It's GOTTA Be The Shoes! (version 2.0)

You remember those old(er) Air Jordan commercials, right? Spike Lee as Mars Blackman talking about his main man, Michael Jordan. Nike was selling an idea - you can jump higher, shoot better with a pair of Air Jordans on your feet (*ahem* even if you're listed at 5'8"). These marketing campaigns were pure genius. Even though I only owned one pair of Air Jordans, I must admit, I was caught up in the hype - when wearing them, I did feel like I was Mike. They didn't help my vertical, nor improve my jump-shot and they most certainly did not help me grow but I did feel like Mike because I was wearing his shoes.

If you've been watching the Bulls lately, Derrick Rose has been wearing these sweet gray and red kicks.

Enter the "Fast don't lie" campaign by Adidas. Their idea is that you can cut better and run faster like Derrick Rose (or at the very least, have caviar pools and lady pyramids). Pure genius. But, at 33 years old, my admiration is different; I know that these shoes won't help my vertical and if I were to "cut" like DRose, I'd tear my ACL in seven places. I feel myself becoming more of a collector of Derrick Rose gear (rookie cards, shoes, jerseys, etc) rather than trying to emulate him.

I reached out to Jeremy Kreiger -- he won the Nike LunarGlide+ 2 Design Contest and he represented the U.S. in a global competition. I had several questions about shoes and shoe collecting. He told me there’s two types of shoe collectors: the "Sneakerheads" and the casual collector.

"Sneakerheads" are obsessed with shoes. They must have everything that is exclusive or deemed popular in the shoe society or culture. They require every new Nike, Air Jordan, or Adidas in multiple colors and retro styles. These sneakerheads belong to forums and websites and follow conversations on release dates, value of the shoe(s) and personal perspective and representation. Most importantly, sneakerheads aren’t price-sensitive; there is no price that is un-payable. The only reference of price for sneakerhead is in the form of bragging because of how expensive they were (like a status symbol) or on how good a deal they received.

The casual shoe collector can be anyone who may own a couple pairs of shoes of their favorite athlete or style. There isn’t an ultra sense of fascination or obsession but rather an appreciation and recognition that the shoe of their favorite player or style is appealing and available. They are price-sensitive and set reasonable limits on the price they pay and the number of pairs they own.

Justifications for being a shoe collector:
  • Design – is it really designed by the athlete?
  • Performance – Does it make me jump higher, run faster, reduce injury, and/or maximize comfort?
  • Popularity – How many people are buying this shoe? Is this the best selling shoe in the country?
  • Recognition – Will people recognize these shoes on my feet? Will I receive compliments on them?
  • Fashion – Will these shoes match? Do they look good with my style?
  • Profit – If I wait in line for this exclusive shoe, how much money can I make?
Jeremy also informed me that when the playoffs come, Derrick Rose may have a new edition; if he wins MVP, there may be a limited MVP edition AND if the Bulls make it to the Finals, he may have a Finals edition. Wow. That's a lot of editions.

I thought the "Fast don't Lie" campaign meant performing on the court, but at $100 a pair (plus Cook County sales tax), apparently it means how fast money leaves your wallet as well.

I just hope caviar pools and lady pyramids are included.

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