I’ve always loved shoes, for as long as I can remember. I wouldn’t say there was one shoe in particular that got me drawn into the sneaker world, there were many. From your regular Nike runners, to D-Rose’s shoes, to Kobe's, and eventually into Jordan’s.
When I was in primary school, I was lucky enough to get a new pair of shoes every year from my family. This was the same when it came to basketball shoes.
Due to the fact that I would just get one pair, I was always very picky with what shoes I would get. I loved the day each year when I went to the shopping center with my family to look for the right pair for me. I would make sure I went to every retail sneaker store to check what model or colorway each store had. That way, I would 100% find the right sneaker for me.
One moment I will never forget is when I got my first pair of Kobe’s for basketball. It was a Kobe 8 in the "Pit Viper" colorway. I wore and loved that shoe so much that the following year, when I went to get a new basketball shoe, I got another Kobe 8. This time it's the "Supernatural" colorway.
The Kobe 8 is definitely a shoe that played a big role in my love for sneakers.
When I turned 14, in 2016, I began to referee basketball. This was when I began to save for months at a time just so I could purchase a pair of shoes I desired.
Around this time, adidas Yeezys were super popular, but personally, I have always been more of a Nike guy over Adidas.
The following year, Nike and Off-White collaborated to release "The Ten" collection, which Virgil Abloh created. As soon as I saw "The Ten" collection, I knew I wanted a pair. Once they started to release in late 2017, I would enter every raffle I could find to try and win a pair for retail. Sadly, I didn’t win any of the original pairs from the drop, but I knew eventually I would save up and own one.
The following year I began to work full-time, so this helped with saving money for shoes. Nike x Off-White also released new colorways of "The Ten" in 2018, which is when I won my first-ever raffle. The pair I won was the Nike OFF-WHITE x Air Presto 'The Ten' I was over the moon. I was then lucky enough to win the same pair again, but in the white colorway, only a few weeks later.
I was very lucky. I realized this gave me an opportunity to be able to purchase one of the original "The Ten", so I sold both the prestos I won, and used the money I got from them plus all my savings to purchase the original Off-White x Nike Jordan 1 in the Chicago colorway. This was a dream come true.
The entire Off-White x Nike trend was the first big trend I was ever able to get a pair of shoes from.
I have many shoes that I love, but the main shoes I’m currently wearing in rotation would have to be my Jordan 1 Low Neutral Grey. It is the first pair of Jordan 1 Low I have ever owned. They are just so wearable due to them being predominantly white shoes. Also, being leather shoes, they are so easy to clean, which is always an added bonus.
Other shoes I currently have in the rotation are my Jordan 1 Chicago '2015', Union LA x Air Jordan 4 Retro 'Guava Ice', Nike x Off-White Presto in the white colorway, and on very special occasions I am lucky enough to own and wear my Jordan 4 Oklahoma PE and Jordan 4 Florida PE (Player Exclusive).
I feel truly blessed to own these shoes, and I don’t see them ever leaving the collection.
Every pair of shoes I get, I truly love. No matter the price tag, they are all special to me. There is no better feeling in the world than to have a new clean pair of sneakers on.
On the odd occasion when I add a "grail" pair of sneakers to the collection, it truly feels surreal. From the moment I purchase them to waiting in anticipation for them to arrive, to finally having them in hand and being able to wear them. It often doesn’t feel real at first!
I will legit shake and grab the new pair out of the box and just look and admire them for hours. I often have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not just dreaming about owning the pair.
There are so many amazing collaborations out there, and many more will continue to happen in the future.
I think for many sneaker collectors, the absolute dream would be to have your own shoe collaboration though.
For me, I would love to collaborate with Jordan to help design a Jordan 4, due to the fact that Jordan 4s are my favorite sneaker silhouette.
My favorite brands are definitely Nike and Jordan. I personally only really collect shoes, not so much the clothing side of the culture.
My two favorite designers would have to be Virgil Abloh, as he had a huge impact on the sneaker culture when I started being able to purchase shoes. I loved his designs.
If it weren’t for him, many of my favorite shoes wouldn’t even exist. I would love to one day meet Tinker Hatfield and own a Jordan 4 signed by him. Not to mention the fact that he is considered to have saved the relationship between Nike and Jordan with the Jordan 3.
There are so many grail shoes I want to own. But there are two shoes in particular that stand out to me. Those two shoes are the Air Jordan 1 High 'Chicago' 1985, and the other is the Travis Scott x Air Jordan 4 Retro 'Purple Suede - Black Midsole.'
The reason I want to own an original 1985 is because that is where it all began. Jordan 1’s are also my second favorite Jordan model, with the Chicago colorway being my favorite. I hope to add these to the collection sometime this year.
The Travis Jordan 4’s are such amazing-looking shoes. They come in a few variations, but my favorite variant is the one with the white midsole, black heel tab, and red Jumpman on the tongue.
There are much other grail Jordan 4’s I would love to add to the collection one day, like the Eminem x Air Jordan 4 Retro 'Encore' 2017, Mark Wahlburg x Air Jordan 4 Retro 'Wahlburgers', original collage 4's, and the list goes on.
I don’t have any real daily essentials aside from my sneakers. I treasure my shoes, some carry significant memories like my first raffle win, first grail, first player exclusives, and pairs purchased on a significant date.
Apart from physical items, I treasure all the friendships I’ve made in the sneaker/basketball communities over the years. Many lifelong friends.
I also treasure my family for supporting me. I remember the first time I won a shoe raffle and was telling them about it, they had no idea about this whole sneaker world. They couldn’t understand it in the beginning.
The first time I went to spend a large amount of money on a pair of shoes, literally my whole savings at age 16. They tried to advise me to save that money and put it towards something else. The shoe I purchased was the OFF-WHITE x Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG 'Chicago.' To this day, I’m so happy with that purchase, I still own them, my family can’t believe the value of them now, and they will never leave my collection.
My family continues to stand by and support me with any sneaker-related or non-sneaker-related event/purchase in my life. I’m truly grateful for that. I’m sure they still occasionally think I’m crazy with my sneaker purchases, but they have come to realize that I’m truly a sneaker addict.
This passion I have won’t ever fade, and it will always be part of who I am. I’m excited to see how my collection continues to grow, and the people I will continue to meet during the rest of this sneaker journey I’m on.
Facebook: Jordi Thomo