“Nobody rocks Mids,” one of my co-workers proclaimed as I was dealing with striking out on the latest Flax Air Force 1 drop. I see the Flax Highs everywhere, so I wanted to be different, plus I saw Action Bronson rocking the Mids in the “Durag vs. Headband” video and just had to have them. I had no clue Mids dropped in that colorway. Growing up in North Jersey, we’ve always wore all three variations of the Air Force 1 with no regard to what snobs deemed acceptable.

Shopping for sneakers has turned into an impossible mission in the 21st century. What once was a hobby for some has turned into a chore. Sometimes I feel like a dopehead plotting on a fifth story air conditioner when I’m trying to buy sneakers. Why won’t sneaker companies take my money? I’m there refreshing web pages on a Saturday morning trying to give them my hard-earned cash, but, instead, I get dicked around when something I put in my cart somehow isn’t there anymore, because some clown bought 10 pairs with a bot to resell to me for double the price on eBay. I'm also not into camping out for 18 hours in the freezing cold. I'd rather pay an extra $100 than have to do that. I mean, who would want to deal with all the BS around sneakers —backdooring pairs, neverending lines, and sites crashing instantly—that we saw with the A Bathing Ape x Adidas NMD release this year? Not me.

Air Jordan Reseller
Image via Instagram/Bilskii

People like me keep resellers in business, and I’m sick of it, fed up to here, my dawgs. I need to have a kid or something so I can spend my money on keeping a little human alive instead of on shoes I couldn’t afford when I was younger. Sneaker culture has become increasingly gentrified with posers with their parent’s money to burn and capitalists looking to flip their bread. It’s hard out here for the real Gs that buy sneakers for the love and not the hype. Does this business strategy diminish the brand? It doesn’t hurt their pockets, that’s for sure, but it may hurt a brand like the long lines and instant sellouts have sullied Supreme’s name a bit leaving people like myself having to defend our admiration.

Sneaker companies aren’t going to start producing more sneakers because lack of supply keeps the demand high (although Jordan Brand has produced more and more sneakers, the same can be said with recent Yeezy Boosts, too). And the blogs and sites like this one won’t feel the need to post about them. And the writers won’t get free sneakers to post on Instagram. And so on and so on. Something that’s always missing in the conversation about influence is the streets. The same American streets that made the Air Force 1 what it is, and the same UK streets that made runners and track suits more popular than ever. The streets are the unsung heroes we often fail to recognize. It’s something that, in the days of gaining notoriety through Instagram likes and posting of rotation photos, gets forgotten these days.

The way I try to combat this new era of sneaker copping is to buy colorways or silhouettes not many are into like the Nike Air Max 2015 3M or the “Concord” Air Force 1 Canvas Highs I caught on sale the other day. I’m still into hyped up sneakers like certain colorways of the adidas Ultraboost Uncaged and the new Kith x Adidas Consortium Trail collab dropping this weekend. I’ll probably end up paying some reseller for the latter or try to convince one of my co-workers to give them to me. This is my life as a sneakerhead in 2016. A sad, sad state of affairs.