A Primer for Wannabe Sneaker Collectors
Clockwise from top: Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars, Nike Dunk Sky High in Rose Gold Snakeskin, Nike Classic Cortez, Nike Air Max Foot Locker, Nike Air Max 1 Ultra Essential, Adidas Stan Smiths in Sunglow.
“We’re living in the Golden Age of sneakers,” says jewelry designer Sarah Fox—see: Kristen Stewart rocking Chuck Taylors on the red carpet as proof. The creator of delicate tasseled bracelets and grown-up, bead-strung necklaces started her own collection by treating herself to pair of rose gold Nike high-tops four years ago and hasn’t been able to kick the habit since. Let’s step into her shoes, shall we?
KNOW YOUR HISTORY
“Once you get into shoes, you realize there are actually a lot of fascinating stories behind these companies we all grew up with. Adidas was started by a pair of brothers in a small town in Germany in the 1920s where they’re still headquartered. There was some family drama, and one brother ultimately split off in the 1940s to start Puma. ”
START WITH THE CLASSICS
“I try to keep my collection well-rounded with different shapes and colors. To start with, I think everybody needs a pair of Converse Chuck Taylors in black or white and a good running-style shape, like the Nike Air Max, which is super comfortable and has the old-school bubble tongue. I’d also suggest a low-top, like Adidas Stan Smiths, which are the most versatile shape. The fashion crowd has been really into them lately, but they originally debuted in the seventies and were the first celebrity shoe—there would be no Air Jordans without Stan Smith! I like them because you can wear them with a more dressed-up look. Then I’d get a high-top, like Vans S8-Hi Pro. You can easily rotate those four pairs and get so much use out of them.”
DO YOUR RESEARCH
“To go beyond the basics, I read a couple sneaker blogs for the latest news. Sneakers Addict is the best place to go for news and to see all the new collaborations. Like apparently there’s a new Sesame Street x Puma collection coming out that I’m really excited about! I also check Sole Collector for release dates.”
NARROW DOWN YOUR CHOICES
“There are so many options out there, so it helps to have a strong idea of what you’re looking for. I’m really into the monochrome trend, where every part of the shoe is one color. I wear a lot of neutrals, and I love the look of an all-black outfit, like a tailored wool coat and jeans, with a bright, solid pair of sneakers. I also don’t like flashy logos, and the monochrome keeps the branding subtle—it’s less about a bold Nike swoop or Adidas three-stripe when everything is one color.”
HONE YOUR EBAY GAME
“I mostly shop for sneakers on eBay, and I keep my search terms really general—just ‘Air Max’ and my size, for example. I once came across an amazing all-denim pair of Nike Air Maxes that I never would have found if I had used too many specific search words. The hunt is part of what’s fun for me. My ideal night in is a glass of wine and some sneaker window-shopping on eBay. Looking at both men’s and women’s sneakers also keeps the whole range of options open, too—one of my favorite pairs are neon-red men’s Nike Air Maxes. Just make sure you know your size conversion to the men’s line you’re buying.”
“I’m not one of those people who collects sneakers and keeps them in the boxes because I don’t think I’d ever sell them. I may be cautious at first and avoid wearing them in the rain, but eventually I end up wearing them every day. Otherwise, what’s the point?”