The frugal sneaker fiend

My name is a Phillip, and I am a sneaker head…
                I did not come by this as honestly as many who I have observed have.  In fact, I may have created it for a WILDLY different set of reasons.  When my twin and I were 11, we left my pops and became a single parent household.  Even before this January day, we could basically be assured that at any given time there would be three pairs of shoes in our lives:
1 – “school” shoes:  this would be the newest and cleanest pair, re-upped only at the beginning of the school year and Christmas.
2 – “play” shoes: the most recently demoted shoes from “school shoes” status, provided there had not been a major growth spurt to bring on a change.
3 – “church” shoes: replaced ONLY at significant growth spurts and/or Easter.  Otherwise self-explanatory.

                Let me preface this by explaining that I have worn the same size shoe since the summer before I turned 16.

As a kid, I learned to lowkey HATE that other kids got shoes for no good apparent reason while I had to understand that I would need to either conform to what was available or what I could scare up by cutting 5-9 lawns a weekend and riding the bus to the mall to acquire.  I do not resent my mother for this, trust and believe because 36 year-old me appreciates never having had to eat hunger for dinner and the "go fucking get it" spirit that it created in us.  At 16, though, I still had the hustler’s spirit that cut yards and shoveled snow to help mom with the bills and groceries, but now I could legally work as well.  3ish years prior, I had made a promise to myself that I would not ever dog out another pair of sneakers due to necessity at the exact moment I could afford not to.  Word to my employment at Winn Dixie 16 days after my 16th birthday, I have not in the 20 years since.  Sure, shoes have gotten old and demoted to "yardwork" status or succumbed to simple old age, but I have only worn out the shoes that I have run in and that was on-purpose wear.

                But wait!
After high school, I worked in the mall and shored up my dress shoes game on Mezlans, Cole Haan and whatever else we had in the store at the time (I still own and wear these shoes when I dress it up now), but I built allegiances in the mall to where I understood the beauty of a hookup as well.  1999 was the last time I paid full price for a pair of sneakers (triple black Flightposite 1, but don’t tell my mama they were $160 on release date).  I would later return to college and a more stable job.  At the both, I would find myself waiting for shoes to fall to clearance before buying, I would drive 1.5 (Concord NC) to 3 (Smithfield NC) hours to outlets to buy annexed-priced sneakers.

                Then, I was 27 (this matters because I am still at the same job as I am on the downside of my 30s)
Apply the lessons of my childhood and early adulthood.  Remember that I made a promise to myself and my unimagined children that I would not dog out my sneakers anymore and that they (now a specific 'she') would not have to either.  I also learned the BEAUTY of not paying full retail.  There are now outlets closer to home and the ubiquitousness of the internet.  At any given time, I can go onto eBay and filter down my search to include shoes that BEGAN at $150 and are waiting for me to click “Add To Cart” for no more than $67 (<-- i=""> that is my magic number) and move on with NEVER having to have a teenager in the mall exclaim “WHAT ARE THOSE?!”
Back in July, I said I would chill on sneaker purchases, but two weeks ago, I realized that I was hamstringing my ability to enjoy the spoils of my own hard work and have copped a couple of pairs of otherwise exclusives since.

                $67 and under, shipping/tax included.  I don’t wait in line or pay full price.  I will ALWAYS own enough pairs of shoes to not HAVE to wear the same ones twice in any given 10-day period outside of my simply deciding to.  Knowing how to apply my search to own things I might have only HOPED to as a child?  Yes, that too.
I actually appreciate what my upbringing made me into as a sneakerhead.  I don’t exactly care for Jordan as a person, so his shoes fall to the same.  Add to that the fact that the designer of his shoes also designed 3 of my OTHER favorite Nike lines including my absolute favorite and I am good.  Give me a Trainer 1, Trainer 1.2, Trainer 3 or one of SEVERAL Huaraches and I am fine.

Now if you will excuse me, I am looking to score these Lakers-colorway Flight Huaraches for my price.
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