After the year I spent living in Paris I returned back to Cologne to attend a German school for my last two years before graduating. The first friend I made at that school was David. He was half French/half Dutch who grew up in Cologne and he was a sneakerhead.
This was in September of 2011, not too long after Nike announced that they were bringing out the Air Mags from the second Back to the Future film in a limited run for charity. I was super excited about the shoes, even though I knew I could never get a pair, and asked him what he thought of them.
Finally he had someone to talk to about them because no one else had heard of them. I had only heard of them in a Back to the Future context, not a sneaker context, but we connected over them. So I started looking into what was fresh on the sneaker scene and discussed it with David.
He also told me that he had interned at The Good Will Out, Cologne’s premier sneaker shop and started working for them over the summer. I had been to the shop before but never knew much about it. All I knew was that they carried stuff you couldn’t find anywhere else in Cologne, like Jeremy Scott’s ObyO collection with Adidas. I always liked his crazy stuff, especially the Wings but I never thought I could pull them off. David told me that Jeremy Scott had designed a new version of the shoe, the Wings 2.0, and they were due to release very soon.
By February 2012 my Renzos were starting to feel a bit tight and I had really worn down the sole so it was time for me to get a new pair of kicks (ah yes, those were the days when my sneaker purchases were over a year apart). I had saved up a lot of money that I had gotten for my 16th birthday so I was prepared to spend a bit more money than usual on a pair of shoes (the usual being around €60 back then).
But rather than tracking down my Holy Grail I really had my eyes on the Jordan Spiz’ike “Bordeaux”. I never figured out why the called them that because there wasn’t a hint of wine red to be found anywhere on the shoe. But they had lots of popping colours on a white and grey base and they matched my first 59Fifty fitted with a multi-colour New York Skyline. They were the shoes that really got me hooked.
I had seen them when Kickz opened up their new store in Cologne and they only cost €110. I never had any money with me when I went to Kickz because I only ever went when killing time with my friends during our free periods and I never took a lot of cash to school. So one day I decided to go into the city with my dad to go get the shoes. I had been there during the day to make sure they were still there but when I returned with my dad they had just sold the last pair in my size.
As I was really adamant to get myself a new pair of sneaks that day my dad and I drove to The Good Will Out to take a look at Jeremy Scott’s new collection for Adidas which included the new Wings 2.0. The first pair I saw were the Stars and Stripes. Even though they cost twice as much as the Spiz’ikes I knew I had to get them. So I did. And that was the day I became a sneakerhead.
I love those shoes. Back then I didn’t have a rotation yet so I wore my wings every day. I hadn’t been at my new school very long and because we were about 130 kids in our class and I didn’t know many people, but from that day I became known as the guy with wings on his shoes.
Even though the Adidas Jeremy Scott Wings 2.0 “Stars and Stripes” were the shoes that made me call myself a sneakerhead I still consider the Jordan Spiz’ike “Bordeaux” as the shoe that got me hooked, even though I never owned them and don’t plan on ever owning them.
That’s because back then I tried to find them on ebay, but they were going for around €300. During the search I found that there was a pair of Jordan Son of Mars in a similar colourway, but they were called “Olympic”. I bought them as a consolation for missing out on the Spiz’ikes because they were considerably cheaper at €200 but they were not worth it.
To this day they are the only sneaker purchase I regret. The quality was despicable, the material on the toe-box was so prone to creasing and the shoes were really uncomfortable so I stopped wearing them after a while. They really turned me off of Jordans because the quality just doesn’t justify the price. That is why I am not looking to track down a pair of the Spiz’ike “Bordeaux”.
So that was how I got into sneakers.
Do you remember the shoe that got you hooked?
Let me know in the comments below.
Make sure to check back for next week’s Flashback Friday where I will conclude my sneakerhead origin story by talking about the first time I camped out for a sneaker release.