What Your Sneaker Rotation Says About You
Do you salivate or scoff zip–ties and reverse Swoosh? Are you stacking your soles with four–digit price tags or packing ‘peanuts and raisins’ for your saunter on Sunday? No matter what’s in your rotation, everyone is at a different point along their sneaker journey. This is what your current sneaker rotation says about you.
The Old Head
Everything about sneakers was better in your day. Your rotation is still strictly mid-90s Air Max (OG colourways only), and you sure as hell won’t wear Jordans with a Jumpman on the heel. PUMA made in Yugoslavia and Chuck Taylor made in America get you hot under the collar (and heels). Colabs? Strictly pre-2005. You were committing to retros before sneakers even retro’d. Off-White are derivative. Travis Scott is trash. Contemporary hip hop? Trash.
Raffles are bot-infested ‘exclusivity’ thirst traps lowering the bar for sneaker culture. The amount of Air Force 1 celebrity ‘colabs’ are giving you altitude sickness. OCD tendencies permeate your sneaker collection. You obsessively archive all the boxes. You mourn the death of the sneaker forum, and begin every online comment with ‘Back in the 90s’. You’ll never enter a high street sneaker store, but you will travel to Tokyo (the last vessel of authentic sneaker culture) and spend entire weekends searching for that elusive mum and pop store.
Lord of Hype
You salivate over anything with a zip tie or reverse Swoosh. KAWS is the background of your iPhone, and Quavo is thumping from your AirPods Pro. You take pride in your rare rotation: The Dunk SB Supreme ‘Black Cement’, Nike Air Foamposite ‘Galaxy’, and a few of Pharrell’s early NMDs. You tell stories of having your shirt stolen at Jeff Staple’s 'Pigeon' drop, and how your buddy nearly managed to cop a pair of Air Yeezy 2 ‘Red October’ for $300. You put Zs in Tinder dates by constantly talking Ws. You resent the fact that Yeezys are now for everyone, but still defend Jesus is King, even going so far as to call it the best Christian hip hop album of all time. But your true religion? Hype. It’s your raison d'être. Nothing satisfies that insatiable urge running through your veins but the next fix. You don’t believe in God, but taking a W is the closest to spirituality that you’ve been since your grandmother forced you to take confession in fourth grade.
You’re getting your squad to reverse-lace GRs at your local sneaker store. Your rotation is still embryonic, consisting mostly of ‘Triple Black’ NMDs, ‘Triple White’ Air Max 90s, Stan Smiths, and FILA Disruptors. Pop culture offers you a gateway drug to the more obscure collaborative releases. The PUMA Fenty Slides got you trippin’, the Kardashians have opened your eyes to Yeezy, and Off-White’s got you talking ‘dope’ like Bella Hadid sneaker shopping. You’re lurking on Facebook groups, wrapping your head around the resale market, and just this week realised people ain’t playing basketball in Air Max.
Gorpcore is all about function and utility. Borrowing its name from an acronym for the ‘Good Old Raisins and Peanuts’ commonly found in a hiker’s backpack, Gorpcore takes it straight to the mountains. ACG, ACRONYM and GORE-TEX pack your wardrobe. You’ve switched out Friday night debauchery for Saturday morning hikes. You’ve convinced yourself that you don’t miss the smell of sticky carpet, rolled tobacco, and cheap Shiraz (even though you do), keeping your eyes on the Palace x Salomon Speedcross 4 on your way home from work. You’ve made positive steps towards becoming completely utilitarian, but that doesn’t mean you can’t occasionally stunt for the birds and the bees up in the mountains, pulling in rotations of Undercover’s Nike ‘Gyakusou’ Pegasus 36 Trail and the wild New Balance 990 + 801 mashup.
The Four-Digit Flex
Disposable paycheck; sustainable swag. With the Balenciaga Triple S, Louis Vuitton Archlight, and Prada Cloudbust steady on the rotation, the world’s runways have provided you with a solid sneaker selection to sink your teeth into. You thought sneakers were ugly until Y-3 and Rick Owens got involved, and now you’re stacking the soles skyhigh. You’re not afraid to burn a hole in your wallet for the latest Paris runway drip, constantly double-tapping Raf Simons, A$AP Rocky and Jeremy Scott. A-COLD-WALL* is one of earth’s freshest conceptual collaborators, Kim Jones is God, and Kiko Kostadinov’s ASICS collection has been rinsing your bank account all year.