Stepping into style: sneakerheads discuss their passion for shoes

Maddie Sack, Staff writer

Senior Ryan Sheldon

Since a young age, senior Ryan Sheldon had a growing interest in shoes. He said he received his first custom pair on his birthday in fifth grade.

“It was the coolest thing. I was just walking around flexing on everybody and I felt like the coolest kid in the class,” Sheldon said. “It really started for me in sixth grade when I got Nike Lebron Elevens in the Christmas Colorway. That was what really started the whole thing.”

Out of all of his pairs of shoes, Sheldon said his favorite are his Yeezy 700 Inertias.

“I have 16 total, but I regularly wear 13 in rotation. Sometimes it’s very rare that you see me wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row,” Sheldon said.

Sheldon said he likes to coordinate his outfits with his shoes each day, by laying out his clothes and matching shoes each night before school.

“It annoys me when people pair their outfits randomly, like Yeezys with shorts just makes me uncomfortable, or like when someone wears high tops with low socks,” Sheldon said. “Say I want to wear my Off-White Vapor Streets and I just get a pair of Nike running joggers and a Nike shirt. ‘Cause you know, it’s a golden rule for hype beasts that you can not mix brands.”

His most recent pair of shoes was a pair of black and red Yeezys, a brand that is included in some of the expensive shoe collections.

“My most expensive pair and in my size is going for about $4,000,” Sheldon said. “There are some of the Yeezys that I have — the black and red ones — that are going for about $900, so it kind of fluctuates and it really depends on what you want.”

Freshman Maggie Deppe

For freshman Maggie Deppe, shoes and sneaker collecting have been a big part of her life ever since she was young. She said she was surrounded by shoes, and it slowly became something she has learned to love.

“I think it really pulls the outfit together and it’s fun for me,” Deppe said. “I love shoe shopping and seeing all of the shoes laid out. I definitely have a shoe problem.”

Currently, Deppe said she owns around 30 pairs of shoes, including her mom’s collection, which they share. That’s not counting the many pairs she has acquired through the years for dance.

“I share shoes with my mom so that kind of doubles my collection,” Deppe said. “But that’s nothing compared to all my dance shoes. My whole family is really big on shoes, though. Ever since I was little, my mom always had a lot and my sister has tons.”

For Deppe, matching is an essential part of pairing her outfits.

“I’m very big on matching,” Deppe said. “It has to go together. If I’m wearing Rainbow Air Maxes, I have to have a subtle outfit on; I cannot have a crazy outfit. That’s a whole different type of story. If I have a solid color shoe, I can wear something more fun to really make it pop.”

Deppe’s favorite shoes right now are her Rainbow Air Max 90s, which is one of her most expensive pairs.

“Right now they are running for $140,” Deppe said.

Debate teacher Ryan McFarland

Another sneakerhead, debate teacher Ryan McFarland has also been collecting shoes his whole life. His passion for shoes originated when he was a child and has grown since.

“When I was younger, I would always get the East Bay monthly catalog,” McFarland said. “I’m not sure if East Bay still sells a catalog, but it’s basically like any other big box store and it was sent out to show what items they had. It’s kind of where I got my first look at what would be considered hype or collectible shoes today.”

He said he has memories that go along with each shoe and holds sentimental value in them.

“When I was younger, I just had one pair of shoes every year and I was always so envious when I would see all the other kids with lots of shoes,” McFarland said. “They would have a variety of different colors and stuff like that.”

McFarland said people don’t have to be fashionable to like shoes. He said he enjoys shoes because even someone without any style can look good, too.

“I think that if they look nice and they are comfortable, they’re good,” McFarland said. “You don’t have to go and sift through a wardrobe to find the outfit that looks the best, you can just grab a pair of shoes and go.”

Currently, McFarland owns 45 pairs of shoes. He said out of all of them his favorite and most expensive are the Sean Wotherspoon Air Max Ones. Coming in at around $1,000, McFarland said he got them for retail at about $160. Another one of his expensive pairs is the Off-White Air Max 90s that he got on sale for $6.

“I like that there are a million different colorways and there are a million different types of silhouettes,” McFarland said. “I also like that almost any shoe you choose can go with an outfit.”