14 Aug '13
A lot of "runners" in this post... I'm pretty happy about there being a wide variety of different types of sneakers available now days, which in turn helps to bring out the style in a lot of creative minds... Underrated kicks aren't underrated if you love and rock them with confidence! Don't over-think a specific sneaker because it doesn't have a Swoosh or Jumpman on it!
Awesome reads and a great interview attached at the bottom... Make sure you go check it out! Peace!
Concepts x ASICS Gel-Lyte III - "Three Lies"
Inspired by the statue of John Harvard at Harvard University, this ridiculous color combo and color-blocking technique are sure to turn heads... Definitely one of my favorite ASICS of the month! Click here if you're with it...
Supreme x Vans - "Bruce Lee" Pack
Supreme drop > hype > resale value > cool. Great concept; not my favorite design. As a big fan of Supreme, I still sometimes disagree with a few releases...
Garbstore x Reebok Classics - "Outside In" Collection
The only two in the collection I'm digging...
Reebok Inferno - Teal / Neon Yellow
Best drop from Reebok this year so far... I really hope they keep their momentum and bring back more classics! Reminds me of an old mlb hat we dropped at FITTED a few years ago. If anyone can e-mail me a pic of themselves with it on, I'll hook you up with a surprise gift at the shop...
Puma RS 100 "Animal"
Whoa... I guess they figured they might as well take advantage of the hype. Nevertheless, I actually appreciate the composition and thought put into the colors and patterns here... Wild, yet tasteful. A not so interesting and meaningless factoid: I actually worked for Puma back in 2005 as their "Denim Specialist," and helped open their Ala Moana store (recently closed; RIP). While there, I was able to acquire a decent collection of Puma classics, such as Baskets and Suedes. Good times...
Nike Air Max Terra 180 QS
Always had a soft spot for most 180 Maxes... Can't go wrong with these ULTRA CLEAN Quickstrikes! Don't sleep... Unless your'e a size 9. LOL.
Nike Air Max 1 SP & Nike Air 180 SP - "Germany'
Cool. Nothing more, nothing less... Pick em up here on the 17th if you're interested.
Nike iD Air Force 1 - "Real Tree Camo"
Tinker Hatfield (Interview)
Great read! I STRONGLY suggest you take yourself over to designboom.com and soak this in...
Select Discussion: Too Much Of A Good Thing by SneakerNews
A very interesting article that addresses an important issue that has barely been noted... It's about time one of these popped up! Great read!
OLD SOLE, NEW TRICKS INTERVIEW: Larin Wong | Ex-Niketown Waikiki Employee
I work for the Hawaii Air National Guard
How many years I've been in an affair with sneakers:
I think it all started in intermediate school when I was introduced to the Eastbay catalog. My friends and I spent so much time looking through the pages and we'd talk about all the things we were going to buy. Unfortunately, seeing the shoes on their feet was the closest I ever got to them. Fast forward about 8 years, I had just graduated from college, moved back home and I was offered a job working for the Swoosh in Waikiki. It was all downhill from there. For the first time in my life I actually had money to spend on shoes. I used to joke with people that I only worked for store credit.
How many pairs I own:
I think at my "worst" I had about 150 pairs, but I've kept it "under control" at about 75 right now.
Amazing sneaker-related story:
Look, I could go on for days with stories about shoes. I can tell you about how someone gave me this, one of one that, watching Mark Smith go crazy with the laser machine and hitting up everything in his office, or the time I proposed to my wife with a pair of shoes, but instead I'd like to share these two stories which mean a lot to me (and I'll try to keep them short).
1) Back when Nike was still open in Waikiki they had a program called Run Club. You could come down on Wednesday night to meet and run with other people in the community. It didn't cost anything and you didn't have to wear Nike to participate. Once in a while when Nike had new technology they wanted to share, they'd let people try on shoes, do the run, and return them after. Those shoes were then either returned to Nike HQ or raffled to the employees. One day outside of work, I met a school teacher who coached the cross country team at his school and he was telling me about how his kids would just run in Sketchers, or basketball shoes cause it's all they had and it was leading to injuries because they weren't getting the proper support and cushioning. Up until this point he still didn't know I worked for Nike, but long story short, I convinced Nike to give them all these left over trial shoes and as you can imagine the kids were super stoked.
2) Second story happened recently at my military job and is very similar to the previous. I noticed some of the guys I supervise running in non running shoes. So I went through my shoes, found a bunch of running shoes, brought them to work and told them if they'd use them, they could have them. One guy told me that those shoes were the very first pair of Nike shoes he's ever owned and probably the best shoe he's ever had.
I wanted to share those two stories in particular because I want people to understand how fortunate we all are as shoe collectors just to be able to afford the hobby. The shoes I gave away were just sitting among stacks of shoes in my house collecting dust and now they're on the feet of people who are getting great use out of them. I'm not saying that you should give away your shoes, but honestly, just be thankful for the things you have. Even if you only have three shoes in your collection and they're all GR or you got them at Ross or something, that's three more than someone else may have. I'll end this story with this: always remember to put yourself in someone else's shoes and, if you can, put them in yours.
Holy Grail and why:
Never really liked this term, and I'll spare everyone my reasoning. I guess if I had to pick one, I'd say the Air Force One, 2007 Pro Bowl PE. While I'm not the biggest AF1 guy, being from Hawaii, I like what this shoe represents and since it's a PE you know you're not going to see too many people rockin' them.
Most despised footwear and why:
1) First one is anything Under Armour, because I just despise the brand. They were coming up when I was still working for Nike and their CEO used to talk reckless about how they're going to put the Swoosh out of business blah, bah, blah. In addition, as a whole, I think they lack the research and development to be making the claims they do about their product. I also hate that they sponsor UH football and the Wounded Warrior Project, both organizations I care a lot about but won't buy any of the apparel because I don't want to wear anything with the Under Armour logo on it.
2) Secondly, Vibram five toe shoes. When they hit the market a year or so ago people were all about this "new" barefoot training movement. Sadly this isn't new at all, and I'm not convinced they're better than the Nike Free. Free's have been out since 2005 in Hawaii (NikeTown Honolulu was a test market), yet nobody knows they're made for barefoot training because they don't have individual toes. Speaking of individual toes, socks made with five individual toes are weird. Socks like that have been around in Japan for a while and it would just creep me out when the tourist would remove their shoes and have those on.
Currently hunting for:
Nothing, haha! I'm trying to stay away from shoes. I'll pick up stuff here and there but I've got bigger priorities in life right now. I've always categorized shoes in the "nice to have" category. Take care of the things in life you NEED before you go spending money on shoes.
Changes or surprises I'm hoping for in the sneaker world:
I would like to see "limited releases" no longer being available online. I understand that some people aren't able to get to stores that have the releases due to distance, but I think that's a solvable problem. Having only in-store releases takes care of the obvious problem; bots. You then take the online allocation and now ship them to more stores, which takes care of the availability problem for some of those smaller markets. Lastly, in-store only releases bring back hype. I know that's a bad word in the sneaker community but I think hype is a good thing. Hype causes people to line up down the block waiting for a shoe to release. It provides the opportunity for folks in the local shoe community to build relationships with people who share the same interests, and stores can just as easily use it to build relationships with their customers as well. It's pretty much how you (Parkz) and I met all those years ago.
Additional comments, shout-outs, big ups:
Shout out to my wife who supports my shoe sickness and even has a mild case herself. Shout out to all the friends I've made from my time at the Swoosh both locally and around the globe. I'm not going to list off a whole bunch of names, you all know who you are because we talk in real life and not just in social media. No shout out for you, Jared (Parkz)! Everyone shouts you out and you don't need anymore, haha! Thanks for letting me get on here to share some of my thoughts and stories, truly a pleasure.
Lastly, I want to leave everyone with something Errol Andam (if you don't know, google is your friend) told me a long time ago and this one phrase changed my life "They're just shoes." Mind you, he was wearing the most busted pair of Tiffany Dunks you could EVER imagine. . .6 months before release! If you don't get it, hit me up and one day we'll chat.
IG: I stalk people on IG through a family account @thewong1s
A question for Parkz (by Larin Wong): Can you share an amazing sneaker story of your own?
Well, Larin (Haha)... I think I'll speak of how we became such great of friends! It was back in 2005/06 (I think?!), when I was pretty adamant about picking up at least 4 (beat, rock, & stock) of every worthy Retro/LS Retro that released. I seemed to have acquired many of my necessary pairs by being the asshole who'd start the overnight line at Niketown Waikiki (lol). I recall many fun and sleepless nights, underage drinking at T.G.I. Fridays, providing fake and outrageous stories of what everyone was camping for to passing tourists, and witnessing the occasional hilarious fight. Amongst all that and a few other things, one of my fondest memories was waking up to the blazing sun in my face and breakfast being handed out by the Niketown employees (yes, they bought and handed out breakfast to each and every one of us). *Quick Intermission Story: This idea of handing out breakfast to customers in line was later adopted at FITTED for quite some time...* (Resume.) As I wiped the cold out my eye and my consciousness came to equilibrium upon waking, I'd extend my hand for the best tasting Egg McMuffin ever (I don't care for egg too much), which were ALWAYS handed out by none other the man, the myth, the legend himself, Mr. Larin Wong! Through my many years of repeatedly bugging him for information and help on all the new releases, as well as eating many of his life-saving breakfasts at Niketown, he and I have managed to develop a lifelong friendship. A big mahalo to you, Larin, for saving my life more than once! I hope this story was amazing enough for you... haha!
Interview by: JJ Parkz