It’s Still More Than Just Sneakers

As we head into the summer, societies and communities are starting to open up again. This of course depends on what part of the world you live in, but one thing we know for sure is that this lockdown will soon come to an end.

Relatively, the sneaker industry and community did not seem to suffer that much from this outbreak. Sneakers were still released and sold, videos and pictures were still made; the status quo was still the status quo. I have spent the last number of weeks in my sneaker chat with my boys talking about the sneakers we copped, the ones we didn’t, the ones we want and don’t want just the same as if we weren’t locked in our respective homes the last handful of months. And that is the thing that we have to remember. Our life as sneakerheads still pretty much went on unbothered.

About 2 years ago I wrote about how being a sneakerhead was more than just spending my money on shoes just because. And while I still stand by that, there is also another side to that story that we now get to realize and understand: it’s still more than just sneakers. This is a time for us to take a moment and take into the other account the other blessings that we have in our lives. We all know someone whose life was affected by COVID, either directly or otherwise. We all know the stories about people being unable to pay for basic necessities and essentials because work and money quit coming. This has put a strain on a lot of things outside of our community, and that can be really easy for us to forget or pay attention to when we still get our routine notifications from SNKRS and Discord channels.

And this isn’t to say that the sneaker community has been tone deaf to the world because it hasn’t. I have sneakers and clothes sitting in my closet that probably shouldn’t be because of the COVID relief sales that boutiques and brands have put on as a “response” (I prefer to say effort against) to COVID. And that’s a great thought and a valiant effort, but it can only do so much. Sure, it gives you a sense of feeling good about yourself because you chipped in to fight COVID, but it isn’t something that’s putting the sneaker community at the forefront of the fight, because well, sneakers aren’t the cure for this sickness.

After this is said and done, we all have plans to come back to reality with our re-upped rotations and threads to compliment, ready to flex on one another with our respective pickups and outfits. But it is my hope that we don’t come out only thinking about the sneakers and the alphets, or the idea of being able to flex in person again. All those things are great and I think we should all do those things, but if those are the only things we’re thinking about coming out of this, then we didn’t really change. And that’s not to say that you had to come out of this a totally different, woke, and super enlightened person. But I would think after a few weeks of sitting in your place all day, you’d have dealt with yourself a little bit.

I say all this to say that we are blessed to have a community and culture that was not interrupted by this pandemic. We are fortunate to have had this culture as an outlet and distraction from the world. Not everyone has had that, and we should be thankful for that.

Written by J-Play

Founder and Creator of the Sneaker Literacy Program. I am a software developer with a deep love for sneakers and tech. Clean Your Shoes is my mark in both cultures. Connect with me on Instagram at @the.jplay.

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