State of Sneakers: 40 Die Hard Sneaker Fans Discuss The Good And Bad of Sneakers

Name: Sam Howell, owner of Kill Hubris clothing brand
Age: 36
Location: Texas
Twitter / Instagram: @killhubris

What Is Your Favorite Sneaker?:

The black Jordan V. I was in 8th grade in 1990 and had already gotten my "school shoe" for the year, so Mom and Dad looked at me like I was nuts when I asked for a pair. I pouted and lusted after those Vs for the rest of the year. It's definitely the first sneaker I remember being infatuated with. Looking back, though, I think that defeat was just as important in my developing love for sneakers as any "grail" purchase I've made since. Now I normally just buy what I want and, unless I really have to hunt, it's much less fulfilling. That's not an observation on the state of sneakers so much as it is a recognition of the fact that I'm an adult now and no longer at mom and dad's mercy. But I miss that daydreaming-about-something-out-of-reach part of the game.

How Often Do You Buy New Sneakers?:

Maybe every other week. I average a couple of pairs a month.

What's The Most You've Spent On A Pair Of Sneakers?:

I think I paid $500 for the New Balance Kennedys a few years ago. I remember rationalizing that my birthday was that month, but it hurt. No telling how much I'd pay for the blue/white Air Bowl Trainers from '95 though. That was my "school shoe" for my senior year in high school. Really wish Nike would retro that one.

How Many Pairs Of Sneakers Do You Have?:

Counting the two I ordered today? 105. That amount definitely supports some kind of diagnosis.

Do You Collect A Specific Type Of Sneaker?:

Not really. I just buy what I like or have a particular nostalgia for. My collection is mostly made up of retro Jordans, retro Nike runners and cross-trainers, Vans, and New Balance. As far as newer stuff, I'm spending most of my time in Lunar Flyknit Ones and the occasional Roshe.

 

As far as newer stuff, I'm spending most of my time in Lunar Flyknit Ones and the occasional Roshe.

 

Have You Ever Sold A Pair Of Sneakers?:

No.

How Often Do You Look At Sneakers On The Internet?:

Daily.

What Is The First Thing That Comes To Mind When You Hear The Term Sneakerhead?:

Lately, absurd behavior.

What Are Your Feelings On The State Of Sneakers Right Now?:

There's a lot of hype, but I try not to pay too much attention to that or the hysteria it creates. Getting too caught up takes a lot of the joy out of an otherwise fun pursuit for me. But the shoe-licking and other odd victory celebrations I see on Instagram are pretty sad. Attention-whoring is seldom attractive.

What Has Changed About Sneakers In The Last 5/10/20 Years To You?:

Technology has advanced and trends have come and gone but in terms of the consumer behavior that gets so much negative attention, I'm not positive much has. I look at that like the 24-hour news cycle. The internet is useful but, because it's available 24/7 like news networks, it has also created all this dead air that people feel compelled to fill—and not everything is newsworthy.

What Would You Like To See Change In The Future?:

Less keeping up with the Joneses and more people just wearing what suits their personal taste. That would cut down on the hype-based absurdity and put the focus back where it belongs—on the shoes themselves.

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