Sneakerplaats interview with @sneakersandabeard

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1. Who (are you?), What (do you for a living?), Where (do you live?)

My name is Steve. I was born and raised in Dallas, Texas, but I live in Philadelphia now. American readers will understand what that means for this Cowboys fan.

I’m married with three kids, and I’m a pastor who also loves to read, write, and watch sports. Oh, and I don’t show myself on my Instagram profile because it’s all about the shoes!

2. When did your love for sneakers start and why do you love sneakers so much?

Sometime in the 90’s. I was an impressionable teen and playing basketball, so naturally I fell under Michael Jordan and Nike’s spell.

They were putting out these great basketball shoes, and I wanted all of them. When it came time to get a job, I knew what I had to do — work in a sneaker store. From there, just “buying a lot of shoes” turned into a real hobby.

I enjoy sneakers for a lot of reasons: the creativity of the designers, the conversations that can start up over a certain pair, the nostalgia of a good retro, the thrill of finally finding a pair you’ve been hunting for a while, even the way some trends change while some things always stay the same.

I guess a lot of the reason I enjoy them is because there’s a lot of different aspects to the culture, and that always keeps it interesting.

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3. Do you remember your first pair of sneakers? Which pair was it?

The first sneakers I can remember owning and being excited about were these black and green British Knights; I was in maybe 5th or 6th grade. Sometime after that I got a pair of Reebok Pumps, and the rest is history.

By the time I was in high school in the late 90’s I had 30+ pairs of sneakers, mostly Jordans and Air Maxes. My biggest regret with my sneaker collecting over the years, is selling off those OG’s from the 90’s….

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4. What’s your favorite brand and model?

I’ve been doing this on and off now for 25+ years, so I’ve had different “favorites.” When I was in college I was buying a lot of Saucony. Years ago I went for a while where the only brand I really sought out was PUMA.

At the moment, though, I think my collecting is the most diverse it’s ever been. It’s hard to pick a favorite now, but if you judge “favorite” by volume, it has to be PUMA Suedes and Clydes; combined they make up almost half of my collection.

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5. How many sneakers do you have in your collection?

I have right at 90 pairs currently, and that’s usually about where I stay, 85-90. Sometimes I have a few more or less, but at the moment that’s about all I have space for. When I start to get over that number, I’ll sell a few to make a little room.

That also gives me regular opportunity to evaluate what I’ll actually wear. Of course there’s a handful I could never get rid of, for one reason or another, even if I’m never wearing them — but I really like to wear my sneakers; I try to wear them all, and don’t want to keep too many if I’m not wearing them.

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6. What’s your favorite pair from your collection?

There’s just no way to answer this question with one pair, but I can narrow it down to a few, in no particular order: the PUMA Clyde x Atmos x Three Tides Tattoo, PUMA Clyde x Sam Rodriguez x 1800 Tequila “Cinco de Mayo,” ASICS Gel-Lyte III x Concepts “Boston Tea Party,” ASICS Gel-Lyte III “Snowman,” ASICS Gel-Lyte III x J.

Crew “Silver Birch,” Nike Air Force 1 “Snow Leopard,” and maybe (we’ll see when they arrive) my Nike Air Max 1 Safari “By You.” Okay, that was more than a few, but that’s a hard question!

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7. Which pair(s) are still on your wish list?

My wish list is just that — wishes. For me, it’s not just about whether I can find it, it’s about if I do, can I grab it reasonably. I can’t pay outrageous resell prices, so that pretty much puts all my “grails” out of reach, even if I did manage to find a pair available.

There are some I’m looking for, that I expect I may be able to stumble on, like the ASICS x solebox “Blue Carpenter Bee.” But my real wish list is that list of shoes I’d love to have, but know I never will:
PUMA — Moth King Clyde, Red Poison Dart Frog Clyde, Clydezilla, and OG Staple Pigeon Suede
ASICS — Gel-Lyte III x Ronnie Fieg “Total Eclipse” and “Leatherback,” and Highs and Lows “Mortar”
Saucony — Shadow 6000 x Foot Patrol “Only in Soho,” Shadow 6000 “Invictus”
Adidas — Ultraboost x Parley DNA F&F or Sample
Nike — AM1 “London,” and any/all of the Atmos safari prints.

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8. Do you have a favorite sneakerstore or -shop?

I have a couple that are favorites for different reasons. Atmos is my favorite collaborator; they just can’t seem to miss. I think I have more @atmos_japan collaborations than any other store; my favorites are the PUMA collaborations with Three Tides Tattoo.

But one of my favorite stores to shop is Sneaker Politics. Cool people, and locations in Dallas and Austin (both cities where I’ve lived). I guess there’s sort of a hometown connection so I like to support @sneakerpolitics when I can.

9. Which brand and / or model would you never wear in your life? And why is that?

I don’t know if I’d say I’ll never in my life wear a pair, but it has to be Yeezy’s. They’re easily the “brand” of sneakers that I have absolutely never had any interest in.

Whatever the reason, maybe the shape or colors, or the hype I don’t understand, or some combination of all the above, but the bottom line is, they’ve simply never appealed to me. Other Adidas do; I really liked the early Parley collabs, but the Yeezy’s never did it for me.

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10. Which sneaker in your collection was the hardest to find/get?

It’s close between the PUMA x Diamond Supply Clyde and the ASICS Gel-Lyte III “Snowman” — but I’ll give it to the “Snowman.” I was after them for a looong time; I eventually found a worn pair that I tried to purchase but it fell through.

Good thing it did though, because sometime that next year I found a DS pair. That was one pair I had to have; in my opinion it’s the greatest GLIII GR ever.

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11. What advice would you like to give to new sneakerheads?

Wear what you like! Everyone complains about resellers, but resellers are not a problem unless you only ever want what everyone else only ever wants. Reread that if you need to.

I think that’s the best advice I could give to a new sneakerhead: wear what you like, buy what you like, collect what you like. It’s your collection; it should be about what you like, not what the internet tells you to like.

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12. What has been your biggest steal ever?

Biggest steal that actually cost me money was the ASICS Gel-Lyte III x Extra Butter “Copperheads” like new, for $75. Technically, though, I guess my greatest steal has to be when I ended up being no-charged for the Saucony Shadow 6000 “Whiskey” from the Irish Cream pack.

They were already way lower than expected, but then through a series of mishaps with shipping, a refund, trying to re-purchase, and delayed communications, the seller just said, don’t worry about it!

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13. How much time a day / a week do you spend on “sneakers”?

Not sure, maybe 10 hours a week? You gotta take/edit pics and set up Instagram posts, swap some laces every now and then, clean them up. More, I guess, if you count the time standing in front of them trying to decide which ones to wear!

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14. How do your loved ones feel about your sneaker lifestyle?

I’ve been told it “keeps me young,” so there’s nothing wrong with that, I suppose! For the most part, I think they’re happy for me to have something I enjoy doing.

Some people play golf, or travel, or go camping. I collect sneakers. I think my family accepts it as just one of those quirky things that makes me, me! 

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15. Where can people follow you on your socials? (Instagram, Facebook, etc)

Just Instagram: @sneakersandabeard. I only have the time and energy to keep up with one platform. I try to keep this as a hobby and not let it take over, so one platform is enough!

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