The Sneaker In Your Head

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Everyone has obsessions, and you have an obsession with your Lobsters. You come home from a long day at school and take your Lobsters and wash them. You clean them to perfection until the outside is shiny and smooth. You put them in their box for a good night’s sleep. The next day you show them off on the street to everyone walking by. “Du-u-ude, nice Lobsters!” one man says. You smile. You are very proud of your new shiny Lobsters. “How do you get your Lobsters to be such a deep red?” one girl admiringly asks. These are not Maine Lobsters. These are Nike Lobsters, sneakers that can range from $80 to $200 depending on the dealer.

Fashion used to be defined by the centerpiece of your outfit-- your pants or your shirt. But it’s now evolving into a different centerpiece, sneakers. Sneakers are the new “in-thing.” The au courant, hip fad. The newest wrinkle. The cutting-edge infatuation! The other day, I was walking down the street and I came across my friend. As I was walking towards him, I hadn’t noticed him look down at my new shoes, but when I came up to him, he gestured towards my shoes, saying, “Nice kicks.” I’m not saying that it’s ethical or right to judge people by what they are wearing, but it’s reality.
While what people are noticing about you is evolving, sneakers are also evolving. Over time what used to be referred to as a sneaker is probably a different shoe than what is now referred to as the sneaker. Sneaker manufacturing first started in the late 1800s when they started to make shoes out of rubber. By the 1970s, there were clearly four major sneaker companies, Nike, Puma, Adidas, and Converse (which was recently bought by Nike.) Nike was always the biggest manufacturer and Adidas and Puma were the second and third biggest manufacturers. Throughout the 1980s, the sneaker was designed for running or playing tennis. In the 1990s Nike came out with the Air Jordans based off the basketball star Michael Jordan. These shoes were designed for basketball players and were the new style at that time. In the twenty-first century, sneakers have become less athletic and more like skateboarding shoes rather than basketball shoes. Up until this time sneakers were very functional, now, shoes are mostly designed for fashion.
When people collect things they are usually collecting something that looks good and is not so much useful. The classic sneakerhead is one who collects the new style of sneakers. Sneakerheads can also be collectors who trade and sell shoes. In other words, it’s not just a business of shoe stores and companies. My cousin is in this business where he’ll buy a pair of shoes, then sell them for more money or trade for shoes that are worth more. He belongs to sneaker-selling groups on Facebook where people who want to sell shoes post a picture of whatever shoe they are selling, and then put the price that they are selling them for. Other people make their own customized sneakers. They buy white sneakers and paint over them, making personalized prints..
Making rare, personalized shoes is a way to raise the price of sneakers. In the latest recession shoe stores are trying everything they can to stay in business. The latest thing that shoe stores are doing is using the sneakerhead craze to make rare sneakers that everyone will want. Major companies and local shoe stores are teaming up to create their own designs. In Cambridge, Massachusetts, a local store teamed up with the shoe company Nike, to design a new shoe known as the “Blue Lobster.” One hundred people waited in line on chairs in the rain for five days and four nights outside this Cambridge store. One family had driven all the way from Ohio with the momentum that “this is the only place to get them in he country.” These shoes sold for $250 when they were bought at the store. On Ebay, the shoes now go for $600!
Not everyone is able to purchase these expensive sneakers. In the 1990s, a shoe that was called the Nike Air Jordan was revealed to the public. These shoes, at first, went for $65 which was out of the price range of many teenagers. These shoes became so popular that teens would do anything to get their hands on them. All over the US, crimes which included mugging, robbery, armed robbery, even murder were reported because of these shoes. All of this was because these people couldn’t afford these shoes. Recently, more crimes for sneakers have been reported. Some kids don’t even step out of their house with their shoes on because their shoes are worth so much. If kids are under so much pressure for what their shoes are worth, what’s the point of owning them at all?
I think kids are either forced to steal shoes, steal money from their parents to buy shoes, spend more time working than studying, or be different from their friends. I think that it shouldn’t be this way.
Sneakers should not be such a big deal that kids feel pressured to commit crimes. Sneakers and shoes were invented to protect your feet. The sneaker fad is not supposed to take over your life. Fads are indeed a style that is very popular. Joining fads is something that you have to be willing to do and you should not let it thwart your judgment.
To join the fad or not to? It is by all means up to you.





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smellsliketeenwriter said...
Jan. 16, 2011 at 2:30 pm
I can relate with this cause I'm obsessed with Converses! I want them in every color :P
 
HisPurePrincess This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Mar. 23, 2011 at 4:19 pm
I love converse too!  And I'd love to have them in every color.  However, I won't, and I don't expect to.  I don't love all their styles, but I enjoy spending my money on shoes because I know they'll get a lot of wear out of them, instead of buying candy or nail polish or something.
 
Phantom_Girl This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 11, 2010 at 8:26 am
This reminded me of the poem "Please Don't Take my Air Jordans."
 
kiwi said...
Jun. 9, 2010 at 9:04 am
that was good writing
 
bigmetfan said...
Nov. 20, 2009 at 7:26 pm
where is Massahusetts? great article
 
Uberman said...
Nov. 16, 2009 at 7:24 pm
Sorry about that ( I accidentally posted my comment!) Anyways, here in California I thought that the sneakerhead craze was only occuring on this part of the US but this shows that it is clearly not. I liked the writing but thought that you could have cleared up your conclusion. Great Article!
 
Uberman said...
Nov. 16, 2009 at 7:21 pm
This was an amazing article and I was very fortunate to find that this was written by someone on the East Coast!!! Here
 
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