April 10, 2007

Sneaker Pimps


I recently discovered an underground fetish in a small California beach town. It's a fetish engaged in almost exclusively by men. The fetish exists in many countries. The fetish can be costly to indulge in. Men satisfy this fetish mostly in public. I call these men Sneaker Pimps.

The pertinent facts regarding my sneaker-wearing habits are as follows: As a lawyer in Washington, DC, I rarely wore sneakers, except for cross-training shoes to the gym. However, since moving to Southern California, I have traded my tasseled loafers for sneakers. I own two vintage pairs of sneakers: grey and orange Puma Californias, and marroon, black and khaki suede Vans. I have owned these sneakers for years. After moving to California, however, the shoes have rapidly begun to wear out, especially the Vans. Unfortunately, both models have been discontinued.

In my search for a replacement for the Vans, I have been to numerous stores. The problem I have had is that my feet have grown from size 12 to 12 1/2. I thought only one's ears and nose keep growing as one ages, but apparently the feet grow too, as one's arches fall due to weight and gravity. For some reason, no one stocks size 12 1/2. The half sizes end at 11 1/2, and then the sizes suddenly jump from 12 to 13. This is discrimination. Someone needs to look into this.

Then I wandered into a store in this beach town recently (I won't name the store or the town, because I want to keep it all to myself), and was blown away by the collection of athletic footware inside. There were Nike swooshes. There were black, white and red Adidas Kareem Abdul Jabaars that Kareem wore in "Game of Death." There was velcro all over. I had walked into vintage athletic shoe heaven.

Then a guy about my size came over. He was "Andy," the store's owner. He began to riff on all the shoes he had, and his passion was contagious. He told me that he has the same size feet as me, but that he has managed to amass over 400 pairs of sneakers. He gave me the story on many of the shoes on his shelves. They were very rare models that included Adidas velcro models from Japan, Nike models from the 1980s, and many others. He informed me that Nikes have made a gigantic comeback, and that guys from Japan are buying up the vintage ones by the dozens. Andy also told me that velcro is huge with the guys in Europe. This foot fetish is worldwide!

In the end, I was destined to buy a pair of shoes from this place. I won't say which ones, because I want some exclusivity. Andy put me on the store's email list, and told me that I will get ten percent off all future purchases. That's very dangerous. Under the right circumstances, with enough disposable income and closet space, I could easily become a sneaker pimp.

6 Comments:

At 9:34 AM, Blogger Barbara said...

I found myself wondering how much space would be needed to store 400 pairs of sneakers. Would you need some sort of database to be able to quickly locate that special pair of vintage Nikes when its number came up on the hit parade list? These are obviously people who have a lot of disposable income...

 
At 10:09 AM, Blogger media concepts said...

Is Imelda Marcos still alive? Maybe we can ask her about her closet design and inventory systems.

 
At 9:56 AM, Blogger globalchameleon said...

Velcro is back? Nice!! Lacing up shoes (and tripping over aforementioned laces) can be a pain.

 
At 11:08 AM, Blogger media concepts said...

There's also a cool pair of Converse All-Stars with lace holes but no laces. When you examine them more closely, you see that they have elastic attached to the tongue -- they're stealth slip-ons! I don't like Velco, so I guess I won't be fashionable in Europe this year.

 
At 11:39 AM, Blogger Ghetufool said...

12 1/2 is the size of your feet!! are you a giant? :-D

 
At 2:27 PM, Blogger media concepts said...

And now I'm wearing some size 13 shoes. Thanks for the compliment, although it's more fun when women ask that question.

 

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