Epsilon Magazine

I am a sneakerhead

I am a sneakerhead episode 144 - @asicsmarlo

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Hello, I go by the name of AsicsMarlo and I am a sneakerhead with a focus on 80s/90s running shoes from Germany. I just turned 33 years old and I grew up in Düsseldorf. I am working as a teacher and I still live close to Düsseldorf in a smaller town.

My mother taught me, that you can tell a lot by looking at someones shoes. She made me having an eye on the condition of my shoes all the time, no matter how your own condition might be. As a teen in the 90s I loved Adidas, Fila and Nike. When I got my first pair of Asics Gel Lyte III, I initially started buying shoes systematically and not just occasionally. I also collected New Era hats for a long time, when I couldn’t wear them daily because of my work, my whole attention went to the sneakers.

I am detached to brands and I would buy any brand, if the shoe is fine for me. The Gel Lyte III is perfect for my feet and knees and I loved the quality. Around 2011 I noticed that I would wear these shoes on every single day. Plus the collabs were so amazing to me. Most of the other silhouettes also pleased me. When I heard or read about new drops, it was very often a surprise, a creative concept deserving this term. The general and special releases were in unexpected and partly obscure colourways, that I would never ever have composed like this myself, but they were matching perfect in a very subtile way. It developed into a special love and the decreasing interest in the brand in general during the last years made it even easier for me.

I have positive and negative observations about the sneaker community today. Starting with the negative, also because of the growing numbers and sneakers becoming a standard lifestyle item, I perceive the community as more splitted. The vast amount of people in the „community“ today are focused on fast changing hypes. There is not much space for individual styles, for many young people a very distinctive style is the goal. Showing these „grails“ off in social media seems to be more important, than the personal bound to a particular shoe for some. Prices are rising rapidly, sometimes even with a lack of quality, because of the consumers demand. I don’t want to offend nobody, but I think we all should also talk and care more about the production process and the people involved in this. Especially in Asia.
Reselling was never cool but got less cooler. Ten years ago people were more caring about each other and helped, instead of reselling a shoe they don’t even want with a 200% profit, like today. I don’t judge reselling or people who make it for their living, of course I also sold shoes with a little profit when I was younger, myself. But sometimes it seems like too many people are trying to make money with reselling sneakers nowadays. Still there are a lot of positive people out there! 
A positive aspect about the community today is, that more people are interested in sneakers, it became more versatile and woman became more attention. Through social media it is easy to connect and the opportunities to find a professional occupation are wide spreaded. Anyone can participate in the way they like. Companies began to redo vintage models or take inspiration from it, like Till Jagla for Adidas for example. It’s easier to get classics and retros, I enjoy this a lot. Sneaker community became global and I love to communicate with people on Insta from India, Malaysia, the U.S., Thailand, Spain, Sweden or wherever! 

Sneakers will always be a big passion! I will be selling and buying at the same time. It’s up to everyone themselves, how many shoes a person needs to be happy, but I collect sneakers to wear them. If I don’t wear a pair for a longer time or don’t like them anymore, I try to sell them. I try to have less than 60 pairs in my house, which doesn’t always work out. For me it’s actually great to give a pair away and make another person happy and there are far too many good sneakers out there to storage them all. Giving a pair away is a great reason for hunting a new one. Although it might be an unpopular position in the sneaker community, I personally think you can do more important things in this world with money, than buying tons of shoes and clothes you won’t wear. When I see celebs on tv with a hall of sneakers they don’t use, I always ask myself why they don’t donate the stuff to humans who need it.
  

 

Oliver Berg