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Sneaks Peek: Day 1

People ask me all the time about my shoes. But they don’t ask in a inquisitive or innocently curious way. They ask with a smirk or they’ll veil a jab in a compliment. I think it’s just how people are nowadays. If they don’t understand something, they immediately think it’s bad. Sometimes they think they are clever and they’ll call them “tennis shoes.” I don’t remember ever seeing Sampras wear a pair of Chucks at the US Open. I try my best to be patient and educate.

I collect sneakers to wear. I don’t flip them for profit (well rarely), and I don’t buy multiples to keep “on ice.” I think they are works of arts, like a transportable canvas. Aside from boots, dress shoes, and specialty shoes like running or hiking shoes, I only buy (and wear) limited edition or collaboration sneakers. That means you can’t find these shoes in Foot Locker or your local Sears. These shoes all have a story behind them. It’s usually a collaboration, often designated by the “x”, such as in Nike x Staple Design. It’s always interesting to me when two great minds come together.

I love all the things designers have come up with to keep shoes interesting. I just discovered the other day that the pair of Pumas I was wearing were glow in the dark. I had them on all day and at night, I happen to go to my dark room to grab something. I looked down and my feet were glowing. Imagine my surprise? I have shoes with 3M reflective material so it’s a different color when a flash or bright light hits it. Most of my shoes come with two, sometimes three, pairs of laces so you can change them to fit your mood. I have shoes made of merino wool and even a pair that is formed of 100% recycled material. They also happen to be colored green. Get it?

I like shoes because they are well defined and traceable. If you ask a girl, who claims to be really into shoes, when a certain pair of boots came out or which retailer carried them or even what high heels are coming Spring/Summer `09, they’d have no idea. In the sneaker world, people set their calendars by release dates. Often, I’ll make a mental note of a shoe I want eight months before they’re released. That’s dedication.

Living in Santa Barbara makes it difficult to be a “sneakerhead.” I have to work all the angles and exhaust all the options to get the shoes I want; the shoes I need. I’ve bought shoes from all over the United States (Hawaii, Portland, Virginia, New York, etc) and the world (Switzerland, England, Germany, Hong Kong). It’s a frenzy when I am on the hunt for kicks.

Each day of this month, I am going to wear a different pair of sneakers and post a little about them on my blog. This way, you can get a “sneak peek” into my collection. I hope this exercise will get some people excited about those things on their feet they take for granted.

Shoes: Nike Air Stab Runnin’ & Gunnin’
Pink splatter, black and pink laces, elephant pint on toebox, graphics on bottom of shoes.
Description: Air Stabs are easily identified by their distinctive lowers which, some say, look like knives. The pink and black colorway definitely draws attention. It was a quickstrike release that I purchased from Commonwealth in Virginia. Believe it or not, the shoes were actually banned in London, due to the rash of stabbing deaths. Yes, Santa Barbara is not the only place teenage hooligans shank each other. According to a Nike spokesman, the shoe was originally launched in 1988 as a stability running shoe, hence the name.

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