Off-White Nikes. Yeezy Boosts. Any collaboration with Supreme or Fear of God. These are the types of sneakers people in the sneaker community aspire for. Yes, they can be expensive, they can be hard to cop, but nothing can beat the satisfaction of owning any of these pairs.
However, if you think that not having such pairs in your collection makes you less of a sneaker enthusiast, you better think twice. Recently, Sole Slam Industries CEO Antonio Aguirre posted some food for thought regarding the sneaker culture today:
Being one of the veteran sneaker enthusiasts in the Philippines, Aguirre’s statement is eye-opening. Considering his work for Fila, there’s some truth to that. That’s because beyond those hype sneakers people aspire to cop, there are several underrated pairs that deserve recognition. For Fila, there’s the upcoming 96 aka Grant Hill 2, the Bovesarurus, and the Mind Blower to name a few.
There are other brands that are worth exploring. Puma for one is on the rise with the Thunder Spectra and the different collabs for the RS-X lifestyle sneaker. Asics? There are a bunch of Gel-Lyte and Gel Saga collabs that do look real good especially on feet.
But how about the mainstream brands like adidas and Nike? It’s the same. I for myself have been exploring more underrated models—one of these include the Okwahn II trail sneaker, which recently dropped at Commonwealth PH.
*Some of the nice pairs I spotted at Commonwealth Greenbelt 5 the other day.
With my personal collection, I have since expanded beyond Air Jordans: one of my fave pairs include the “Hong Kong” Air Force 1 Retro, “Tee Time” adidas X Sneakersnstuff EQT Running Guidance, and “Vanda” Asics x Limited EDT Gel-Lyte III. All three sneakers may be not familiar to most of the hypebeasts out there, but they sure create a conversation with my fellow sneakerhead friends.
What does it take to be a real sneaker enthusiast? In a nutshell, it is showing appreciation to ALL brands and models—hyped or not. That’s why veteran sneaker collectors like Big Boy Cheng is well-respected in the community: as veterans in the game, they collect and scout for sneakers from a diverse set of brands.
Reiterating Aguirre’s point, being a sneaker enthusiast does not necessarily joining the fad on what is the next hype sneaker, but instead choosing sneakers that fit your personality and style as an individual. In addition, having a diverse collection—and not a collection limited to Off-White and Yeezys—brings in the authenticity to a sneaker connoisseur, as it shows their broad knowledge when it comes to sneakers.