The first pair of shoes that I can ever remember wearing was a pair of light blue galoshes from Japan that had some kind of Robot Animation character on each side of them. I was about 5 years old and I wore them rain or shine, with shorts or jeans, to school or church. My favorite thing about the shoes is that I could just slip them on without worrying about tying them because at the time I didn’t know how to tie my shoes. I was also proud of the fact that they had Japanese writing on them so no one else had them. I wore them faithfully until one day they sprung a leak, after that water would get stuck in the shoe and they were ruined.
During the time when Nike Air and Reebok Pumps were becoming popular, many people I knew had a pair but my parents bought me something way cooler… LA Gears. These shoes had bright neon orange shoe laces with an equally blinding enormous shoe tongue that stuck out of the top of the shoe. In the soul there was a clear area that was supposed to look like “AIR” cushioning, but it was just clear plastic. Take that Michael Jordan. These shoes were so “classic” that my parents bought me the exact same pair the following year with neon pink shoe laces.
In high school it was all about the Airwalks, the days of Nike had long past. If you were wearing any kind of Basketball shoe you were a poser in my book. I didn’t own a skateboard, but I was on my way to going pro at “freestyle walking”. My friends and I would be at the mall then someone would jump up and bust out with some freestyle moves, edging along benches with only the aid of our shoes. You had to do these kinds of things to add character to your shoes. How else were you going to get them faded and worn out, like you wanted?