It’s All In The Shoes
The other day I offered my pithy words of wisdom that you can tell everything you need to know about a person from the knees down. Here’s a fandom that agrees with me:
It’s an obsession that has been gaining traction in recent years, even as overall sneaker sales have grown slowly. There are Web sites, magazines, books, movies and radio shows dedicated to sneaker culture. There have been television shows, such as ESPN2’s “It’s About the Shoes,” which include tours of collectors’ enormous closets.
“I think people are more aware (of sneaker culture), the general public, because of the media and Internet,” said Alex Wang, creative director for Sole Collector magazine and an admitted shoe aficionado.
Sneakers have been a part of urban culture for decades. Run DMC rapped about “My Adidas” in the 1980s, and it remains a part of hip-hop culture with famous sneakerhead artists such as Missy Elliot and Fat Joe.
But sneaker love might be spreading. Everyone from Manhattan business men to Midwestern teens are coming in with a hankering for shoes, store owners say.
“You can tell so much about a person by what they have on their feet,” said Andre Speed, 36, at the Portland specialty sneaker shop Lifted. “You might not have the freshest outfit, but if you have the kicks, you are going to get the respect.”
See for yourself, here at Nice Kicks, where they’re blogging shoes like crazy. No forums though that I can find . Or here at the premiere webzine for sneaker fans where they offer this much-used message board. 62,000 messages about skateboard shoes.
Sneakers seem to be about the only form of apparel in which men and boys get a wider color range and more fun selection than women and girls. I have always resented that at age 2 you have to start dressing your sons like mini-dads on casual Fridays (hmmm, should I go for the khaki, maroon, navy blue, or hunter green? BORING!!!), so I’m not surprised to see fandom emerge around the one apparel offering that recognizes that men are creative fun-loving spirits as well.