(Sam Gehrke)
(Sam Gehrke)

"I remember my mom got me a pair of Nike Cortez shoes that immediately ripped, so soon after, I got a pair of Nike Air Force 1 lows—white and silver with the mesh. Also, being from D.C., New Balance were really special to me growing up."

(Sam Gehrke)
(Sam Gehrke)

"I remember going to the Nike employee store when I was a kid and getting what I thought were a pair of OG Nike Air Max 90 Infrareds. It turns out they weren't the OG models, but that got me really into knowing the differences between them, and getting more and more."

(Sam Gehrke)
(Sam Gehrke)

"For me, it was the Nike Air Flight Determinations. It was the first shoe I ever bought in multiple colorways."

(Sam Gehrke)
(Sam Gehrke)

"Kind of an odd one, but the Nike Ndestrukts were the shoes that really set it off for me."

(Sam Gehrke)
(Sam Gehrke)

"When I was in seventh grade, I got the Air Max Plus models in a blue and yellow colorway. That was the first time I saw other people interested in collecting a pair of shoes I owned. It made me realize there was a passion and culture around sneakers, and I started connecting more and more with people about them on old social media platforms like NikeTalk and Myspace."

(Sam Gehrke)
(Sam Gehrke)

"When I was 14, I got a plug on some Bapestas, and everyone at school made fun of me 'cause they all thought they were bootleg Air Force 1s. The next summer, though, Bathing Ape hit hard in the U.S. and everyone wanted them all of the sudden."

(Sam Gehrke)
(Sam Gehrke)

"I'd say around 2013 when I first bought a pair of Bred 1s with my own money."

(Sam Gehrke)
(Sam Gehrke)

"I'd say the Jordan 11 and 12s. Also gotta add the very first Allen Iverson models that came out through Reebok."

(Sam Gehrke)
(Sam Gehrke)

"I'm an exchange student here from Japan, but for me, my favorite sneaker, and the one that got me into sneakers, were the Jordan Cement 4s."