Footloose

Sneakerheads put their money where their feet are

Justin Franklin owns more than 60 pairs of shoes but said it's difficult to wear them all because he doesn't have enough clothes to match.

Foundations of Journalism Students, Special to The Pony Express

A “sneakerhead” is a special type of shoe enthusiast, with some willing to spend thousands of dollars on luxury footwear.

“My most expensive pair of shoes are my Gucci high-tops,” Center Hill High School junior Justin Franklin said. “They are $1,200.”

Franklin said he has 63 pairs of shoes, most of which were purchased from Nike Factory in Memphis. Even though he has so many shoes, Franklin said there is one pair he likes the most.

“My favorite pair is my high-top Gucci shoes with the crystals,” he said.

In addition to Gucci, Franklin wears brands such as Louis Vuitton, Jordans, and Adidas  He said that he only wears about 40 from his collection because he does not have the clothes to match the rest.

“Most of the shoes also have such crazy designs and colors that you can’t really wear them on a daily basis,” he said, adding that there’s no room at home for his collection. “I don’t have enough space at my house for all of them, so I leave the rest at my older brother’s house.”

Like Franklin, Israel “Bob” Dantzler also has some expensive Italian footwear.

“I have some Gucci shoes that I paid $875 for,” said Dantzler, who has 23 pairs of shoes.

The junior said Jordans are his favorite brand, especially “my Closing Ceremony 11 Jordans and my tan 13 Jordans.”

Contrary to the name, not all sneakerheads collect sneakers.

“My most expensive pair of shoes are my Versace snow boots,” senior Austin Downs said. “They cost $795. My favorite pair are my Louis Vuitton loafers. My least favorite are my black Timberlands.”

Downs said he gets his shoes from a variety of places.

“I order online and in local malls, but I bought my last two pairs of shoes at designer stores in Las Vegas and San Francisco,” he said.

Some sneakerheads have a more concentrated collection with a smaller quantity of shoes.

Jamiah Thomas, a sophomore, said she started her collection of 25 shoes in the seventh grade.

“I just got some black and white 10 Jordans,” she said, noting that her black and pink 12 Jordans are her favorite. “I really don’t have a least favorite.”

Sophomore Faith Johnson decided to focus her collection on bright animations.

“I want to start a cartoon collection of shoes,” said Johnson, who has a pair of Looney Tunes Converse. “My favorite pair of shoes are my Peanuts Vans because of the simple fact they are Peanuts.”

Foundations of Journalism students Destini Dixon, Trinity Johnson, Josie Martinez and Nadia Sumlar contributed to this story.