Times are tough for the sneakerhead in 2013. Insta-sellout quickstrikes, retros and themed packs have left them penniless and hooked like swagged up smacks addicts, and the streetwear explosion of the past few years has seen an invasion of Joey Essex chino wankers buying up all the #rare kicks as well. It’s not exactly easy on the social life either; how are you supposed to get girls when you’re camped outside Foot Patrol for 3 days to drop £200 on the new QS Hyperfuse OG Retro ’91 Air Jordan XXIV Neon Brown / Tomato Red (the VERY SAME colourway Michael Jordan wore to the shops once) and will barely be able to afford a Freddo by the weekend?
Like a heroin user moving to methadone, recovering sneakerheads must move to something less damaging before reintegrating into mainstream society; so what hobbies might frustrated sneakerheads take up to save money, and more importantly, get laid? Here’s the official High Society guide for recovering sneakerheads.
1. Collect Warhammer
This one’s expensive. Collecting, assembling and painting Games Workshop’s figures ain’t cheap and like our poor sneakerheads, Warhammer players are kept hooked and skint by endless new products, updates and reissues. But will you be better off spending your hard earned cash on Space Marines and Eldar Banshees instead of Flyknits and Jordans? The change of scenery from Soho boutiques and Crepe City conventions to a dilapidated suburban high street unit and Greg from HR’s garage might be a bit of a culture shock at first, but who are we to judge? Swap your uniform of pin rolled jeans and streetwear for leather trench coats and Cradle of Filth merchandise and feel the same smugness Napoleon felt at the Battle of Austerlitz as you wipe the floor with an acne-ridden 14 year old on a post apocalyptic nightmare battleground (actually a table in a shop on Kingston high street).
Sneaker customisers will be especially in their element here; instead of airbrushing Hyperdunk toeboxes and Air Force One midsoles you will be assembling Chaos Terminators and painting Khorne Beserkers (which are sadly not an overlooked fantasy franchise from nu-metal legends KoRn).
It’s hard to believe that joining this inner circle of socially awkward interplanetary warmongers comes at a price but it does; the Games Workshop demographic mainly consists of virgins who still live at home and middle-aged dads who should know better so getting laid isn’t looking too likely.
2. Indulge In Some Female Muscle Worship
The male fans of female bodybuilding like to attend conventions, converse with like-minded wimps on online forums and er…write erotic fan fiction, but the piece de resistance for an admirer of steroid-enhanced women is a one on one hotel room ‘session’ with the Amazonian objects of their desire (their very own ‘grail’; a muscular, gender-perception challenging Air Yeezy if you will). There isn’t exactly a lot of money in female bodybuilding so many athletes offer intimate appointments giving fans the opportunity to caress, wrestle and role-play with their favourite star for some extra cash. Rather than spending your spare time cleaning, re-lacing and alphabetising your kicks you will be timidly admiring, stroking and oiling Sharon Marvel’s deltoids in a 2 star Travelodge in St Albans.
The sneakerhead’s natural awkwardness around women makes them perfect for the shy FBB muscle-worship demographic. Would you rather compare suede-cleaning techniques and bemoan the declining shape of the Air Max 1’s toebox than listen to that moderately attractive friend-of-a-friend talk about her unpaid internship at a Hoxton art gallery? Do Kim Chivesky’s rippling triceps remind you of the flowing elegance of the Air Max 97? Would Kristy Hawkins’ turquoise bikini make the perfect match for the Ronnie Fieg ‘Cove’ Gel Lyte IIIs you just had to drop a month’s rent on? Then this is an avenue well worth pursuing. Given that most of your female contact will be taking place 1 on 1 in a St Albans Travelodge with a hulking woman struggling to pay off her gym membership and steroid bills, getting laid isn’t totally out of the question here either.
3. Take Up Trainspotting
Spotting and documenting the movement of locomotives, engines, carriages and freight are to trainspotters what buying shoes and never wearing them is to the sneakerhead; the very reason for existence. The sneakerhead’s archive-like memory and passion for amateur photography will come in useful here. Instead of instagramming your kicks (tagged #igsneakercommunity, #sneakerfreak, #sneakerholic, #igsneakerheads, #sneakerfiles and #sneakerporn of course), your skills will be used to document the movement of freight, memorising carriage serial numbers and if you’re lucky, observing test runs of the 34046 Braunton between Carnforth and Tamworth. It’s hardly the fastest paced hobby, so the patience you displayed camping out in the rain for that Jordan reissue that had a different logo on the heel to the last one will serve you well when chronicling freight movement on the Doncaster line to Worksop.
The trainspotter’s #essentials of anorak, baseball cap and notebook are ripe for an injection of #menswear steez. Cop a Japanese gore-tex fishtail parka, a hand made heritage flannel cap and an artisan moleskine and your 45 year-old recently divorced father of 2 is transformed into a street style icon straight from the pages of Inventory. Getting rained on at Loughborough’s platform 4 never looked so good. On the down side, you will be spending so much time watching freight outside Willesden Junction and asking for timetable notes from moody station workers that I doubt you will have much chance of getting with any girls.
4. Become A Juggalo
The Juggalo community is a tightly knit brotherhood of overweight, face painted, spiders legs-haired wastemen who worship at the altar of Detroit horrorcore rap duo Insane Clown Posse and pride themselves on accepting people for who they are, regardless of race, gender, religion or shoes bought from JD Sports.
Sneakerheads are a neurotic kind, and joining the Juggalos (and Juggalette) will offer you a life free from worries of your shoelaces colour clashing with your belt, the rain disrupting your meticulously planned sneaker rotation and that crease no one notices on your Jordans’ toebox. Experience something you’ll never get from adding the #todayskicks tag to an Instagram pic of your Nikes; the warmth of being accepted for the socially inept weirdo you really are.
Taking up the Juggalo lifestyle will require a significant change of identity; Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope will replace Ronnie Fieg and Tinker Hatfield as your idols, you will be required to indulge heavily in the Juggalo lifestyle staples of face paint, Faygo soda, partial nudity, casual sex and substance abuse and shouting ‘woop woop’ at any given opportunity will replace the praying hands emoji as your signature move.
The Annual Gathering Of The Juggalos is the highlight of the Juggalo calendar, and will be bursting at the seams with neon haired, face painted and tribal-tattooed buff ting, so your chances for a bit of action are looking good too. The festival site has plenty of facilities for chirpsing up Juggalette babes; take Joy from Willowbrook, Illinois to watch some backyard wrestling, witness a wet t-shirt competition, go for a dip in the aptly named Lake Hepatitis or show your sensitive side and donate some change to the clown with the sign reading ‘will eat bugs for $’. She’ll be powerless to resist.
Alec blogs regularly in this manner over at http://www.highsocietylondon.com/