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Being a sneaker-head

Justin Stern with his sneaker collection.

Justin Stern with his sneaker collection. Credit: Jason Stern

I am a sneaker-head. That means that I buy, sell and trade sneakers. I recently went to a sneaker convention at the Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan called Solexchange. I bought a pair of Air Jordan 10 Chicago. The Air Jordans are named after Chicago Bull Hall of Famer Michael Jordan. Earlier this year I bought a pair What the KD7s. These sneakers are highly collectible because they are named after Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Kevin Durant. I thought I was going to love the KD7s, but soon realized that I liked the Lebron 11s better. My goal at the sneaker convention was to try to trade or sell my KD7s for a better and more valuable sneaker. To my surprise, I met a kid who was looking for a pair of KD7s and I was able to trade them for the Lebron 11s. Just like Lebron stealing a pass from Kevin Durant, I feel like I stole my Lebrons.

Being a sneaker-head is not a hobby, it is a culture. I have been into sneakers for almost two years now. What drew me into sneakers was a pair of blue and yellow KD5s. I still remember how they smelled when I took them out of the box. They smelled like they were fresh off the assembly line and looked like they wanted to be worn.

Sneaker-heads first started in 1985, when the Nike Air Jordan 1s came out. They sat on shelves and went on sale for around $60. Now those same shoes that were on sale in 1985 are worth more than $1,000. Shoes that have recently come out that are worth a lot of money are the Jordan 1 “Shattered Backboard.” They were inspired by Michael Jordan playing in a pickup game in Italy and breaking the backboard while dunking.

Being a sneaker-head is so fun because there is always a new sneaker releasing. As a sneaker-head, I am always looking for a unique and more valuable sneaker to add to my collection. This is not your normal hobby.

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