Photo By Neil MacLean
Complex has been blessing you with our in-depth sneaker knowledge for years now, but you know what? It isn't all about what we think. The best part about sneaker collecting is that everyone has their own unique favorites, regardless of what the "experts" say. It's with this in mind that we present our new column My Sneaker Essentials.
Ever wonder what your favorite celebrity sneakerhead's top 5 kicks of all-time are? For the inaugural edition of MSE, we got down with DC's own Wale, who might just be the biggest sneaker fiend from the new generation of rappers. While touring in support of his upcoming debut Attention: Deficit, Mr. Never-Wear-The-Same-Thing took some time out to talk about his classic kicks, why he can't fuck with Jordan 3s, and why Deion Sanders is the man...
TIM DUNCAN FOAMPOSITE MAX
WALE: "The Tim Duncan silver joints is up there for me. When they first came out, a $180 sneaker was unheard of back then. I worked my ass off, stole money, did everything I could do to go out and get those and I was in middle school when they came out. When I say anything, I mean it. I was cutting grass and all this shit."
PENNY FOAMPOSITE 1'S
WALE: "I think those were $200! The clear bottom, man. I remember watching the Arizona Wildcats play and Mike Bibby had them on in the final four and everybody was like, 'What the hell are those?!' It was so next level, you know what I'm saying? It felt like the future was now starting. It was like the Jetsons era as if it was the first step to flying cars. I really felt that way, so those definitely have to be on the list!"
AIR JORDAN 11 CONCORD
WALE: "They're just the cleanest-looking shoe of all time. Clean! That was the first time when I was like, aight man, all the Jordans that are out...man I just want to look like Michael Jordan. I just want to look like Michael Jackson, Michael Jordan, I want to be the cleanest person in the world! Yeah the 11's, there was something about them. Mike didn't even sell nobody on those. It was like just looking at a shoe and knowing you have to have it. I have to bump the Jordan 3's off the list because when they did the whole retro thing and certain artists started wearing them, I was like 'Oh, never mind. I just can't bang with these joints no more man!' [Laughs.]"
TIFFANY & HEINEKEN SB DUNK (TIE)
WALE: I'm not really big on SBs no more because I just haven't been satisfied with how they've been looking. The last really good SB was probably the Mork and Mindy or the Hawaii joints. Even the Freddy Krueger joints were dope but they never came out with them. Heinekens are great but the Tiffanys, man! I remember they came out and I was working. Those were definitely a camp-out shoe, but I wasn't about to camp out. I never really did that, I just paid someone an extra hundred to have someone just sit there. Those [The Tiffanys] were like the uber-camp-out shoes. Like I said, I was working that day and I didn't get them. I'll never forget my man Dan came into work wearing them joints and I was like, 'Man...I hate you right now.' [Laughs.] You know what I'm saying? Because that was the last real dunk for SB that was next-level amazing. They tried to do a bunch of other things with dunks, but I was never really impressed with them."
DEION SANDERS DIAMOND TURF 2
WALE:Everyone knows this is my favorite shoe. I was such the OD Deion Sanders fan. I used to play like him, I used to wear my face mask like him. I used to do the dance at practice and at the games and I remember seeing the commercial where they were like, 'Get this shoe! Its Deion Sanders' shoe!' And they would show him like dancing, it was around Christmas time. Those were the best ones. They not even be the best looking, but what they represent to me is priceless. The red ones, if I could find them right now, I would pay anything for them. I'd give somebody a car, definitely. Small car, though."