When you are sneakerhead you are constantly aware of your feet. A sneakerhead is a person who collects, trades or admires sneakers as a hobby. We are a tribe of people that identify each other by the level of dopeness that is on your feet. A real sneakerhead acknowledges the other with an upward nod when your fellow tribesmen is wearing something fly. If they are rocking something rare or next level you may give your stamp of approval with dap or by saying “Yoooooooo”. You look forward to stunt in public places and are hyper aware of other people’s feet. Almost to a point when someone has on the same pair as you — your first thought is to change your shoes. Once fatherhood begins you don’t lose your sneakerhead credentials you just become less aware of them in any environment that is child centric.
Anytime someone at MiMo’s daycare comment on my shoes I’m taken aback. While getting dressed I’m very cognizant of my shoe choice. As I enter her school while carrying her and her sack that contains bottles, diapers, wipes and an extra change of clothes on the other arm — I’m not thinking about what’s on my feet. My thoughts are please don’t drop the baby, is she pooping, and I hope I have all of her bottles. (Sidenote: I can’t wait until she gets better at walking so I don’t have to carry her in anymore). After the teachers ask about how MiMo is doing they comment on my shoes.
This puts pressure (not real pressure — she’s 1, what does she care?) on MiMo’s sneakers to be just as fly as her father’s. This is where the trouble starts. Anyone who is a parent knows that it makes no sense to buy a baby multiple pairs of shoes (we did anyway) because her feet will be under constant scrutiny like her dad’s. While we were preparing for her arrival I bought a few pairs of sneakers — Hare 7s, French Blue 7s, Bordeaux 7s and White Cement 4s. The only shoes she has really worn are the Bordeaux’s and she has already lost one of the shoes. So again while that collection looks impressive in the closet there really hasn’t been a lot of activity with them. The Cement 4s she won’t be able to wear for another 6 months or so.
Could I have been doing something more productive with that money I spent on shoes for her? Sure. But this was more fun. And we have done other ‘adult and responsible’ things for her benefit. Sneakers are something that is important to me and I want to pass that on to her. I want sneakers to be one of the many things that we bond over. It’s such a niche tribe that it can be our thing that many people aren’t included in. It’s bigger than a collection. It’s about moments letting her understand the relevance of why some sneakers have a certain cache than others. The day she comes home from school and she says her favorite color is “Bred” I know my work here is done.