The Stash: @shoelander

  • Air Jordan 23 Stealth shoelander

    @shoelander

    Can you remember the first sneaker you got that changed your approach to shoes? Where you went from wearing shoes casually to being a person who actually loves and collects them?

    That defining sneaker for me was the Jordan XX3. It’s strange because I really got into basketball after MJ’s Bulls years and yet I always knew at a young age that Jordan was synonymous with greatness as well as the number 23. I remember leafing through SLAM magazines at the grocery store and seeing the XX2 in the kicks section and thought, “Dang, MJ’s 23rd sneaker next year is gonna be dope!”

    I saved up money that whole year and eventually copped the “Stealth” XX3, which is an amazing shoe. From the X-stitching to the Jordan fingerprint on the inside of the tongue, the details on the shoe were like nothing I had ever seen before it, and my fascination with sneakers grew from there.

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  • Air Jordan 5 Doernbecher shoelander

    @shoelander

    How many pairs do you have and where do you store everything? Do you have a favorite right now? If someone asked you to showcase one shoe from your collection, what would it be?

    Every once in a while, someone asks me how many shoes I own and I simply respond: “a lot.” I honestly don’t keep count because I don’t cop my sneakers to boast. Pretty much all of my shoes are on shelves throughout my place.

    Sneakers are really all about the storytelling for me, and the best embodiment of that is the yearly Nike Doernbecher line, where children with health complications get to design their own sneaker colorway.

    One such shoe I own is the Jordan V Doernbecher. The fact that kid-designer Isaac Arzate passed before the shoe released is heart-wrenching, but the showcasing of Isaac’s love for sports really makes the shoe special. (The upper features words that epitomize this.) The only reason I’m interested in sneakers is the sports connection, so Isaac’s story really hits home. The glow accents throughout are the cherry on top of an awesome sneaker.

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  • Nike KD 7 Aunt Pearl shoelander

    @shoelander

    What’s the sneaker culture like from where you’re from?

    I often say that Portland is the footwear mecca in the U.S. because Nike, adidas, and Under Armour are stationed here. Outdoor brands like Keen and Columbia also have brand headquarters in Portland.

    I’m not sure how other places are like but Portland is very pro-Nike/Jordan because the whole Swoosh enterprise was created here.

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  • Nike Roshe Run shoelander

    @shoelander

    What are the most popular shoes among the community in your region right now?

    The shoes I see most often amongst the general public, female and male, are Free Runs and Flex Runs. In recent years, the Roshe has been a staple as well. All three models are relatively inexpensive, readily available, and easy to slip on so it makes sense why those shoes are so popular.

    Sneakerheads in Portland definitely love retro Jordans. Go to a mall at any given time and you can spot at least three pairs of J’s.

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  • Nike Air Flow shoelander

    @shoelander

    What’s a sneaker and/or line in your collection that you feel gets overlooked/underappreciated by the masses?

    The flavor of the month shoe for me is the Nike Air Flow, simply because of the strange story behind the shoe. Famed AF1 designer Bruce Kilgore actually dissected a teddy bear in order to add the soft stuffing to an Air Flow prototype. Strangely enough, that wild story sold me on getting a pair and I finally did so this month.

    I think Nike only released around six colorways when the shoe last released in 2011, so the Air Flow doesn’t get a whole lot of attention nowadays.

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  • Air Jordan 11 Concord shoelander

    @shoelander

    Have you had any crazy release day stories? 

    I remember two of note:

    The Concord XI launch in 2011 was interesting. I remember lining up at Nike Portland and seeing the line wrap around the block almost twice over, which was insane.

    I also remember a frigid 30-40 degree morning lining up for the Galaxy/All-Star Nike Basketball sneakers in 2012.

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  • Air Jordan 28 shoelander

    @shoelander

    How have things like Instagram changed the sneaker industry over the past few years?

    I think Instagram has allowed sneaker enthusiasts to connect in ways other social media platforms haven’t. While Twitter is seen as a more sociable platform, I’ve found in my role as social media manager of WearTesters that Instagram is also a great place to talk kicks amongst the community (even when it’s purely through the use of emojis.)

    Furthermore, sneaker brands get to showcase beautiful imagery of their products on Instagram without being too “salesy.”

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  • @shoelander

    What cool things has your love of sneakers enabled you to do?

    Going to sneaker launch events has been delightful but the best part of being into sneakers is the people you meet. Whether online or offline, chopping it up with like-minded sneaker people has been awesome.

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  • @shoelander

    What’s the hardest part of this hobby/maintaining your collection?

    The toughest part is the anxiety that comes with accidently dirtying up a clean pair of kicks. I’m pretty meticulous about keeping my sneakers clean so my eyes widen when that happens.

    I remember one time an older gentleman stepped on my shoes with the dirtiest pair of sandals and I couldn’t do anything about it until I got home. My coping mechanism was remembering words from an old Halls cough drop commercial: “Breath, my friend. BREATH!”

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  • Nike KD 4 N7 shoelander

    @shoelander

    If you could map out the perfect sneaker year in 2016, what would that include for you?

    Nike Mags would be great!

    Seriously though, I just hope to meet more people to talk sneakers with, particularly those within the industry.

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  • Air Jordan 23 Stealth shoelander
  • Air Jordan 5 Doernbecher shoelander
  • Nike KD 7 Aunt Pearl shoelander
  • Nike Roshe Run shoelander
  • Nike Air Flow shoelander
  • Air Jordan 11 Concord shoelander
  • Air Jordan 28 shoelander
  • Nike KD 4 N7 shoelander

People all have their own reasons for collecting shoes, for spending hundreds of dollars on things they don’t necessarily need, for stacking boxes on boxes in their closets. Some enjoy the attention. Some do it because they love staying fresh. Some do it because their friends do, or their older siblings did. And some do it because of the stories and memories behind the kicks.

For Jason, owner of the Instagram platform @shoelander, it’s about the storytelling, exemplified with the special edition “Doernbecher” Air Jordan V release from September, 2013.

“The fact that kid-designer Isaac Arzate passed before the shoe released is heart-wrenching,” Jason wrote via email recently, “but the showcasing of Isaac’s love for sports really makes the shoe special.”

A Portland native, Jason is in a unique position, having grown up within the mecca of sneaker design. Nike and adidas are currently forging a competitive footwear war, and now that Under Armour opened a new innovation lab in the same city, Portland is Ground Zero for sneaker culture. The man behind the @Shoelander account has lived in Portland for basically his entire life and as a younger fan first became interested in sneakers by leafing through SLAM magazines at the grocery store.

Not long after, @Shoelander saved up for the entire year to get a pair of the “Stealth” Air Jordan XX3, an iconic sneaker (because of the number) that, nevertheless, isn’t shown the respect it deserves.

In the latest edition to The Stash series, we caught up with @Shoelander and he gave us an exclusive look inside his collection of sneakers, ranging across generations and brands. Check it out.

adidas D Lillard 1 PDX Carpet shoelander

Air Jordan 10 shoelander

Air Jordan 12 shoelander

Nike shoelander

Nike Flight One All-Star shoelander

Nike Flyknit shoelander

Nike LeBron 10 shoelander

Nike LeBron 10 shoelander

Follow Sean: Instagram // Twitter

images via @shoelander