What I’ve been working on

As I’ve mentioned before, i like sneakers.  I like the sight, feel, and smell of them (no, I’m not one of the guys on YT and IG you see licking the outsole of my kicks, but you get the idea).

One of the reasons I began recording my thoughts here was to help figure out what now?  My background is in Civil Engineering (roads & bridges) for which i’m grateful, but not inspired about.  While pondering this question, i kept coming back to my appreciation for those foam, rubber, and leather articles that go on our feet.

After a few conversations with close confidants, i decided to run with an idea i’ve bounced around in my head for the better part of a decade.  The result: Footwear Commodities Exchange (www.footwearexchange.com).

So what?  An honest question.  Sneakers are a big deal, and have been for quite some time.  With all things good, come individuals who seek to take advantage and profiteer.  Gone are the days of driving to the Mall or your neighborhood mom and pop store to scoop the latest pair of Air Jordan’s or Dunks.  Re-Sellers (an individual who makes a living buying up all or the majority stock of a desirable item, only to “re-sell” it for a considerable mark-up.  Think 100% – 200% of MSRP) have ruined things, camping outside of said establishments for days on end.  If you manage to sidestep the Re-Sellers, keep a watchful eye for the exploding counterfeit market.  Due to the swelling demand and ever shrinking supply, our friends in the factories of these multinational corporations have taken advantage of a golden opportunity: make “Grey Market”, “Replicas” (whatever the moniker, they’re fake) shoes and pass them off as authentic.  Some of these offerings have come so close to the real thing that even the most experienced eye can be fooled.

Footwear Commodities Exchange (FoComEx) takes a different approach to this shoe phenomena.  Shoes are a commodity (no different from silver, corn, or natural gas) that bought/sold/traded just the same.  The problem arises in the fact that there has not been a regulated and monitored exchange where business can be transacted safely and securely,   until now.

FoComEx not only provides a marketplace for users to buy/sell/trade footwear related commodities safely and securely, it offers the following:

  1. Zero Tolerance of Fraud and Suspicious activity
  2. Authentication & Verification Services
  3. Commodities Insurance
  4. Market base pricing history
  5. Commodities Futures

If you’re into sneakers, or just curious what this is all about, come see for yourself.

http://www.footwearexchange.com

fo_com_ex (on Instagram)

LEBRON XI

So I just scooped these LeBron XI’s. Wasn’t really intending to purchase but I came across a pretty good deal (never retail 😉 ). They were apparently worn one time, but there is honestly little evidence of this. The 11th edition to Nike’s LeBron line (the 12th installment dropped a few weeks ago) these are known as the “Miami Nights” edition, from when LeBron still played for the Heat in south Florida. I really appreciate the carbon fiber which is ever so nicely broken up by the splashes of hot pink peaking out from under the uppers. It’s a beautiful day so I thought, “Why not a photo shoot?” Enjoy.

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Nike Dunk Hi x UNDFTD

Was able to pick up a pair of these recently. Hard to come by in my size. Although I would have preferred a DS pair, I was able to cop for a good price.

From Sneaker News:

In 2005, Undefeated teamed up with Nike on the Dunk High in the slimmer ‘NL’ form; the Dunk NL stood for ‘No Liner’, which featured a interior stripped of its thick padding to achieve a sleeker profile (a precursor to the current ‘Deconstruct’ Dunk Highs). UNDFTD’s uninhibited use of bright colors was matched perfectly with the supreme materials on the shoe, which feature a high-quality brown leather on the toe, the wine-colored heel, and the calf-skin leather used on the toe-box and tongue. This 2005 masterpiece was a Tier 0 release and limited to just 5,000 units worldwide, and surely stands as a definitive ‘Dunk’ of our time – rife with colorways and materials and seamlessly adapting the ‘NL’ construction without shedding the Dunk’s original heritage of basketball sport.

Undefeated x Nike Dunk High NL
Blue Reef/Cotton Candy-Black
312205-461
05/2005

Yo, where my Roshes at b?

ugh…

One of the most hopeless feelings is dealing with the United States Post Office.  This is one of the few bastions of absolute power left in modern American Society.  Need to mail something quickly during your lunch break?  Too bad; there’s only one counter open, and the clerk is in know hurry.  Mail need to be help while you’re on holiday?  Fill out this form.  And don’t let your passport expire (which reminds me).  They have all the power.  You know it, they know it, and they remind you of this fact at every waking moment.  But the worst is finding a lost package.

So I spent a while mulling what kicks I would be copping next (i’m kinda obsessive-compulsive when it comes to most purchases that are not food).  I finally decided on these:

(pic from freshnessmag.com)
(pic from freshnessmag.com)

I found my size for a fair price, and made the purchase.  I was giddy once I received the tracking info, but that expectation turned to anxiety once the shoes traveled from Boston, MA to Nashua, NH.

WTF? 

What’s that for? I exclaimed (get your mind out of the gutter).  Why would the package travel North, further away from me, than towards the Commonwealth?  Then, when they do arrive in town, the latest update shows they departed early this morning.

Yo, where my Roshes at b?

Anxiety lead to borderline anger as I realized that there was little I could do, being the receiver.  The Post Office won’t even entertain my inquiries once they find out I’m not the sender, so why bother.

My feet wait.

The begining of my love of Sole

Gotta catch 'em all.
Gotta catch ’em all.

I’m into sneakers. I’ve been into sneakers, shoes, kicks, trainers, runners, tennis, whatever you call them for a long time.

I always thought a nice pair of shoes were something to be appreciated, but the inception of desire was when I first laid eyes on that special pair.

It was my sophomore year of high school.  I alighted the bus and made my way through campus to the lunchroom doors.  In my way was a small crowd. Curious to see what was going on, I joined the throng.

I was dumbfounded by what I saw.  The only way to describe them was a pair of marshmallow moon boots.  The shoes were made of a bright royal blue material; something like high-tech polyurethane.  There was a semi-translucent sole with circular indentations meant to enhance grip and traction.  At first I couldn’t tell what brand shoe they were, until I spotted a small white swoosh near the toe area. There is so much more about the shoe that boggled my mind, but I just don’t have the time to share it all.

I had to know more.  My buddy gave me the skinny: Nike Air Foamposite One, the newest and most innovative in footwear tech to come out of Beaverton, OR.  My mind was blown; how could create such a thing?

I was determined to get them, alas my heart sunk when I found out the retail price: $179.99.  I just started working during summers, but that price was way out of my reach.  The same buddy told me he knew a dude who bought two pairs: one to rock (wear) and another to hoop in (play basketball).  I was incredulous, but inspired nonetheless.  I wasn’t able to raise the necessary funds for my pair until sometime later.  I scoured virtually every obscure sneaker spot in NYC looking for that elusive size 11.5.  While hunting, other Nike offerings caught my attention.  At my height during College, I had over thirty pairs of sneakers in my rotation.  It’s was where virtually all my money went.  I didn’t care; I was like Ash Ketchum.  My “sole” purpose was to acquire.

I eventually did score my pair of Nike Air Foamposite Ones.  They are the up there, along with my current rotation; a fraction of what it used to be.  The quantity may have decreased due to new priorities (wife, children, Cheez-its, etc.) but the love still remains.

What was/is your love, and what started it all for you?