A week and some change ago I was looking through some old sneaker photos I shot, and as I was going back, I saw pairs of sneakers that I forgot I had, some I miss dearly but parted ways with for unfortunate reasons (read: I messed them up somehow), and others that I still have but hardly wear anymore. And after I while of going through these photos, I sat and thought to myself, “As sneakerheads, should our taste in sneakers change over time?“
I think back to a time, years before I started Clean Your Shoes, when I went to a particular mall in Culver City with a friend of mine. We went to the Sheikh store there, which was a lot better back then than today. That day, I had bought some Marble Roshes, back when that shoe was all the rage. I had those sneakers for about 3 years, until about the end of my final year of college. Those were some great sneakers, and I wore them any and every where when I had them. In the amount of time that I had those sneakers, my rotation became increasingly leaning towards a slick, streamlined type sneaker. I would own sneakers such as the Trainerendor, Kaishi, Kazuki, 2 different kinds of Tubulars, and the like.
In the final year of that aforementioned span, I would then transition into more classic silhouettes reminiscent of the technical sneakers of the 80’s and 90’s. Navy 501 New Balances, and then white 574s found their way into my closet. Eventually plenty of EQT models joined the ranks, along with timeless pieces from Nike. I could keep explaining this phenomenon in my particular case, but you already get the idea. As the years progressed, so did my sneaker rotation. And in looking through these photos and seeing my closet, I then asked the question of “Did my taste get better, or did it just change?” That answer is virtually impossible to be objective. However, as I have argued before, a diverse sneaker collection makes for a better, more balanced out sneakerhead.
In the time before Clean Your Shoes, my collection was just sleek trainer type sneakers. Then it grew to classic runners, then hi-tops, and so on and so forth. When I think on the transition, I didn’t seek to continue buying only trainers and runners, nor did I seek to find something outside of that. It just evolved and grew to a more diverse palate. But as my palate got more diverse, so did my wardrobe. I’m not just talking abut the sneakers, but the clothes as well. As I started to venture out with different sneakers and brands, I found myself being able to get away with a lot of styles and looks. Being stuck in the same frame of mind 4-5 years ago, I probably wouldn’t have been able to grow and expand my sneaker and fashion sense.
So, should your taste in sneakers change over time? I think that it should, only in the sense that it helps you become the type of sneakerhead you want to be and what kinds of sneakers you build your closet around. But if you’ve been becoming sneaker literate in the past year, you’re well on your way to a diverse and robust rotation.