When did sneakers transform into highly coveted grails? Did the release of the Supreme Dunks trigger the fanaticism? Or maybe it was the riot-inciting drop of the Pigeon Dunks back in 2005? It’s a debate that could last for weeks, but what the questions tell us is that sneaker culture is as strong now as it ever has been. On Sole Origins, we travel the globe, hitting several big-city sneakerhead paradises, to uncover the stories behind some of the most iconic silhouettes and colorways ever cooked up.

In the series’ premiere episode, we head to the birthplace of sneaker culture, New York City, to chat with DJ Clark Kent, Joe La Puma, Vashtie, Jeff Staples, and more about the ways in which the city has allowed sneakers to carve out a prominent space in the culture.