The Student News Site of Alief Kerr High School


The Student News Site of Alief Kerr High School


The Student News Site of Alief Kerr High School


Kickin’ it with sneakerheads: Students look fresh by lacing up their fancy sneakers

Vince A. shows off his latest sneaker pickup.

To many, shoes are merely an accessory meant only to cover feet. However, to some enthusiasts, they represent a larger part of their world.

Several sneakerheads roam the halls comparing, trading, and simply checking out each other’s kicks.

Senior Kevin P. became interested in shoes because of sneakerhead friends.

“My friend from Hastings would send me links to sneakers all the time, so he influenced me to get involved,” Pham said, who has been collecting shoes since 2008. He has seven pairs of shoes he often wears around.

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Junior Brilliant T. and freshman Joseph K. were also lured in by friends.

“Looking at fashion and other sneakerheads brought me in to the culture,” Brilliant said, who is new to the shoe game. Although he has a small collection, he is content with his sneaker game.

Joseph owes it to his cousin. “He inspired me to get into it because I saw his sneakers and I thought they were pretty fancy,” he said. He has been collecting since 2008 and plans to add more to his collection.

Sophomore Vince A. has a unique perspective on sneakers.

“It’s a three way link: Basketball, hip-hop, sneakers. I like the first two, so I automatically started liking sneakers, too,” Vince said, who has been collecting since 2007.

Collecting sneakers can certainly have a positive impact on people’s lives.

“It’s a good way for me to express my fashion,” Brilliant said. “A lot of collections on NikeTalk and other shoe forums sometimes influence and motivate me.”

Vince senses a “feeling of warmth” and happiness when he purchases a shoe that he’s been wanting.

Discussion forums, websites, and schools have allowed Joseph to meet other sneakerheads online.

“I’ve gotten to know a few people and make new friends thanks to shoes,” he said.

At times, sneakerheads interact with each other even before they become friends.

“It feels like I’m part of a community without even knowing everyone involved,”Vince said.

Sometimes, something as simple as a pair of sneakers can tell a lot about a person.

“Most of my sneakers are black and white, which are my favorite colors,” Kevin said.

Shoes can express something specific about a person that may not be obvious right off the bat.

“They reflect the fact that I like high quality stuff,” Brilliant said.

For others, color coordination is the key.

“My sneakers match what I wear, so it shows that I like to match outfits,” Joseph said.

On the flip side, the hobby does have some negatives. One is  the high retail prices for the latest, hottest shoes. On average, one pair of Air Jordan shoes retails for $150, while Nike SBs and Dunks begin at $80 and only go higher. Also, the exclusivity of a shoe definitely makes the value climb the charts.

“It feels good to be the only person with a certain sneaker, but at the same time, you’re killing your parents’ bank and your own money as well,” Vince said. “If the price is too outrageous, I won’t go for it. If I can save up money and starve myself during lunch, then I’ll go for it.”

The majority of these sneakers are produced overseas at extremely low prices compared to their retail tag.

“It’s silly knowing how cheap it is to produce the shoes and the high prices we pay for them,” Kevin said. “But it also shows how valuable they are to people, which makes me want it even more.”

Kevin P. matches some of his favorite colors with his sneakers.

Another potential downside is “fake” shoes, usually produced in China but  in unauthorized factories.

The only benefit that comes with purchasing a fake shoe is it is significantly cheaper.

Some sneakerheads look down on people who wear fakes.

“Wearing fake shoes is kind of whack – I don’t like that,” Brilliant said.

Kevin think fakes are harmful to the culture.

“Fakes are stupid,” he said. “I don’t encourage it at all. You either go hard or go home.”

Vince has a different opinion.

“There’s nothing wrong with them,” he said. “Not everyone has the luxury to spend money on legit sneakers.”

Vince also suggests shoe collectors should be independent.

“Don’t ask your parents,” he said. “It feels better to spend your own money.”

For those that are interested in being involved in the sneaker community, Joseph recommends ignoring the hype behind shoes and purchasing whatever they want.

“Buy what you like and forget about the people who criticize you.”

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