I grew up in a place that's cold as fuck. Until 2010, I lived in New Hampshire, and we'd have to wait until 20-foot-long puddles would dry up in mid-April before we broke out our crispiest sneakers.
It was sneakerhead purgatory. There weren't neatly shoveled sidewalks like in NYC. I always wondered how other people along the East Coast wore Air Jordans and Air Max 95s in the middle of January. For me to wear a pair of sneakers I cared about in the winter, it took a dash of carelessness, a can of waterproofer, and coming to terms that the pair might never make it back alive - or in their original condition sans salt stains.
For me to wear a pair of sneakers I cared about in the winter it took a dash of carelessness, a can of waterproofer, and coming to terms that the pair might never make it back alive - or in their original condition.
But being away from New Hampshire for four years made me miss a deep winter. And that's exactly what I, living in New Jersey, received this season. And for once, I loved it. I didn't mind walking to work in six inches of snow and 12-degree weather. It was a throwback to my childhood. I also didn't mind having to wear a pair of boots or my torn-up Roshe Runs, while packing a better pair of sneakers in my backpack to wear at work. I even looked forward to the Winter Olympics and the Nike Flyknit Trainer Chukkas that would, subsequently, release with the games at Sochi.
But, enough is enough. I'm over winter. Old Man Winter can get the gas face for all I care.
When I had to sprint to catch a train and my airy Roshes took a plunge into a sidewalk puddle - I was left with damp wool socks for the rest of the day. All I wanted was spring. I no longer cared about Jordan bringing back the "Infrared" VI 23 years after its initial release. Even if I would have dropped $170 on these sneakers - in the middle of a blizzard - I have zero patience to keep them boxed-up and in my closet for a few months.
My plan for this winter of keeping sneakers on ice, literally, quickly turned into feeling of "How does any sneakerhead ever make it through winter?"
At this point of the year, I'd usually be counting down the time until I could wear my favorite purchases from December, January, and February. But seeing a new coat of snow every morning made hearing about a new Saucony collaboration or re-release of a Made in USA New Balance the bane of my existence. I just want a balmy day that doesn't entail the fear of a suede sneaker becoming disfigured beyond recognition.
I just want a balmy day that doesn't entail the fear of a suede sneaker becoming disfigured beyond recognition.
No matter how much Wheat Timberlands had come back or Nike had made the sneaker boot cool again, it doesn't make up for the feeling you get when you break out a pair of white, mesh runners on a May weekend. The breeze blows through your lightweight sneakers, and you assume that every passerby has their eyes fixated on your feet.
Instead, when I lace up my boots every morning, a slumping depression rolls over me: I don't want to wear boots one more time this winter. But I realize it's either wear boots, destroy my sneakers, or completely stay inside for any purpose other than going to work.
As a sneakerhead, I've forced myself into cabin fever.
It felt like a million sneakers released this past weekend for the NBA All-Star Weekend, but who cares? When you're slumped up on a couch in your apartment because your car is plowed in - and your weekend plans don't revolve around wearing any sneaker you relatively care about - it doesn't matter if there are limited-edition sneakers available. Buying them will just remind me how much snow there is outside, and how long it will take before it melts.
I can pretend that it reminds me of home when it snows three days out of the week - but, deep down inside, I'm just waiting for the first day that I can wear a pair of ASICS somewhere other than the confines of an office or to walk down my apartment hallway.