For most of us sneakerheads, there comes a time when we give up the ghost. We spend years, some of us decades cultivating a collection until it’s perfected. Newsflash: It will never be perfect. So how do you find yourself from chasing perfection to being content with just 3 or 4 cops per year?
There’s many reasons why people leave the sneaker world behind. For the most part, life gets in the way. A family, kids, commitments all take over from lining up for limited releases, sneaker crew meet-ups and ticking off that ever-growing list of grails.
I recently caught up with a good friend of mine who’s found himself in retirement from the sneaker game, to shed some light on his post-sneaker addiction.
“I used to live and breath the community on ground level. It was literally all I thought about. But don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy a fresh crispy pair straight from the box, but I also have a lot more going on in my life right now that takes my priority.”
Since he’s left, he’s learnt some things that can hopefully put life into perspective for anyone currently living paycheck-to-paycheck, just because they have to have that drop.
‘This is quite obvious. Spending $200 every weekend sure adds up quickly. Especially with the amount of releases Nike and Jordan Brand have been throwing out there over the last 18 months. I’ve found myself to be more selective with cops over that time, and as a result, my collection is cultivated to perfection with extra stacks in my pocket.’
‘To me, time and money have the same value, so the less time I spend entering raffles, organizing assists or lining up for sneakers has enabled me to spend more time with my young family and working on my goals.’
3. Everyone forgets the hype
‘Remember when the Pony Hair Air Jordan 4’s came out? A $400 pair of Jordans everyone needed. Well, guess what, they’ve come and gone, and I barely see them anymore – it’s all about the flavor of the week. This comes back to being selective in my cops and – in essence – only rocking what I really love – not what everyone else loves. And even if you do miss out on the sneaker you really wanted, don’t stress – there’s another collaboration right around the corner.’
4. Elitism disappears
‘We’ve all seen it. There’s those guys who, because they have every hyped up release, think that they’re somewhat better than you. Not all guys with crazy collections are like this. A lot are actually humble, but with these guys, it’s a subtle arrogance. Having a rare pair of sneakers does not make you a better human being. Similarly to my last point, these guys get forgotten about relatively quickly. Spending more time with people outside the circle, has really made this obvious.’
5. True happiness
‘Now, don’t get me wrong here. The happiness you get from a fresh pair of J’s is incredible, but it only lasts until the next Saturday morning at Footlocker. What I’m talking about here is something you can only get from a balanced life. More time with family and friends. More money to travel and go for dinner and drinks. I’ve had more time and focus to truly connect to people and the world around me.
It’s strange, I was part of such a niche community – you’d think I’d be be dialed in then, but really, I’ve never felt more connected to the world around me than I do right now.
For the record, I still love sneakers and always will. I’ve met some incredible people over the years and I still continue to connect with some beautiful people around the industry. But for me, there’s always been a little more to life.
For everyone, it will be different. It’s just about finding your balance.’
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