I know this blog is devoted to our wedding photography but what good is having a blog if you can't share personal things every now and then? So here goes...
Growing up I was obsessed with sports. Baseball and basketball were just about all I cared about (our company name is a tribute to our Little League Baseball numbers after all). And of course being a sports fan in the 90's meant that Michael Jordan was king of all things good. For me he will always be the greatest but it wasn't just his accomplishments on the court that made him iconic to my generation, it was the total package; it was the baggy shorts, it was dunking from the free throw line with his gold chains dangling, it was the tongue, it was the commercials, it was the absolute confidence in himself and of course... it was the shoes!!!!
Like most kids at my school, Jordan's were something I could dream about but never actually have. My mom's idea of back to school shoe shopping was usually a trip to Payless. I would beg her for weeks to take me to Foot Locker or a Nike outlet instead. I would try and find something on sale that looked at least cool enough that I wouldn't get made fun of. Her limit was about $40 so I didn't even bother trying to talk her into Jordan's.
Not having them never really bothered me until around the 6th grade when the Jordan 6's came out. They were black with this really crazy bright red trim on the mid soles and there were two square holes in the tongue so you could pull them up. They were the coolest shoes I'd ever seen. I liked ALL the Jordan's but those really captured my imagination and to top it all off, Jordan was wearing them when the he finally won his first championship!
The closest I ever came to having my own pair came at basketball practice in the 8th grade. Another kid on the team had a pair and let me wear his. Even though they were old and beat up, for those 2 hours I was Mike... you know, if Mike was a chubby white kid with an awkward crew cut.
As the years went by shoes became less and less of a factor in my life. If I found myself in the mall I would stop by Foot Locker and see what the newest Jordan's looked like but that was about it. Once I started working and could buy my own shoes I settled on Adidas Superstars. They're not as flashy as Jordan's of course but they have character to them. You can wear them to the ground and they still look good. I've been buying a pair or two every year for as long as I've been an adult... But I still never forgot those old Jordan 6's!
Nike/Jordan has actually re-released them a few times over the past 10-15 years apparently but I usually wouldn't hear about it until months later. Shoes just weren't on my radar anymore. In 2014 I just happened to walk into the Foot Locker in Langley Park and see them sitting on display but of course, they were sold out in my size. Talk about frustrating, I could finally afford them but then I couldn't find them!
Then a couple months ago I was watching Creed and the main character (who of course happens to be named Michael B. Jordan), wears a pair of 6's for a brief moment in a scene. It was quick but I can spot those shoes anywhere and of course, I couldn't help but be once again reminded of the shoes that got away.
I decided then and there that I would stop at nothing to find a pair. But not just any pair... I wanted them new and in the box (that's called "dead stock" in the sneaker world apparently) and in my size (12.5 which is a real pain in the ass to get a hold of). I did a bunch of internet research and also reached out to a couple of sneakerheads I know (Thanks to Ton'e and my nephew Kevin who gave me advice on how not to get scammed).
In the end I found exactly what I was looking for. A dead stock pair from a 2014 re-release. I got them from Flight Club in NYC. Buying from there ended up costing more than I had anticipated spending but in a world full of knock-off replicas and thieves, Flight Club is the gold standard when it comes to peace of mind and customer service. I recommend them to anyone looking for a holy grail pair of shoes that doesn't necessarily want to venture into the world of eBay or social media shopping.
They arrived last week and I finally had the chance to slip them on today for the first time. Of course, being a photographer, I had to document the moment.
The question friends have been asking me ever since they arrived is, 'Do they live up to the hype?'
After all, I've wanted them since middle school and when you want something for that long it can become more about the journey than the actual finish line... But that's not the case with these.
The quality on these is really nice. They're built well. They're extremely comfortable, way easier to put on than I had anticipated and they look spectacular. It's hard to capture in a photograph just how much that red pops. They call it 'infrared' and that really is the best way to describe the color.
The other question I keep getting asked is, 'Are you actually going to wear them?'
Absolutely. I might eventually get another pair just to display but I just can't own these and not wear them. That black suede does worry me a bit so it's not like I'll be wearing them on the regular but if I'm going somewhere and want to be a little extra, I won't hesitate to pull these out.
In summary, it's good to treat yourself occasionally. Anytime you can fulfill a childhood dream you shouldn't hesitate. What's the point of being an adult and dealing with adult stress if you can't reward the kid in you every now and then?
Doing internet research on this journey I couldn't help but be pulled back into the world of sneakerheads. Although I hesitate to call myself one, I do love and appreciate the culture. I watched a bunch of YouTube channels devoted to shoe culture and would encourage anyone out there with an interest or curiosity to check out these 3 guys in no particular order: