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Nike Eric Koston Aj1 Low Top Down Toe Box
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Real Talk: Why I Can’t Wear Pre-Loved Shoes

Date: September 20 2019

By: Jacob Boyd-Skinner

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Just the other day, Sneaker Freaker stumbled upon an unknown shopper who picked up a tidy pair of ‘Chlorophyll’ Nike Air Max 1s for just $5! This incredible discovery highlights the fact that there are many rare and obscurely-priced oddities still in circulation. After all, as the old saying goes, one head’s trash is another head’s treasure. But while most of us have become accustomed to the notion of buying pre-loved heat, I find it utterly repulsive.

My bold stance on secondhand sneakers does not come without its hurdles, especially as a sneakerhead with an affliction for late 2000s retro running releases. Understanding this, you’ll either stand in solidarity or be coming after me with virtual pitchforks via your Instagram comments. As avid sneaker collectors, we’ve all got our weird traits. Some obsess over lacing styles. Some covet display cases. Some impose strict rules on how often they’ll wear a shoe. And some possess a sick fascination for smelling different leathers. For me, it’s DS or nothing. No matter how many times you tell me a pair is PADS, I ain’t buying them. And I have my reasons.

Nike Eric Koston Aj1 Low Insole
Nike Eric Koston Aj1 Low Pair And Insole

It’s All About the Groove

I think we can all agree on the value of those lovely curves that get pressed into the footbed after minimal wear. Once they go in, they ain’t coming back out. That simple phenomenon explains why no beater is ever uncomfortable. Unlike Cinderella, this isn't my glass slipper. And while many of you will suggest just changing the inner sole, does that mean they are the ‘original’ shoe? No, it does not.

Nike Eric Koston Aj1 Low Toe Box 2
Nike Eric Koston Aj1 Low Top Down Pair
Nike Eric Koston Aj1 Low Toe Box Close Up

The Sweat Spot 

This might reveal more about me than it does the remainder of the population, but I must confess that I have sweaty feet. If a new package arrives in the middle of the day, I’ll change my socks before wearing my latest purchase for the rest of the day. This leads me to wondering whether the owner of any pre-worn pair I might consider copping has feet as sweaty as mine. It’s a chance I’m not willing to take. While I’m old enough to realise that cooties isn’t an actual thing, the mere thought of slipping into someone’s pre-loved jawns sends me right back to my first kiss. And I wiped that sucker off straight away!

Nike Eric Koston Aj1 Low Dirty Pair
Nike Eric Koston Aj1 Low Toe Box

My Fear is Good for You

If you’ve ever missed out on your all-time Grail because that rabid secondhand market has pushed the price to breaking point, you’ll appreciate that I’m one less person chasing that value out of sight. In fact, my entrenched aversion to pre-loved creps has actually resulted in a few bargain basement sales on my behalf…

For example, in 2013 I offloaded a pair of 2012 Nike Silver Bullet 97s worn thrice for $120, months before the Australia-wide boom. Then there was a pair of padded Nike Flyknit Trainers in the OG Black/White colourway for just $150. The kid that scored them got extra lucky, I gave him a bonus pair of Flyknit Trainers in Grey/Volt on the side due to a desperate lack of storage space. 

As for the Kostons featured in the article, if anyone’s looking for a cheap pair, I think 50 bucks should do the trick. They’re beat!

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