Some people don’t get their first taste of sneaker culture until they hit the courts when they’re older. 10 Deep Head Designer Dennis L. came to terms with his sneaker obsession while taking trips to the park with his dad at the age of five. “My father was a sneaker head when I was growing up and he had a Foot Locker connect. When the Reebok Pumps were released in 1990, he sold them at the park to his friends while I played with the other kids,” Dennis said.
Like father like son, Dennis quickly immersed himself in the sneaker game and soon developed an affinity for New Balance brand sneakers. “I got my first pair when I was in the seventh grade. They were the Navy/Orange 574 style with 3M material. A classmate accused me of wearing fake Nikes and that’s when I realized I was into something different,” Dee said.
While the sneaker game has changed in recent years, Dennis’ loyalty to New Balance and sneakers in general hasn’t faded. Dennis’ Brooklyn apartment currently houses around 100 sneakers (50 of which are New Balance brand) and he has around 150 pairs stored in his hometown in California.
“I’ve probably owned more than 1,000 sneakers in my lifetime,” Dennis stated.
Dennis shows no signs of stopping. Dennis recently helped start the online “Team NB” where New Balance enthusiasts can connect worldwide over the internet and share pictures and give release hookups while uniting over a shared admiration for New Balance sneakers. The team proves how many sneaker enthusiasts are loyal to the New Balance brand and shows that not everyone prefers Nike Jordans. “I have nothing against Nike Jordans, but I don’t have the time or energy for cheaply made shoes. They used to be made with better quality and they were cheaper and now they’re overrated. I’d rather buy a quality pair of MB’s where they use high quality suede and leather,” Dennis commented.
Once a sneaker enthusiast, always a sneaker enthusiast. “I love it, I’ve tried to quit buying and collecting sneakers but I just come back. Sneakers are definitely my drug of choice,” Dee said while checking an online sneaker forum for the latest release.
Check out the Q&A with Dennis below:
Chloe: Define the term “sneaker head”:
Dennis: I don’t really like the term “sneaker head because I think it’s corny. I prefer the term “sneaker enthusiast”.
Chloe: How do you acquire most of your sneakers?
Dennis: I buy them on websites like eBay or online sneaker forums. Friends I’ve made in the sneaker game offer me what they’re selling.
Chloe: Share your thoughts on acquiring sneakers in todays modern world:
Dennis: Tumblrs and blogs have made shoes harder to obtain. They sell out faster and people are forced to pay double the retail value if they purchase resale pairs.
Chloe: Favorite pair of sneakers that you own:
Dennis: My New Balance Kennedy’s (999 collaboration with a Boston store called Concepts). I got them for free through a trade and now they sell online for $700-$1,000!
Dennis’ Must Own Sneakers:
- New Balance 993 Kawasaki
- New Balance 577 Kakkerlak aka The Cockroach
- New Balance 850 Collaboration with Sneakerfreaker