Stay True to Yourself

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Benjamin Kicks

Perspectives from a Sneakerhead

Sneakers have been a big part of my life for a long time. I can remember my first pair of Jordan’s as a toddler. The black Jordan 14’s. The last shot 14’s. There’s a picture to prove it!!

Growing up, there was a time where I had lost interest in sneakers as my interests as a kid mostly revolved around video games.

I’ve always loved basketball though. The game is ingrained in my DNA, and from a far, I would always admire the sneakers my on-court heroes rocked on the hardwood. Nowadays, I still love sneakers and sneaker culture, but the time and money I’ve spent on the “hobby,” if you will, has given me perspective I wish I had a couple years ago.

Number 1: Be the Curator of your own taste

Travis Scott / Photo Credit: Mainlinemenswear

Trends come and go. 2016 was the year of Adidas, with Kanye West and Boost technology, the brand reached new levels of popularity. Naturally, that also made Adidas the hottest footwear brand of the year, with many retailers selling Adidas Boost shoes like hotcakes.

Four years later, Adidas Boost is still comfortable and stylish to wear but now Nike is trending at the top of the sneaker world. I still enjoy Adidas sneakers, but there are many that bought into the hype at the time and are no longer wearing the brand. As consumers, it’s easy to buy what’s popular, but I would have to challenge that narrative.

People would enjoy what they buy so much more if they genuinely like what they buy. It seems like a no-brainer, but many people forget this simple ideal when our social media feeds are constantly showing us our idols wearing what quote-on-quote “cool.”

At the end of the day, I don’t blame anyone for buying into what’s hyped. For a long time I was the same, and to a lesser extent, still am subjected to this method of consumerism.

I will say that if you stay stuck in this bubble of liking what everyone else likes, you are trapped in the same style lane as everyone else. It’s important to curate your own unique sense of fashion and style. Express your own individuality through your sneaker preferences.

If you curate your own style, you are not subjected to the confines of buying and liking what’s in trend, and leaves you open to exploring and discovering new styles and brands you would have never found otherwise.

Number 2: A shoe for every occasion

Photo Credit: Manofmany.com

This is a revelation that came to me especially in my later years as I started to look for jobs and entered the professional world. Plain and simple, you cannot be wearing sneakers all the time. There’s a time and place for everything. Building a diverse rotation of shoes is crucial.

You need shoes that are acceptable in a professional setting just as much as your gym sneakers, or your basketball shoes. As we progress in age, that comes with more occasions where we need to dress up formally. Weddings, business presentations, job interviews, you name it.

While it’s important to have shoes for the right occasion, it’s also important to make sure you don’t have too many shoes. There are people like P.J. Tucker that have so many shoes to the point where they could wear a different pair of shoes every day for four years, but that’s beyond excessive for us humans who only have two feet.

Realistically, you probably need four different types of shoes depending on your athletic pastimes and your profession. It can vary if you’re into a lot of different sports, or if you’re in a certain profession that requires formal wear five-days-a-week.

Regardless, it’s important to be aware of having enough shoes to fit every possible occasion, while also being cognizant of not having too many pairs.

Number 3: Classics will always be classic

This part is especially for the people that are looking to get into sneakers right now. There’s a reason why people rocked Air Force 1’s in the 1980s, and there’s a reason why people still wear them today. Certain sneaker silhouettes have stood the test of time, and have remained popular despite the passage of time.

Jordan’s will always be iconic because Jordan is the greatest and most iconic basketball player to ever lace em’ up. The Converse Chuck Taylor will remain popular because of it’s athletic lineage and ties to rock n’ roll culture.

Vans will always be iconic due to their casual silhouettes and connections to skate culture. The list goes on and on, but the one common thread among all the classics is the marriage between a certain aspect of popular culture, and sneakers. Nelly had his Air Force 1’s. MJ’s kicks were rocked, and still are rocked by many celebrities from all walks of entertainment.

Invest in the classics because they will always be in style.

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