Your Sneaker Passion: It’s Not Always About The Numbers…
By krvanch - Jan 21, 2016
Over the course of my lifetime I have connected with many people who share my same passion of sneakers. Sneakerheads, enthusiasts, collectors, however you want to refer to them as, we’ve all connected somehow.
If you’re from my era, initially it was difficult to connect because it was prior to the internet, which meant social media was not even a blip on any radar.
The sneakerheads I connected with were my Foot Locker coworkers, as well as those from other surrounding sneaker retailers, both chains and Mom & Pop shops. None of my friends shared the same interest in the industry as I did, so they weren’t really a resource for me.
Over time and during the development of NikeTalk, my connection base exploded. Literally thousands of like minded “friends” over night. I put “friends” in quotations because I’d say I’ve only met a fraction of them face to face. That doesn’t make them any less my friend. I’ll always say that my sneakerhead friends are some of the most genuine people I’ve ever come across. I put it in quotations because of the traditional understanding of what a friend is.
NikeTalk wasn’t the first place for sneakerheads to congregate to share ideas, opinions and thoughts, it just created a better organized and friendlier community to do so.
Social media later developed and arms like Twitter and Instagram made immediate interaction not only between followers happen, but you’d have the chance to communicate with those found to be important in the industry. What once was 6 degrees of separation between you and a famous sneakerhead could now be whittled down to 1.
Since then, we all have our favorite Twitter, Instagram or SnapChat follows within the sneaker industry. Whether it be designers, collectors, executives, influencers, writers/bloggers, OGs or anyone else whose opinion you value, the opportunity is there.
From the standpoint of the influenced, we all have those who we follow because we like their collections or they just have a REALLY BIG collection. These guys hold a position of influence strictly based on the quality and quantity of their collections and public visibility.
Sometimes it’s here where I observe an amount of excessive glorification of their level of “sneakerhead-dom”. People seem to believe that because one person has hundreds or thousands of pairs of sneakers, that somehow their passion, or “sneakerhead-dom”, is greater. I can’t wrap my head around that.
I have approximately 200 pairs of sneakers. That doesn’t make me any less of a sneakerhead than someone with 500, 1,000 or more pairs, and it doesn’t make me any more of a sneakerhead than someone with 50, 25 or 1 pair.
Your “ownership statistics” don’t gauge any level of how much of a sneakerhead you are. Do you like sneakers? Like to read about them? Learn about them and the history of them? Good enough for me. You may know a little more than me, I may know a little more than you, but we’re the same.
I guess what I’m trying to say that whether you are a perceived influencer defined by brands or retailers, someone with a large collection, an industry person or a high school Junior, your passion for shoes is no more or less because of numbers.
As I said earlier, my “friends” in the sneaker game are some of the most genuine people I’ve ever come across, and I know many, if not all of them would never say that their passion exceeds that of another. It’s not in the fabric of their being. It just seems to be a perceived hierarchy around the community that statistics determine passion.
YOU determine your passion. One pair or a thousand pairs.
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