Seriously, why? For many people, the ever-expanding culture that surrounds the shoe game seems pointless at times. Why should people spend large amounts of their hard-earned cash on a pair of shoes; mere fabric and glue? It’s a question that has crossed my mind too (yes – even me, a sneakerhead) so I took to the keyboard to tackle the issue.
As you read on please bear in mind that I’m speaking mainly from my own experience, and although this shouldn’t be used to validate unwise spending, I do hope you can gain perspective as to why some sneaker enthusiasts – aka sneakerheads – feel the way they do about sneakers.
Side note: This is probably aimed more at people who aren’t necessarily sneakerheads; but even if you are, I’m sure you will relate.
Personally speaking, I can sum up many aspects of life in one word. Art.
Music, film, food and paint-laden school classrooms are just a few examples. In all, I see art as an expression of your inner self and sneakers are no exception to that.
The best way to imagine this is to think of shoes as paintings you would find in a gallery; artwork. Every frame contains a canvas and on that canvas is a creation. Whether abstract or obvious, each painting tells a story. It illustrates what the artist was feeling at the time and reflects the world around him/her.
This is where sneakers come in. The gallery is the sneaker culture and each painting a sneaker. Every sneaker represents an iconic moment, an inspirational idea; a spark of innovation. Some “artists” are more known than others but the important thing to remember is the creation itself and the reason why it was formed. I like to think that when sneaker concepts are conceived, designers don’t just splash ink onto the page but really impart meaning and thought into each silhouette and colourway.
This leads onto my next point: appreciation.
When a masterpiece is made, what else is there to do but appreciate it? Be it that heart-felt song, a jaw-dropping film or mouth-watering dish; the higher you think of a particular piece of art, the more credit you give it. This stands true for sneakers too. Someone is more likely to spend extra effort and cash on a shoe when they resonate with its aesthetics, story and specs.
Sneakerheads love sneakers not just because of how they look, but because of their history and what the shoes represent.
But of course, we live in a varying world so everyone is different. You don’t have to have a deep knowledge of sneaker history to be a sneakerhead, although I believe it helps.
So if I can challenge you with something let it be this. When you next see a pair of fresh kicks, look past the fabric and glue and try and see it as somebody’s way of expressing themselves; as art. Besides, life is more enjoyable when we learn the art of appreciation.