I often say that if I could go back to 2006 I would in a heartbeat. I was 20 years old, still lived with my parents, and spent all of my income on bright-colored sneakers to look cool. It was a lot of fun, trying to keep up with everyone else, and showing the world that you were able to score the latest Nike SB release or dig a pair of Air Maxes out of a mom-and-pop shop. But that was 11 years ago and a lot has changed in my life — I’ve moved out of my parents house and have a better job than being a part-time salesman at a sporting goods store — and a lot has changed in the world, too. But I’m still addicted to sneakers, even though I’m in my 30s and don’t expect people to always notice what I have on my feet.
When you cross over the threshold of 30, you’re supposed to focus on things other than sneakers: your career, relationships, and investing in your financial stability. Those things aren’t typically associated with waiting in lines for shoes or spending hundreds of dollars a month on footwear. It’s also tough to justify dressing like a teenager, or competing with people who were wearing toddler-sized shoes when you were trying to flex on NikeTalk for the latest Yeezy release.
But there’s also something liberating when no one expects you to be “cool” anymore, even if that comes with your job description.
Take a look at John Mayer. He’s been a big sneaker connoisseur for the past decade, but he’s 39 years old, an acoustic guitar player and singer/songwriter, and one of the most influential people in the sneaker world and streetwear. And he’s not chasing the most hyped sneakers. He’s just imparting his taste on the current climate, and it’s washing over like a high tide.
When we’re young sneaker fanatics, it’s a blast. You can make regrettable purchases, get caught up in pandemonium that makes your heart pound with anticipation, and compete with your friends to see whose shoes hold more weight. I’m not saying you can’t do…