The most distinct of these is centered upon basketball shoes. In 6th grade, anybody that was cool had either a pair of Reebok Answers or Paytons. Outside of Air Jordans (are they even called that? are they just Jordans?) and Starburys, those are still the only two basketball shoes I can recognize on sight, and man did I want them. Nevermind that my basketball playing career started and ended in a YMCA gym a few years before, or the ridiculous way in which kids would take rolled up pairs of socks and stuff them inbetewen the foot and the tongue of the shoe. I hadn't ever felt, and haven't since, such feelings of inadequacy from not owning a product. I remember the jealously I felt when I saw Jeff Kobernus chasing Brad Amaral (I think the divergence in their respective lives is interesting) around after-school one day in his brand new Paytons. Jeff yelled out for Brad to stop, sat down, took an old pair of Paytons out of his backpack and put them on, and resumed chasing Brad. My mom wouldn't spend more than about $50 on a pair of shoes for me, let alone two pairs.
All of this to say that I know sneaker culture exists and at one point I would've given my left arm for a pair of shoes, but I am certainly not a part of this culture. Like any niche activity (and collecting shoes isn't very niche), there is a part of the internet dedicated to it, in this case Kix And The City, an "online magazine dedicated to sneaker culture". Because, you see, Sneakerheads are just like the rest of us, using the internet to get obscene details about a product before searching for that shady-looking website where you can get it for $4 less than Amazon. Hell, I'm surprised sneakers.woot.com doesn't exist yet.
Not being apart of sneaker culture, or even fully understand it, I'm going to do what humans have been doing for centuries: make fun of something I don't really understand! The video below is hilarious. Never have I felt like my vocabulary was so inadequate as listening to this dude describe a shoe. Why is there an eleven minute shoe review video where we don't even see the shoes for 4 minutes? What the fuck is flywire, and why does this dude known exactly when Nike introduced it? if the "full-length zoom air visible air unit" is a first, what was the inferior technology we had previously? a partial-length zoom air visible air unit? How does Nike+ track my fuel, and what is my fuel?
I just can't get enough of this video. I'm also continually impressed by Nike's marketing, and how they basically have an entire culture based around coveting their products. Well done Nike marketing.