5 Struggles of Being a Sneakerhead in Quarantine

COVID hasn’t been too kind to kicks

Pictured: Jordan Hom

Being a sneakerhead is a lot more fun than the average Joe would think. A wide variety of shoes gives you options to express yourself in ways that T-shirts and pants simply cannot. From outrageous colors and patterns to simple and under the radar, there is a shoe for every preference and for every occasion. But with the quarantine going down, the sneakerhead life is far from what it used to be. In fact, it’s worse than what it was. Here are some reasons why it is a real struggle to be a sneakerhead during these times.

No More In-Person Events

One of the best parts of being a sneakerhead is the community that you are a part of. People from all backgrounds come together to enjoy sharing stories and debate about which shoes are the best. Massive conventions like Sneakercon and Dunkxchange have been some staple events for sneaker enthusiasts to get together and buy, sell, trade, and just talk kicks. And these events give you the opportunity to network and make new friends, as well as meet people in the industry. But with social distancing, none of that is possible. No meetups, no hangouts, no nothing.

Buying Everything Online

Though the modern way to buy sneakers has been on the Internet for years, it’s not the same as going to a store, trying on a new pair, and walking out with a bag in your hand and a grin on your face. And even camping out in front of stores days ahead of a release, one of the most sneakerhead things to do, has been halted altogether due to COVID. Now everyone has to try to cop shoes online, which can be frustrating because of technical difficulties and bots, programs that instantly purchase shoes as soon as they release without any effort or error. Nobody wants to compete against near-unbeatable computer programs just to try and get a pair for themselves. On top of that, a lot of online resale prices are way higher than in-person resale shops, making you spend a lot more than you should. And no one in their right mind wants that.

Selling to Get Some Extra Cash

Sometimes sacrifices have to be made. And with a lot of businesses not operating on the same hours as they were pre-quarantine, it’s a lot harder to live with a stable income. Even though you still might be working, it’s not like how it used to be. So it may result in downsizing the sneaker collection just to put some extra cash in your pocket. Yeah, you should go through your collection and sell pairs that you don’t wear anyways, but your reason should be to keep it tidy and not to fund your next few weeks of food. Unfortunately, desperate times call for desperate measures, and that Jordan you’ve had for a few years might turn into some fruits and veggies. At least it’s healthier, right?

Having No One to Show Your Shoes Off To

Some of the best sneaker conversations happen face to face, whether it’s between a fellow customer or an employee working in a store. I’ve personally had a lot of great experiences with people just because of my footwear, and with COVID changing all the rules of going out, it’s not the same as before. You can’t show off your dope footwear, nor can you see any heat on the streets. Gone are the days where you could stand around in public and just talk kicks with a stranger for a few minutes. All we have now is social media, and we all know how problematic and annoying that can be. The magic of having an organic conversation with someone is gone. We can only hope for the situation to get better soon so that we can go back to wearing out our favorite kicks on a daily basis. Which brings up my final point:

Nowhere to Wear Them To

The most obvious struggle with quarantine: no place to wear your shoes. What else are you gonna do with those new kicks? Wear them to get the grocery store just to get another gallon of milk? Or better yet, wear them around the house to get a head start on putting some miles on them? Don’t be ridiculous. They’re gonna sit in their boxes and collect dust for at least another month. This really is a bad time to be a sneakerhead. Actually, this is a bad time to be a person in general. Remember people, practice social distancing and wear a face mask if you absolutely have to go out. Some of us have some shoes that we want to wear out in public.