When I was writing yesterday’s post about new year’s sneaker resolutions, one of the things that I’d resolved to do was help out “new sneakerheads”. Although most of the other resolutions on the list were somewhat simple and straightforwards, this one really wasn’t. What exactly is a “new sneakerhead?” How can you tell if someone is really interested for the right reasons or if they’re just trying to follow a new trend? All these questions spawned their own questions, and I decided it was only right to whip up a piece addressing the matter. So read on. I think it’s a very interesting topic and one that certainly needs to be discussed.
First of all, even though some of us might be grouchy about new people coming into the game for what we may feel are invalid reasons (or maybe we’re just plain grumpy and feel like the sneaker game has gotten somewhat gentrified), we’ve gotta understand that we were new in the game at one point too. No matter how much you know now, there was a point where you knew next to nothing. That’s just the way things are.
Secondly, it’s good to have fresh faces coming into the scene. For the sneaker game to thrive, it’s gotta keep growing and changing. Although it might have been better in the old days, it’s never good when something stays stagnant. People lose interest. Even people who are obsessed lose interest. It’s natural. Although change to something you love may be difficult at first, you’ve gotta accept it, and part of that change is a new crop of kids getting into shoes.
Now that we’ve hashed out why you should be accepting of new people coming into the game, let’s touch on the best way to mentor them. Now I’m not saying that you have to tell someone everything that you know about shoes or where your secret spot for copping rare Europe-only Nike Sportswear releases is, but you should pay it forwards in some way. Let them know how to avoid overpaying for shoes, or the best way to keep their soles icy. Chances are that someone did that for you, and it’s only right that you pass it along yourself. Plus, being kind is never a bad thing, and you just might make someone’s day.
On the slightly more negative (hate to use that word, but it’s true in this instance) side of things, you have to be careful. Just like with any other hobby, there are lots of people that get into sneaker collecting for all the wrong reasons. Don’t support anyone who loves blowing crazy amounts on shoes just to floss for a day and then sell them a week later, or people that are clearly into sneakers just to get attention. Although you might be able to make a quick buck or two off of people like this, it doesn’t help with the culture. Be free with your advice, but make sure you have an idea of the character of the person you’re imparting it to.
And there you have it. That’s my thoughts in roughly 500 words about “new sneakerheads” and what you should and shouldn’t do for them. Be sure to be kind and pass your knowledge on! Sharing and making the community as a whole smarter is always a good thing.