What is it about a person having a superior shoe game? What is it about what one adorns on their feet setting the standard for how people (knee grows) proceed to judge that person? Why are shoes damn near deemed the most important fashion statement a Black person can make? Why do Black people live in fear of being hit with the “What are thoooossssseeee!!!” if their shoe game isn’t on point? Exactly what is it about shoes that we love so damn much?
Let me start off by saying that I’m a recovering shoe addict. At the height of my shoe addiction I owned about 250 pairs of shoes, but I blame that on my 30% discount I used to receive from the Finish Line shoe store when I worked there back in 1999. Now 250 pairs of shoes may seem beyond excessive, but I knew dudes who had double my number. Yes dudes. Not chicks. Dudes. I had so many shoes back in the day, I forgot I had shoes. Some shoes I wore maybe once or twice & then tossed them in a box to never be seen again until maybe a year or so later. Whatever the hottest sneaker that was out back in the day, you name it, I had it…probably in multiple colors. I was living out the negro trinket fantasy for real for real and felt absolutely no shame doing so. Now, my shoe collection has dwindled down to maybe 30 pairs, but I haven’t bought a pair brand new shoes in over a year. Well, I lied. I just bought a pair of running shoes two weeks ago that I have yet to run in. But, my point is, I haven’t bought a pair of shoes in a long while that I haven’t intended on wearing for a specific purpose. I got my workout shoes, my running shoes, my “get my grown man on” shoes, my cut the grass shoes, my “fuck it, I’m being bummy today” shoes, my “I’ve yet to step on a basketball court but I at least have the shoes in case I do wanna play a pickup game” shoes; I have quite a few shoes.
I was talking to some young guys yesterday and the subject of shoes came up and they were telling me how it is critical to have fly shoes on at all times no matter what they are doing because they never know when a female might be choosing. I can relate to that train of thought being that I too was of the same mindset once. Nowadays, I’m a father of 2 kids, both boys. I can’t imagine how much damage my two sons might inflict upon my bank account in the future once they start exploring their interest in girls and then begin to realize that there is an absurd amount of peer pressure that will be placed upon them to avoid being hit with the “What are thooooosssseeee!!!” line from other guys AND girls. But at the same time, I can’t have my 2 boys walking around in bobo shoes.
Truth be told, if a young person today ever owned as many pairs of shoes as I owned back in the day, I have absolutely no clue how they could afford it. Real talk, shoes just cost too damn much money these days.