LOVE AND STREETWEAR
Sneaker culture isn't for everyone. I think it's funny to tell people that when I first met Jake, I had one pair of tennis shoes. Now sitting pretty with over twenty pairs most people ask, what for? Yet in falling in love with Jake I have come to truly understand his unique form of creative expression that most men lack. Trust me I'm a comfort girl, catch me on my couch in sweatpants Sunday-Saturday, I can appreciate the typical guy who rolls out of bed and throws on a t-shirt to go... that's me. However, Jake has taught me that just because you want to be comfortable doesn't mean you can't be trendy too. Think of sneakers for guys like purses for women, most girls have one to accessorize and match every outfit; this is the same concept with Jake and his shoes.
How it started
Jake has always liked shoes... when asking him when it began he thinks back to the third grade when his church friend gave him a bunch of hand-me-downs. In there was a pair of silver and red Air Max 95s a few sizes too big and he fell in love with them. To this day he's only seen them once since then. Contrary to popular belief there was a phase well before his fascination with Nike, back when he was a little skater boy, and he collected shoes then too. By the time he got to fifth and sixth grade he had at least eight pairs, including brands like DC, Etnies and Osiris. He remembers his favorites back then were a pair of Lopez's because of the praying hands design, their unique gold details and the gum-bottom soles. If you take a look at the start of his collection, you'll see it's no surprise he began to appeal to the look of the Jordans. The first exclusive sneaker Jake ever wanted was the Jordan Retro 5s. He remembers his grandma getting him a pair for Christmas online and (not knowing better) they were fake. He could tell, but didn't want to make her feel bad so he wore them around all the time regardless. It wasn't until the ninth grade when he traded a kid on his basketball team his shocks for a pair of Mid All White 5s that he got his first real pair of Jordans.
How He Began His collection
Jake went to visit his best friend Matt in New York soon after they left for college and his friends Fahey and Sap took them around the city. At the time one of their friends had a sister who was dating someone who worked for the railroad so they snuck onto the front of a train car and explored the city the true NY way. They stopped into a sneaker store where Jake caught his eye on a camo-colored pair of Roshes. At the time the only ones that were out were the all black, so for $70 he had to buy them and this really kickstarted his shoe addiction. A little history on Nike's classic Roshe Run: they started off pretty hype, with only seven original mesh colorways. They began releasing exclusive FB-versions (futbol) where the Nike swoosh was on the toe of the shoe, like soccer cleats. One of Jake's favorite pairs to this day are his Roshe Cheetah Fb's, but they soon became oversaturated with lots of colorways and the hype diminished. However the hype wasn't necessarily what drew Jake to this sneaker in the first place. He loved them because he's a workout nut... I'm talking gym every morning at 6:30am for at least two hours and some days he goes twice lol. He fell in love with the Roshe because not only are they a comfortable shoe, but they're not that expensive. With multiple colors and patterns Jake was able to match almost any outfit. It wasn't that he didn't love Jordans or any of the other exclusive sneakers at the time, but at $200/pop retail he couldn't afford them. At the time he was paying for college on his own, bartending to have money to go out and have gas in his car and pay his rent so shoes like that weren't in the budget.
Favorite Pair in his collection now
His favorite pair of Jordans are a three-way tie between his Cactus Jacks, his White Cement 4s and his first pair (Black Cement 3s) just because they're timeless and he can wear them with anything. When asked if every time he opens a new box feels like the first time, he responded that it's not the same feeling, but it's close and in part that's where he thinks part of the addiction lies. He added, "I don't know if it's that feeling when you first get them or the feeling I get when I put them on with a sweet outfit,". I can't even begin to tell you how many outfits Jake tries on, whether he's going to the gym or going out, but the point is sometimes outfits don't work as planned. Sometimes it doesn't fit how he pictured it in his head, but that feeling when it worked perfectly how he envisioned it is something his creative personality lives for.
Craziest thing he's ever done for a shoe
In October of 2016 Nike's House of Hoops decided to launch a limited addition Championship Pack (or Four Wins Pack), inspired by the Cleveland Cavaliers 2016 NBA Championship. This series included four sets, a two-shoe collection of the Lebron Soldier 10s and the Kyrie 2s, highlighting each of the games the Cavs won that series (games 3, 5, 6, 7) and the shoes they wore while doing it. Each of the four Game Packs had a separate release on a House of Hoops truck and you didn't know the time or location of the truck until it was announced on Twitter.
GAME 3: HOMECOMING
It’s been said that a series doesn’t really start until the road team wins. Down 2-0 and heading home for Game 3, another loss could have meant the end of the series. The city had suffered far too long and the fans could already feel history repeating itself. It was time for the home team to assert its indomitable will—their fierce drive to win one for the city of Cleveland. Kyrie Irving came out of the gate firing on all cylinders, and LeBron James was, well, LeBron James. The result was a decisive victory that gave “The Land” a reason to believe.
GAME 5: FORTY-ONES
Down 3-1. Backs against the wall. Facing elimination on the road. Cleveland needed someone—anyone—to step up with storybook heroics. It turned out the city had more than one hero: LeBron James and Kyrie Irving made it clear that elimination simply wasn’t an option. LeBron brought the thunder and the lightning scoring from inside and out while Kyrie slashed through the defense at will. The city’s dream of redemption was still alive—but the task at hand was far from finished.
GAME 6: UNBROKEN
They weren’t supposed to win. This comeback wasn’t supposed to happen. But now, facing elimination for the second time in four days, the city’s mood had changed. Another win didn’t just mean surviving another day; it would push the series to a decisive Game 7. The world still doubted, but in Cleveland millions of fans were coming together with a common belief: Mere survival was a thing of the past. LeBron James was brilliant with a second consecutive 41-point game. Kyrie Irving dazzled with 23 of his own. And just like the city itself, the home team came together as one, tallying a series-high 24 assists. In a single game, “The Land” had come from the brink of elimination to the doorstep of history.
GAME 7: FIFTY-TWO YEARS
Fifty-two years. The longest title drought of any major U.S. sports market. A decisive Game 7 was the chance to end the misery. A chance to be the first ever to come back from a 3-1 deficit. A chance for LeBron to fulfill his promise to Northeast Ohio, and for Kyrie to bring a championship to the franchise that drafted him. Knotted up at 89-89 with under two minutes left in the fourth, the opposition’s fast break appeared to be history repeating itself—another “so close” shortcoming for the city. LeBron had a different ending in mind as he came out of nowhere to land “The Block”—a physics-defying play that changed Cleveland sports forever. The fulfillment of LeBron’s promise was closer than ever, but the game was still tied. Enter Kyrie Irving. The battle-tested guard had prepared for this moment his entire life. The possession was his and his alone. Down went the dagger and Irving took his own place in history. When the final buzzer sounded and the team erupted in celebration, the whole world understood: This victory was more than just a title. It was the culmination of fifty-two years’ struggle. It was redemption. It was destiny.
As much as I love Jake... I wasn't letting him go to all four releases, as each Game Pack was $300 so we settled on two games (6 & 7). Game 7 was a given, but this way he had the last two games and the all-white and all-black sets. The first day he stood in line for about three hours, but came home a happy camper with his Game 6 pack and another little surprise as they released the limited edition Ky-rispy Kreme's at the trucks unannounced... so he "HAD TO" grab those too lol. The day that the Game 7 Pack was launching didn't go as much in Jake's favor... it was the same day as the start of The World Series and the Cavs Home Opener so downtown was absolute chaos, packed with people. The tweet went out and Jake ran to the truck location and it was already swarmed with people, some of which came there for the shoe and others who saw a crowd building on the street and came to check it out. The card reader in the truck kept going out due to the massive amount of people. By the time he got to the front, he had been waiting there for six hours (weather was a high of 45 that day, so also freezing), but he got the shoes so he was happy. I picked him up from Downtown and we rushed home to take a look. When he opened up the bag, to both of our surprise and frustration, the shoes were not only the wrong size but it was the WRONG PACK! Somehow they had given us a Game 5 pack. I called immediately, every number I could Nike corporate/House of Hoops corporate/FootLocker corporate and after about 30 customer service representatives and roughly five hours later I had gotten nowhere. I even got in touch with a House of Hoops store out in Toledo (almost two hours away) who said they had one pair left in his size, but that they couldn't hold them for me if I drove out there. It was a total nightmare, but long story short he's got two packs dead-stock if you're looking ;)
For more of my husband's sneaker journey follow him @sh1ff
Behind the Scenes of My Husband's Addiction & me:
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