My journey to becoming a sneakerhead

Everyone getting married and having babies. And am over here like “Which sneaker do I cop next?” – Confessions of a sneaker head.

Sneaker heads India

I have always loved sneakers for as long as I can remember. I guess so does every other kid. See, we came from humble beginnings. Most of school life was spent in prescribed uniform shoes and back in the day, there was no life beyond the playground. Growing up in Mangalore, gum boots ruled the roost as it rained pretty heavy and we walked to school.

I have always owned sneakers but only began collecting them mid this year. Work needed me to be in formals all days of the week and the 2 pairs that I had served the weekends. Ever since I quit my corporate job, sneakers became a way of life and gave me the excuse to add to my collection.

The right pair of sneakers can make the crappiest outfit look good.

My first pair of sneakers was Action Shoes and Liberty Force 10, when the rest of the world was copping Nikes, Reebok or Adidas. That was all we could afford and I am grateful for that. To make them stand out, I would paint them myself. Some times using oil paint, because I wasn’t the brightest bulb in the room. And they didn’t hold up well during the monsoons. Eventually, I tried acrylic but my memory fails me if it did well. The slow yet sure progression in life has helped me stay grounded. Although the dreams are getting unachievably unrealistic. Lol.

It was only when my older brother got me Adidas kicks for university that I really began to love sneakers for all they are worth. He had gotten a decent sum of money as allowance and he was kind enough to buy a pair of runners that were in between both our sizes. So while he had to squeeze his legs into them, I had to wear 2 pairs of socks.

And then he bought me my very own Converse High Tops!

The Chuck Taylor stood by me as I hustled through college, studying at book stores because I spent my text book money on coffee. My brother supported me, more than I can ever give him credit for! Which is why the Converse Chuck Taylor will be my forever sneaker.

Now that I am a sneaker head, at times, I have been blessed with kicks from brands that send it to me for reviews like Nike, Vans, DC Shoes, ASICS Tiger, Puma and adidas Originals and some have come as presents from people I love. Especially the Air Force 1’s that Sheral brings down when she is back from Germany!

And every time I pull the trigger on a pair of kicks, I ask myself if they have historic significance or are limited/special edition. That is what cracks the deal for me. Because being a sneaker head is not about how many pairs you own or buying every single pair that comes out. It is about collecting, appreciating and wearing relevant and significant sneakers. Otherwise the guy next door who owns Zara shoes and calls himself a sneaker head would probably give you a run for your money considering how cheap they retail at and how little value they hold.

And I constantly downsize my wardrobe. Because I cannot probably store over 100 pairs of sneakers in a rented apartment. So I give them away to my friends and family, if they can manage to get their feet into my sneakers.

As featured on Homegrown.

Shot by Jagath Venkat for Bowties and Bones.




  1. […] Fast forward to university. All the cool kids had Nike and Adidas, whereas I was resigned to action Shoes and Tuffs or Liberty Force 10. You probably have never heard of them. I could not get my folks to buy me expensive shoes, because what was the point? Hence, I resorted to oil paint, customising my shoes to look a lot cooler than the production variant. That they didn’t last the rainy season, was besides the point. But my brother played a massive role in providing for me by buying me my first ever sneakers and also the all important Converse! You can read how I turned into a sneakerhead here. […]


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