Every sneaker enthusiast has a shoe somewhere in their collection that they could not trade or sell no matter what. It could be the shoe that started the passion or the shoe that was hardest to obtain, whatever the reason may be, every sneakerhead has that one pair tucked away.
Several years ago, I started working at a local Foot Locker and I was around shoes, learning about shoes and my love for sneakers started. Prior to my increasing love and knowledge for different shoes, black and white SK8 Hi Vans were the only shoes on my feet. After years of releases, camping, searching, trading, and buying my preferences changed. I found that no matter how many pairs of shoes I have, the one pair that I love the most on my feet, the one pair that no matter what I would never get rid of are my Jordan BRED 1. Over time, every opportunity that I had to pick up a pair of BRED 1, I did. I love the shoe for its historic meaning, its look, its comfort, and simply because it is that one shoe that fueled my passion for sneakers.
Over the holidays, I was lucky enough to get a new pair of shoes that took over as the one pair that will forever be the centerpiece in my collection.
I am going to change the subject a little bit here and give a little back-story on myself. My mother grew up in Fort Myers Florida and met my father a native Quebecer who at the time only spoke a few words of English. After my parents got married they moved back to Quebec and had my sister and me. Growing up my little sister and I spent a lot of time in Florida with my Mom’s side of the family and in up north Quebec with my Dad’s side of the family. We were lucky enough to have an amazing childhood with amazing loving parents.
In the 6th grade, my parents went through a divorce. In order to get a job, my Mom moved right over the border. My Dad moved close to the border, so that he could see my sister and I, living with my Dad, could see my mom. Throughout the years, my relationship with both my parents grew. Although divorce is never easy, my mom and Dad both found ways to be the same loving parents they were when they were together.
The hardest part of the separation was not always being there for my little sister.
These days, I spend a lot of time with both my parents. Every Christmas Holidays I go to my Mom’s on the 24th and my Dad’s up north on the 25th. Why am I telling you all this? Because this year my little sister was the designer and artist behind the shoe that changed my whole collection and enhanced my love for shoes.
December 24th, I woke up to a size 12 SK8 Hi Vans box from my sister. I thought it was just another pair of my every day beaters. When I opened the box, there was only the left shoe. Painted on the left shoe was half of my childhood. My little sister painted the left shoe to recreate all our childhood memories that took place in Florida and with my Mom’s side of the family. Every little detail is a memory; from the palm trees to the lighthouse on the back of the shoe where my aunt got married on Sanibel Island. Every single detail was a memory from us growing up. Later that night my sister and I got into the car to go up north near Mont Tremblant to my grandmother’s house to celebrate the second half of our Christmas with my father. When it was time to open presents, sure enough, there was another shoe box from my little sister, this time with the right shoe in it. The shoe was covered in childhood memories from my Dad’s side of the family. Everything from where we ordered pizza to the ski hills we grew up on were painted onto the shoe.
On the toe box of each shoe is marked 80 St. Andrew which is the address where we grew up as a family before the separation.
After 40+ hours of hard work, keeping it a secret from me for months, my little sister not only gave me the best shoe in my collection, but she gave me the best gift I could ever ask for.
These shoes have my life with my family painted onto them. When I look at these shoes, I remember the love both my mom and my dad have given me throughout my life. When I look at these shoes, I see the love my little sister has for her big brother.
Sneakers have brought so much to me over the years. I have met people that will always be my friends. I have spent countless hours learning and searching for what’s next in the shoe world. Although I always look forward to the next release day or the next event, my happiest and proudest moment since the day I started loving sneakers was being able to share these shoes with everyone!