It’s no secret that sneakerheads love and appreciate sneakers to a level far greater than the average person. While a regular person may own 2-3 pairs of shoes, we in the aforementioned community own upwards of 10. (And that is a very conservative figure.) And we tend to get a bad rap for our love and appreciation of sneakers. You’ve heard it all before:
Why do you have so many sneakers?
Why do you spend your money on shoes?
They’re just shoes. They go on your feet. Why do you need to keep them so clean?
I could make like Erykah Badu and go on and on, but you get the point. The sneakerhead community is often times not respected like our counterparts in often times more accepted niches, like fitness or cooking, or motivation. There tends to be more acceptance in those communities because they aren’t spending money on something perceived to be trivial, like sneakers. And sometimes, people do have a fair point. Being part of this wonderful niche, you and I could point out the posers, fakers, try-hards, and generally anyone else not worth their salt when it comes to sneakers. These are the people that are hurting our community. Faking the funk (and probably smelling like funk), these are the people that those outside the community tend to point to and look at to prove their points against us. They are everything that is wrong with the sneakerhead community, and everything people outside the community think we are as a whole.
But the community is actually a pretty woke one, if I may say so myself. Do we amass a plethora of sneakers? Indubitably. But A lot of us don’t hold on to all of our sneakers. Ask a sneakerhead, and chances are he or she will tell you they’ve sold or given away some of their sneakers in the past. Bigger and more prominent members in the community like Mr. Foamer Simpson have given away and sold their entire rotations because they felt they simply had too many at a given point. Others like myself donate every now and then because we have sneakers we don’t wear as often, and someone less fortunate than we could use a good pair of sturdy, quality sneakers that we aren’t.
Do a number of us like to keep our shoes clean (like me)? Of course. And why not? You wash your clothes, don’t you? There’s nothing like having sneakers that look fresh years after you bought them. Their value only goes up from there. There are a ton of other advantages to keeping our shoes clean, but for me, nothing beats having a limited sneaker in prime form for years to come. We might avoid stepping on grass, dirt, snow, mud, wear beaters to the club, or religiously clean our sneakers every weekend, but every time you see us, it’s a guarantee you notice our clean kicks.
Do We buy hype sneakers? Sure. But are we all just hypebeasts? Absolutely not. Sneakerheads and Hypebeasts are not synonymous. One is about the sneakers and the sneaker culture. The other, someone who wears whatever is expensive and well, hyped. They don’t really care about the sneakers per se, as they do the price tag. Not all sneakerheads are hypebeasts. Some of us will rock sneakers that nobody would realy care about, simply because we find them dope. And that’s the way it should be. We care about some hype sneakers, like Yeezys and Jordans, of course, but they aren’t the only sneakers we care about. We rock other silhouettes, and a lot of times, you won’t even see high end “sneakers” like Those of Balenciaga or Gucci in our rotations. Those shoes aren’t really about the culture, and most sneakerheads aren’t talking about them.
Like everything else, it’s more than just sneakers. And community is pretty woke. So if you’re hip to the game, you should be getting woke, too.