Cyrus’ Style Watch: Sneakerheads sneak into style


By Cyrus Lyday, Editor-in-Chief

There are few things more important than making sure your kick game is strong. Most agree with this statement, few disagree, and there are those who live by it. Those few who live and die by the footgear are known as sneakerheads.

Being a sneakerhead means different things to different people, however they are united by shoes. Two people who I consider sneakerheads have very different impressions of what a sneakerhead is.

“To be a sneakerhead you don’t necessarily need a lot of kicks but you have to know what’s on your feet. Part of being a sneakerhead is knowing the history, design and purpose of the shoe. Sneakerheads are not to be confused with hypebeasts and are never the punchline of WHAT ARE THOOOOSE jokes,” senior sneakerhead and owner of Yeezy 350 Boosts Robert Naemura said. For those in Slanguage 1-2, a ‘hypebeast’ is someone who buys and wear their clothes for the purpose of impressing others rather than staying true to what they think is stylish, and WHAT ARE THOOOOSE jokes are directed at people wearing wack footwear like Crocs.

Senior Alex Bouneff, who wears a size 13 shoe, has a more negative view. “It really depends on what type of shoes you buy and how you act. When I think of a sneakerhead I think of a hypebeast, someone that’s kind of [censored] wearing a bunch of new Jordan’s,” he said.

The most sought-after shoes are sold in limited releases, which leads to somewhat of a black market for popular sneaks. Facebook groups like ‘PDX Sneakerheads’ and online shopping sites like eBay are the medium for buying and reselling shoes.

“I’ll re-sell shoes and turn anywhere from $20-$100 profit per pair,” said Bouneff. “On some releases you can make $300-$500 a pair, but I haven’t been lucky enough to get my hands on a pair that valuable yet.”

The large profit stems from the simple business theory of supply and demand. Some may think that buying popular shoes simply to turn a profit rather than wear the shoes is wrong, but my committee of sneakerheads doesn’t have a problem with it. “It’s a testament of consumerism. People choose to incorporate that type of spending into their budget. There are shops that re-sell shoes. They probably question the game as well, but ultimately everybody’s trying to hustle their own piece of the pie,” said Naemura.

When buying shoes on the resale market, make sure to look out for fakes. “Fakes aren’t really a big problem unless a secondary store, resellers, are mixing in fakes with their inventory to get over on people,” explained Bouneff. “If you check with people that are familiar with the brand or do a little bit of research about the shoe you are buying, avoiding fakes is not a problem.”

Naemura’s advice is to always meet up with resellers at the store IndexPDX because they will check a shoe’s authenticity for free.

Shoes are a paramount aspect of fashion, and sneakerhead culture is ever expanding, especially with our generation. Social media like Snapchat has become a medium for showing off your blazing kicks or calling others out on theirs.

“The sneaker scene at Cleveland is good. What comes to mind is practicality, hip-modern vibes and some nice heat once in awhile,” Naemura said.