1. Who (are you?), What (do you for a living?), Where (do you live?)
My name is Stewart, I live in Solihull just south of Birmingham in the UK. I work in strategic relationship management in Commercial Insurance…more exciting than it sounds. Sometimes!
2. When did your love for sneakers start and why do you love sneakers so much?
I’m pretty old!…so it goes way back to my breakdancing and running days in the 80’s but my biggest passion came from my time playing basketball from the age of 11.
I’ve collected sneakers on and off for around 30 years and have always had a broad taste both in terms of styles and brands. Eclectic taste!…wear what you love and not just hype!
3. Do you remember your first pair of sneakers? Which pair was it?
My most poignant memory was when I bought my first basketball boots when out shopping with my Mum! I spotted a stunning buttery leather Sergio Tacchini boots that the Italian Basketball team wore at the 1984 Olympics (I think).
At first I was worried they weren’t cool but so many people turned their heads and asked about them! I wore them for a couple of years before getting the Jordan II and Jordan III (they were both nearly impossible to buy in the UK but I still have both), Jordan 5 (that just crumbled!) and the Air Alpha Force amongst others.
I also had numerous pairs of Adidas Shell Toes, Adidas Gazelle and Nike runners and loved the Diadora Borg Elite…I was there in person for the original Air Max 1 ’87 launch back in the day when you could actually go into a shop and buy the shoes you loved…lol!
4. What’s your favorite brand and model?
Probably Diadora. I just love the Italian heritage, quality, craftsmanship and materials. There are some amazing collabs but their GR’s are amazing too. I have a very broad taste and love anything that catches my eye but especially if the quality, shape and materials are good.
I’ve always collected the Nike Air Max 1, the Asics Gel Lyte III and New Balance Made in UK and USA models….and still have some big grails to tick off my list.
Roos, Sonra, Saucony, Le Coq Sportif (MIF), Mizuno all tick the box for me too!
5. How many sneakers do you have in your collection?
I genuinely don’t know, I’ve never counted them! I’m in the process of clearing some pairs out at the moment….but I reckon it’s around 200 pairs. This year I’m going for quality over quantity (I think I said that the last two years tough!).
6. What’s your favorite pair from your collection?
I have a few!;
- Diadora n9000 Castellers
- Asics Gel Lyte III Patta F&F
- Diadora x Afew v7000 ‘The Cure’
- The Air Max 1 OG red will always be a go to favourite of mine too.
Oh and my favourite hype pair….the Nike Off White The Ten OG Presto.
7. Which pair(s) are still on your wish list?
- Diadora Correfocs
- Asics Gel Lyte III ARC Curry
- Asics Gel Lyte III Slam Jam 5th Dimension
- Nike Air Max 1 Urawa
- Nike Air Max 1 Chlorophyll
- + numerous New Balance pairs
8. Do you have a favorite sneakerstore or -shop?
Hanon do some of the best collabs and I love Scotland so that has to be up there for me. Concepts, Afew, Patta and BAIT collabs are incredible. 24 Kilates in Barcelona was a great store (RIP).
I used to love wandering into Footpatrol and around various London stores back in the day. I won’t get started here but the death of the independents and the rise in sneaker raffles, re-selling and a game built on greed, hype and clout has killed that aspect for me. I’ll just keep looking for older pairs I missed and trying for new releases I love.
9. Which brand and / or model would you never wear in your life? And why is that?
Ha ha! There’s a bit of an ongoing joke on social media with a few people….I hate Crocs! I’m never wearing those. NEVER. EVER.
10. Where can people follow you on your socials? (Instagram, Facebook, etc)
Instagram – @sjwsneakers
I’m on Facebook but only on a few select closed groups.
It’s worth me going on record here and saying… until a few years ago I was a social media cynic. It felt false and there for the wrong reasons just to show off and a medium full of tension….
BUT I’ve met so many decent genuine like minded people and I wanted to admit that I was wrong!….a big shout to all those people I’ve met who share my passion and many who have helped me secure some of my most sought after pairs too! Thank you!
Be genuine, be individual (don’t be a sheep!) and wear your shoes!