back door where taxi cabs were lined up to get people home safely. The resale value of this shoe is currently around $5,000.

Fast forward to the present day
No sooner are kicks released, purchased and delivered, the smart-minded footwear entrepreneur heads just north of NYC’s Canal Street and hands them over to consignment store, Stadium Goods. Genius if I say so myself…

Stadium Goods is the mecca for modern day sneakerheads. Literally walls and walls of any sneaker you could possibly imagine – including (in a glass case) an original pair of Nike Air Mags. They only have them in a size 13 and they only cost $12,000. Only…

Breds – you got it. Oreo’s – you got it. Yeezy’s – you got it. Just make sure you also have a phat wallet to go with it. Shopping at Stadium Goods comes at a price and a large one at that.

But they don’t just sell sneakers, they sell apparel aswell. Whilst sneakerheads take their footwear very seriously, they also take their attire to the same level. Once skater brand, Supreme, has also reached legendary status (brick anyone?)

I do wonder if Stadium Goods is essentially owned by Mr. Supreme, James Jebbia. I’m pretty sure you can buy more Supreme swag in Stadium Goods than you can in the Supreme store itself. Consumers of all ages stand in line, rain, sleet, snow or shine on Lafayette Street in order to get their hands on the latest drop featuring the infamous red box containing “Supreme” in Futura Heavy Oblique – a homage to Barbara Kruger’s propaganda art. No sooner has the purchase been made, its off to Stadium (hand over the) Goods and wait for the Wall Street wannabes to pay double if not triple for a Kermit the Frog t-shirt.

As Danny Glover in Lethal Weapon 2 would say “I’m too old for this shit”
10am Saturday mornings. Not only do most soccer games kick off in the UK but Nike also release the ‘must have’ crepes on and the SNKRS app. Yes I registered on Wednesday afternoon for the ‘Shattereds’ and yes I’m in the ‘zone’ but come 9.59am I have phone in hand, index finger ready to bang the crap out of my mobile device.

Size 9 purchased – YES
“You are in line” – Urrrrgh
28 seconds later – “DIDN’T GET ‘EM This particular Air Jordan is not available in your size.

Sometimes you get them, sometimes you don’t. The highs and lows of the sneaker game…

The Future
The older I get, the more I want to say I’m over the sneaker hype but that would be a total lie. My wife thinks I’m crazy but what are you going to do?

Im not prepared to stand in line, nor am I prepared to pay crazy money for the latest Jordans.

For now, I’m back to being a simple Air Max 1 guy. The red and white OG classic turns 30 on 3.26 – just 10 years younger than me. Maybe this is the shoe for the sneaker connoisseur.

If only my best friend had built a time machine out of a Delorean – I’d head back to 1987 and pick up a few pairs.

Alas, he didn’t build a time machine out of a Delorean and its late so I’m going to make like a tree and get out of here…

Nike Pigeon Dunk SB Low Chaos

“Alright… Power Laces”

Inside Stadium Goods, NYC

Picture taken actually on 3.26 – Bro’s selling so fast, there is even a bouncer on the door