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Singaporean Sneakerhead and Bulky Sneakers Lover: Kai


Dorothy Field
July 25, 2022

Kai @pale.nerves is a Singaporean sneakerhead who wasn't into sneakers until he worked part-time for Nike. His first sneaker is Air Force 1 and he loves the feeling of how sneakers make him more confident ever since!

All images via @pale.nerves

What was the moment you first got drawn to sneakers, and which pair of sneakers triggered your passion?

Funny thing is that I wasn't really into shoes in general back then. I was a kid who always wore the same pair of shoes for literally EVERY occasion.

It was only after O levels when I got my first part time job working retail at Nike and my first paycheck, where I decided to treat myself and splurge on a pair of Nike Air Force (since I also had a staff discount). At the moment I donned it on, I immediately fell in love with it and how it made me feel confident.

What’s one moment or trend in the history of sneaker culture that resonates with you?

I think the trend where big sneaker companies are now leaning towards the direction of sustainability and are starting to use materials that are ethically sourced or recycled! One example would be the Converse Renew Initiative where they use upcycled textiles to recreate their signature Chuck Taylors.

Please describe how it feels to you when you get and wear a new pair of kicks?

It feels so thrilling! Whenever I get a pair of new kicks, the first thing I would do is come out with an outfit that best compliments the sneakers and drag my friends out to take some killer fit pictures for the gram! Wearing a new pair of sneakers feels like putting on a new persona, kind of like rebranding yourself.

What are some of your favorite creators/designers or brands and why?

One of my favourite brands for sneakers is definitely Balenciaga. Their iconic chunky aesthetic along with their attention to details and unique colourways have always captivated me. I also love how experimental they are with their concept and structure even though the recent "Paris High Top Sneaker Full Destroyed" might have gone a little too extreme in my opinion.

What is one sneaker collaboration that doesn’t exist, but you wish/think should exist?

I feel that a FILA x New Balance collaboration would be pretty sick. Combining the bulky futuristic elements of FILA along with the colourways and textures of New Balance would honestly create some pretty unique kicks, I can only imagine how many shoes I would cop from that collection....

What are some of the current pairs of sneakers in your rotation?

Over the years I realized that I'm drawn to sneakers that are either high cut or super bulky. I'm usually drawn to cool colourways as well, tones such as blue, white, cream, gray have always caught my eye. Some sneakers that I've been rotating on a daily basis are my Nike Airforce, Fila Fluid, and New Balance 574 core.

What is your ultimate holy grail sneaker that you have not managed to acquire so far?

The Fendi Match Leather Sneakers (Tan Multi) is something that I've got my eyes on recently. I'm obsessed with the colourway and textures, the tan and pale green combination is simply TO DIE FOR. It's a little pricey but I've got my eyes set to get it by the end of this year (provided I don't impulsively spend on anymore sneakers along the way)

Other than kicks, what are some of your daily essentials or treasured items?

My other daily essentials are my accessories. I'm a massive accessory hoarder, be it necklaces, earrings, or rings, it's the little bit of dazzle to finish the look! If you ever catch me without any accessories, I'm either possessed or I simply gave up on life that day.

Where people can find you on social media?

Instagram: @pale.nerves

Do you have a sneaker collection that you wish to showcase or share with the world? Or maybe you have some hyped deadstock that you wish to sell. Join Ox Street as an early community member in our beta stage today and get $25 SGD off your first order (while discount slots last).

I'm a full-time freelance writer with a love for writing self-improvement, relationships, mental health, and lifestyle articles.