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The Shoes

Posted on August 02 2018

I love shoes.  More specifically basketball shoes.  I don't buy pairs I don't like.  I don't buy limited pairs just because they're limited.  I don't buy shoes to turn a profit.  I buy what I like and I WEAR them shits.  It started in middle school (THANKS MOM and DAD) and has continued on into my adult life.  I have too many pairs.  I'm not really proud of it but I'm also not ashamed.  It is what it is at this point.  A hobby.  An obsession. A passion.  Fun.

Most of the pairs of shoes I own (pretty much all Nike, sorry I'm a fanboy) have some sort of significant nostalgic story behind them.  Reflecting back on all the past years there are too many pairs I loved to share so I broke it down into 4 time periods.  Elementary School, Middle School, High School, College and Adulthood.  When doing so these are the pairs that stood above the rest for me... 


REEBOK PUMP:  Before Dee Brown's infamous Dunk Contest win in 1991 we had the original Reebok Pumps.  High-high tops with a basketball Pump, and the Michael Chang tennis ball Pump.  Those were fresh, new, confusing to our parents, etc.  So naturally I loved them.  I didn't have a pair of the OG Pumps but I absolutely scooped a pair after that Dunk Contest and still have the retro pair you see in the picture today.   


NIKE AIR HUARACHE: "Holes in the ankle?" Said every mom, dad, coach , etc when you showed them the Nike Air Flight Huarache.  It was uncommon, unique and completely before the low cut basketball shoes of today.  The Fab Five get most of the credit for making this shoe popular but I remember wanting them after seeing Scottie Pippen wearing them in the All Star game.  My mom took me to the mall and we looked everywhere.  Never to be found.  Didn't own a pair until they retroed them several years later.  


NIKE AIR PENNY II: My love of this shoe comes from my love of the player it represented.  Penny.  And his alter ego Lil' Penny.  Penny was balling at the time as a mix between Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson and Nike hit a home run with their Lil' Penny ad campaign.  Combine that with this beautiful silhouette of a shoe.  Wavy.  1 Cent Logo on the tongue/back.  Visible air in the back heel.  Plus the "Atlantic" colorway of blue/silver/white/black... perfection! Still a classic.

NIKE AIR MAX UPTEMPO: The G.O.A.T. Nike's ad for the Uptempo ("save the earth one court at a time"), Scottie Pippen wearing them, John Wallace's "Cuse is in the house!" Final Four run, and the fact that I switched out of the bulky ass Converse All-Star shitty team shoes to these midway through my junior year and started balling, all make this my favorite basketball shoe of all time.  Bar none.


ADIDAS T-MAC 1: In general I hate the entire early 2000s era of rap, NBA and basketball shoes.  The one standout was Tracy McGrady and the Adidas T-Mac 1.  I absolutely loved everything about it.  I remember how excited I was to find the matching poster on eBay and it hung in my college apartment wall for the rest of my time at IU.  

This shoe is also special because of how many hours I logged playing ball in it at the HYPER.  I still break these out from time to time.  


NIKE PG 1: Until Nike came out with the PG 1 I had basically lost all faith in their ability to make a shoe silhouette speak to me (ie the Jordan I, III, XI, Uptempos, etc) and then this gem came along.  The Paul George 1.  I remember it popping up on the SNKRS app like a month in advance and I would check back 4 times a day to make sure the "Notify Me" button was still pushed.  

The day before launch it came out that the numbers below the swoosh were serial #'s and that this shoe was limited.  Hype went through the roof and I started to panic.  Knew I was taking a "L" on SNKRS app and when I did I immediately scooped a pair off eBay for $180 right before the seller had time to bump it to $220+.  Been in love ever since... 

Josh Barnett

Blogger | 19NINE

Aaron Meyer

Blogger | H.V.S.

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