Flashback Friday #2: My Sneakerhead Origin Story: The Holy Grail

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For this week’s Flashback Friday I thought I’d tell you guys my sneakerhead origin story. It will cover what peaked my interested in sneakers, my first holy grail and the shoe that got me hooked (not the same). Since my path to sneaker-freakerism stretched over a long period of time it will be spread out over three episodes of Flashback Friday. This is the prologue:

Picture Paris in November 2010 and 14 year old me strolling along the Avenue des Champs-Élysées rockin’ white canvas Tommy Hilfiger slip-ons while I was supposed to be in school. The weather was starting to get colder and wetter and my shoes weren’t really up to the task of protecting my feet from the cold and wet. I had worn them well into the ground and the canvas upper was starting to rip.

It was time for me to get some new kicks. I walked towards the Place de la Concorde with only one destination in mind: the Adidas Store. I probably wanted a new pair of Sambas, my go to shoe over the past couple of years, but the last ones I had were getting pretty tight which is why I didn’t pack them when I moved to Champs-sur-Marnes.

I climbed the stairs to the first floor where all of the Adidas Originals lines were on display. That was the first time I saw that Adidas did a collaborative collection with Star Wars. I was pretty geeky back then and I loved the original Star Wars films (and still do). I knew my new kicks had to be from that collection.

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The pair that jumped out at me were the Top Ten Low “Droids” that were split down the middle with white leather on lateral for R2-D2 and gold leather on the medial for C-3PO. Those were the droids I was looking for! The detail that sold me on them was the wire graphic between the three stripes on C-3PO’s part of the shoe.

I started saving my money and cut class to come back one week later (I never really enjoyed going to school in France…). I returned to the Champs-Élysées with €110 in my pocket because that was how much I recall it saying on the price tag. But they didn’t cost €110, they cost €120. Mind you, I lived on my own at that time so I couldn’t just borrow those €10 I was missing from my parents and I probably wasn’t supposed to be spending that kind of cash on shoes anyway. So I went back to school empty handed…

The cold weather was becoming unbearable so I was really desperate for some new shoes. And instead of waiting a bit longer for those extra €10 to come along I stopped at the Val d’Europe on my way home. I actually wanted to go to the Nike outlet in La Vallée Village as I was sure I could find something in my budget there. But the outlet centre was already closed (school finished at 5PM and it always took me about an hour and a half to get home…) so I went to Sport 2000 instead.

I didn’t know much about sneakers back then or what kind of shoes were in back then. Had the outlet been open I probably would have gone for a pair of Air Force 1 Hi. However, Sport 2000 didn’t have Air Force 1s so I just looked for the fattest Nikes I could find. In the end I went for some Renzo Mids for €50.

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I took this picture the first time I tried Jason Markk to clean my Renzos after 18 straight months of abuse.

I told myself after my birthday and Christmas I should have some money to buy the Droids in January. But I never got the chance to go back to the Adidas Store because my mother sent me to a boarding school just outside of Paris because in the first four months at my school in Paris I had missed 30 days…

The next time I returned to the Adidas Store was in February 2011 and the shoes were gone. I looked all over the internet to track down a pair but they were sold out everywhere. The only pairs I could find were with resellers, and they were demanding serious cash that I just didn’t have.

So even before I committed myself to the sneaker game I already had a “holy grail”. I did eventually manage to track them down and I’ll tell you that story on a future episode of Sneaker Spotlight.

Do you have a holy grail? Did you ever manage to track them down?

Let me know in the comments below.

Make sure to check back next week for the sequel of my origin story!

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