What’s the hardest part of this hobby/maintaining your collection?
The hardest part is remembering that there is no real “need.” I always have to keep myself in check, reminding myself that these are just “wants” and not “needs.” It’s always easy to look at something and say, “man, I need that.” But the reality is that I don’t. I want it, but I don’t need it. When I was younger it was nearly impossible to distinguish the two.
As far as my personal items are concerned, I own everything I could really ever want, and then some. Most of the items I get in hand are for business purposes now. I get them, wear them, test them, review them, then give them away to local kids. So, yeah. The hardest part is remembering that you already have what you need.
9 of 10
What were the highlights of 2014 for you in terms of the sneaker industry and in your own collection? And if you could map out the perfect sneaker year in 2015, what would that include for you?
Highlights of 2014 were the events and experiences I had throughout the year that I discussed earlier. Getting to play ball at MJ’s house, being flown out to NYC or L.A. for one reason or another. Those are the biggest things I’ve ever done, and I never thought I’d ever get to do any of it. Never in a million years. As for the collection, this is kind of a repeat answer as well, but I have everything I need. I have more than I could ever need. There are definitely releases that I look forward to, but once I grab them I need to remember to get rid of something I already own so I don’t wind up with a million pairs of shoes that one person couldn’t possibly wear in their lifetime. I try to keep myself grounded and manageable.
2015 has already been perfect for me. I’ve been helping brands wear-test products before they hit consumers. Those consumers love the products I had a small part in testing, and I think that’s awesome to see. I do what I love for a living so as long as that remains the same every year then there really isn’t much more that I could do to make the year better. Well, maybe if if I hit the lottery, but I’ve never even bought a lotto ticket so I doubt that’ll ever happen.
10 of 10
The Bay Area has always been home to some of the most passionate basketball fans in the world, but thanks to Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors, it’s now the center of the NBA. They have the best team, with the “best” player, and as we enter into free agency this summer, they are suddenly the mold every other franchise is emulating.
But even if the country at large is finally buying into basketball mania in The Bay, the area’s hoops culture has always been there. That extends to sneakers, too. Native Chris Chase, known across the Internet and sneaker community as @nightwing2303, is one of the most well-respected and knowledgeable sneakerheads in the game. Sporting over 64K Instagram followers, Chase is the man behind WearTesters, a sneaker performance review site. He’s been deep in the game for years, an authority on basketball and kicks since the 1990s. If you want to take the heartbeat of a community that’s constantly changing, there’s no better source.
“If you played basketball then you were likely into sneakers,” he wrote to me via email recently. “It was part of that culture…the hoop culture. Nowadays you have kids that don’t play any sport at all that are into kicks. It’s a little weird to me only because we wanted what the players wore so we could play in them like the players did.”
As part of our ongoing series called The Stash, one that’s seen us profile cats who have entire basements of Air Jordans, as well as others who are killing it overseas, we got up with Chase to let him give you an inside look at his collection. Sneaker collecting is about more than cool pictures. It’s an obsession. It’s a lifestyle. Let @nightwing2303 show you how he does it.
Follow Sean on Twitter at @seanesweeney
images via @nightwing2303