I think one of my kids is a sneakerhead-in-training. It might be a very expensive decade

OPINION: My shoes already cost too much money. What if I have to buy TWO pairs of all of them?

Editor’s note: The following article is an op-ed, and the views expressed are the author’s own. Read more opinions on theGrio.

I recently wrote about Disney’s foray into sneaker culture with its latest live-action musical, Sneakerella. It’s a fun movie, enough so that my 7- and 6-year-olds sat down and watched the whole thing. That’s really the mark of a good movie: Does it hold the attention of kids? 

Well, the next morning, while getting ready for school, my 7-year-old told my wife that he was a sneakerhead. This was while he was trying to decide what shoes to put on to go to school; my wife was trying to get him to move faster; he was making what amounted to a significant decision for his day. And I completely understand it. That’s one of the major tenets of being a sneakerhead—the struggle to decide which kicks you’re going to wear for the day (unless you woke up knowing and you have to find clothes that match them).

Admittedly, that statement brought me much joy. As a person who buys way more shoes than I’ll probably ever get around to wearing and who has a style and aesthetic that I have cultivated over the years, it’s funny to see my kid at 7 get to where I am at 42. We’re doing alright in life, I guess. My daughter is in her Doc Marten’s phase and enjoys a nice Air Force 1 or Chuck Taylor, but the 7-year-old, well, he’s a little different. 

For one, he wants new shoes all of the time. If we get in the car and we’re not going to school, he wants to know if we’re going to get him some shoes. I think it’s because of how many pairs of shoes he’s seen me bring into the house. Shoot, when I get a new pair of shoes, he is always disappointed that he doesn’t have new shoes AND he tells his mother that “daddy got new shoes, it’s not fair!” I think the kid has an itch. If he would keep his shoes clean, I might get him more, but don’t tell him that. He loves shoe stores, and when we go to the mall, he immediately wants to hit the shoe stores. Now, he doesn’t know anything about exclusives; he just wants…shoes. 

And he has his own style. In fact, I won’t just buy him a pair of shoes at this point. I’ve learned his proclivities so I could probably get him shoes that he’d like, but he definitely has told me, “Daddy, I don’t like those” on occasion. When he goes into shoe stores, he looks carefully at all the shoes and decides on a pair. It’s so interesting and curious. Like I’m already wondering if he’ll have really early sneaker memories of the shoes he liked most. It’s very cool to watch. 

At this point, he probably has 10 or 11 pairs of wearable shoes. All he’s picked out, some are replacements for shoes he’s worn so much that he’s worn the soles down to tractionless rubber. But he has a penchant for Adidas. He seems to always gravitate towards the racks of shoes with Adidas. When we pull up shoes online, he already knows the Adidas app on my phone and goes there first to look for shoes. 

Thankfully, right now his shoes are pretty inexpensive. There’s an asterisk on that though; the other day, we were at the mall and he picked up a pair of red Air Max 270s. Until I looked at the price tag, I was all in. The price? $110 for YOUTH SIZES. I told them they were too much even though I know I’d drop $180 bucks on a pair of shoes in a heartbeat. I told him when he gets bigger and his shoe size is more stable we can load up on as many shoes as he wants but for now, we need to be more frugal. I felt bad saying it, but I also didn’t want to spend $110 for some shoes he was going to destroy and/or grow out of in two weeks. 

I look forward to this being a hobby that we bond over. I’m sure at some point, he (and his brothers) are going to dig into my shoe stash and pull out and put on some shoes that I will be upset about, but the fact that I know it’s coming gives me some joy. As an ardent and active member of the sneakerhead community, I am excited about having conversations with my kids about the latest drops and what shoes are overhyped and questioning why people are going banoodles over Nike Dunks because I still don’t get it. And I even look forward to shelling out the hundreds of dollars on whatever shoes are supremely popular in the next 5 to 10 years so my kids can all be the kids at school with the fresh kicks. 

It will be costly, but it will also be priceless. And that’s what life is all about.

 Panama Jackson is a columnist at theGrio. He writes very Black things and drinks very brown liquors, and is pretty fly for a light guy. His biggest accomplishment to date coincides with his Blackest accomplishment to date in that he received a phone call from Oprah Winfrey after she read one of his pieces (biggest) but he didn’t answer the phone because the caller ID said “Unknown” (Blackest).

Make sure you check out the Dear Culture podcast every Thursday on theGrio’s Black Podcast Network, where I’ll be hosting some of the Blackest conversations known to humankind. You might not leave the convo with an afro, but you’ll definitely be looking for your Afro Sheen! Listen to Dear Culture on TheGrio’s app; download here.

The post I think one of my kids is a sneakerhead-in-training. It might be a very expensive decade appeared first on TheGrio.

About Us

Vinegar Hill Magazine is a space that is designed to support and project a more inclusive social narrative, to promote entrepreneurship, and to be a beacon for art, culture, and politics in Central Virginia.

Categories

Recent News

CIM Project, Politics

Public Violence, Our Trusty Companion 

by Katrina Spencer This story was published as a part of Charlottesville Inclusive Media Project's: First Person C-Ville “A billion people died on the news tonight But not so many cried at the terrible sight… Who's the one to decide that it would be alright To put...

Past Publications

You May Also Like

Judge Mathis’ Daughter Speaks Out About Mental Health

Judge Mathis’ Daughter Speaks Out About Mental Health

Jade Mathis knows what it’s like to be a Black woman living with depression. Mathis, 36, the oldest child of the famous syndicated TV Judge Greg Mathis, was diagnosed with depression and ADHD in 2006. After years of struggling, Mathis has found a way to survive and...

Arizona Cardinals defensive back Jeff Gladney dies in car crash

Arizona Cardinals defensive back Jeff Gladney dies in car crash

The 25-year-old TCU standout and former Minnesota Viking had just signed to the Cardinals Jeff Gladney, a defensive back for the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals, died Monday in a car crash in Dallas. He was 25. Gladney’s death was confirmed by the Cardinals and his agent. “We...

FBI investigating Basquiats in Orlando exhibit

FBI investigating Basquiats in Orlando exhibit

The museum claims Basquiat was 22 when he first painted several pieces of cardboard in 1982 The FBI is questioning the authenticity of 25 works that one Orlando museum touts as originals by famed artist Basquiat. As reported by the New York Times, in a federal...