Cassidy Myers

Phil Knight Wisdom

I've been obsessed with shoes just about as long as I've been obsessed with basketball - and given that sneaker culture is pretty synonymous with basketball culture, I guess that makes sense. So given that my love of shoes is beyond most people's, I have a few confessions to make. 


-I cried when my mom surprised me with my first ever pair of Jordans on the way to basketball practice in Middle School.

-The best compliment I've ever received was when my 5th grade boyfriend told me that he wanted to date me because I had the best shoes of anyone on the whole playground. (If you were wondering, these were the shoes I had that year.)

-I make shoe contact before eye contact (and I might or might not judge random people by the shoes they wear. I know, I know, don't judge a book by its shoes. I'm working on this personality flaw.)

-My parents would buy me a new pair of shoes before every school year and I'd spend weeks going through the Eastbay catalogue agonizing over which pair to get. (And when I finally got them, I might or might not have slept beside them ...)

-New shoe smell >>> new car/house smell 

...I could keep going, but I've probably already raised enough eyebrows with my list as it is.


I don't really know what started my sneaker obsession at such a young age, or what has kept it so strong over my nearly 30 years of life. Although, working for Nike certainly didn't help. It's not necessarily something that most people understand, which is fine. My Grandma is annoyed every time she sees me in a new pair of shoes, my dad wishes I had put all the money I've spent on shoes into savings, and my mom has finally stopped saying "you can only wear one pair at a time, why do you need so many?" 


But there is one person who gets it, which makes sense being that he's the founder of Nike. In his book Shoe Dog, Phil Knight says, "The average person takes 7,500 steps a day, 274 million steps over the course of a long life, the equivalent of six times around the globe - shoe dogs, it seemed to me, simply wanted to be part of that journey. Shoes were their way of connecting to humanity. What better way of connecting, shoe dogs thought, than by refining the hinge that joins each person to the world's surface?"


Maybe it's not that deep for every sneakerhead, but I do think there's a more important meaning behind the obsession for many people aside from just what looks cool. Whether it's a form of personal style and expression or filling a void from not being able to have a certain shoe as a child or just a passion for design, there's a reason why there's an entire culture of people obsessed with shoes. 


Here's to 50 more years of sneaker obsession. 

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