Sunday, January 6, 2013

If You're Obsessed with Sneakers Like I Am, Then Watch "Just for Kicks"

My Air Force Ones
I've been obsessed with sneakers ever since I was a little kid. Now this may seem weird coming from a soft spoken half Korean girl, but it's true. I grew up in Newport News, Virginia, the hometown of Michael Vick, in a diverse and urban area that was saturated with R&B and hip hop music and baggy pants.

I was a tomboy who wore hoodies and overalls and Starter jackets and of course, sneakers. I had just about every pair you could think of: L.A. Gear Flames, Converse All Stars, Reebok Hexalite, Nike Airs, Adidas Shell Top Superstar Classics, Classic Vans, Keds, New Balance running shoes and Asics gels. Most of them were boy shoes because I always thought they looked and felt way cooler than the girl versions. I loved my sneakers, and they loved me...until the soles tore open and my mother was forced to buy me a new pair.

I've been wearing sneakers ever since, on dates, to sporting events, to clubs and even most recently, to my first trip to Las Vegas. I even received a new pair of classic Nike Air Force Ones from my husband for Christmas. For me, wearing sneakers is much more comfortable than walking in heels or wearing any other type of godawful things that women are supposed to wear. I choose comfort over cuteness every time, and I really don't care what other people think.

My obsession with sneakers was finally validated after I watched Just for Kicks, a 2005 documentary by Thibaut de Longville and Lisa Leone that examines the culture and history of the sneaker.

Some of the topics include:
  • Run DMC's rise to hip hop fame and how they helped Adidas become the most popular shoes of the '80s without even trying
  • Hip hop performers, managers and producers who are obsessed with having the latest sneaker and have entire closets built for their sneaker collection
  • Everyday Joes who live for nothing but to collect sneakers and store them in random places throughout their home
  • The popularity of Air Jordans, and the history behind their inception
I particularly love the interviews with sneaker aficionados, who reveal just how important sneakers are to everyday life. Sneakers made you cool, respected and fly, but they also put you in danger.  I always heard the stories of people getting jumped for their shoes, but these interviews prove them true:

Even if you care nothing about sneakers, watch this documentary on Netflix. The personal sneaker stories of obsession are entertaining enough to keep you smiling. Or just watch it to be inspired to listen to this:

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