By Tobias Harvey
Sneakerheads are often described and defined by their tastes in expensive footwear, fashion sense and an eye for details. They are common on the Pensacola State College Pensacola campus and they all have their own unique styles.
Kenneth Cox, 19, says being able to buy any pair of shoes he wants motivates him to grow his sneaker collection. When he was a young boy, his mother would take him shoe shopping and she would pick out his shoes for him, despite his preference in a particular brand. Now that he is an adult, he is free to make his own decisions. He eventually found his own style after being able to decide on his clothes and footwear. His outfits are built around his sneakers in order to highlight his collection.
Since 2007, Cox has accumulated 27 pairs of sneakers including: Green Bean Jordan 5’s, Pine Green Foamposites, True Blue Jordan 3’s and Jordan Bread 4’s. Part of being a sneakerhead is keeping up on news in the sneaker community. News can involve new designs, new designers and money matters between brands.
“Air Jordan belongs to Nike, but most people don’t know that,” Cox said. “That’s why on every box of Jordan’s, there is a Nike logo on the bottom.”
He holds a special admiration for the Nike shoe designer responsible for several Air Jordan designs, Tinker Hatfield, describing his as “G.O.A.T.” or “Greatest of All Time.”
Cornelius Blackmon II, 19, said his cousin helped him to become a sneakerhead. Every time Blackmon would go to his cousin’s house, shoe magazines, newsletters and other memorabilia would be scattered around his room. His collection, totaling 16 pairs of sneakers so far, started in 2008. His most prized sneakers are: Jordan 2’s, Kobe Crimson 9’s, Jordan Son of Mars and KD 4 Yeezy Customs. He got the opportunity to attend a Sneakercon event in Tallahassee in 2014.
Sneakercon events are normally held in large, metro areas around America. Sneakerhead culture evolves during these events as members of the community come together to discuss news and gossip about new shoes and existing brands, and to show off and admire sneaker collections. Blackmon said slang words have developed around the sneaker craze too.
“A hypebeast is someone who buys popular sneakers just because they are popular,” he said.
The price of loving sneakers is not low. One pair of Foamposites can cost between $250 and $300 depending on the rarity of the color. Yeezy Customs, if proven to be authentic, can be sold for over $3000. To the devout sneakerhead, however, the price is worth it.