Category: Sneakers

The fall of the foams

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I really apologize for not writing lately. I really appreciate all those who read this blog. Was actually in Vancouver, Canada and Portland Oregon last week. I didn’t get to hit up any sneaker spots other than “Livestock” in Vancouver Canada. It was a boutique that sold Nike’s and Jordan’s.

This week at the shop I was given a stack of “Wu Tang” and “Wolf Grey” Foamposites to post on eBay. (insert X smirk). Anyways I just wanted to write about the decline of foamposites in the past 5 years.

When I first started at the store back in 2011 foamposites were hot. I could be wrong but I think every foamposite that released actually re-sold for over retail. Nowadays, Nike would be lucky if a foamposite would even sell out in retail stores.

I actually don’t own or wear any foamposites but I was a huge fan of the shoe.

Have you ever put on a shoe that you like the look of but when its on your foot, it just looks funny? Yeah, that’s how I feel about the foamposites. Huge fan of the shoe but when it’s on my foot it just looks weird.

Every foamposite release after the whiteout foamposite is when the downfall started and when the thermal map and weatherman’s came out, those are what killed em. That’s what happens when you flood the market with weak colorways.

I’ve been listening to a few podcasts lately while I work, and I’m going to take JJ Reddick’s “4 on 4” concept to Tucked Laces. Each blog topic I will try to have a top 4 of whatever that topic might be that week.

This week’s top 4 will be my personal all-time favorite foamposites.

 

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#4 “Stealth” – released in 2012 super clean and can match anything. 

 

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#3 “Eggplant” – released in 2009 and 2010 which I always found funny. Why would you release a shoe twice in consecutive years?

 

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#2 “Royal” – released a handful of times 1997, 2007, 2008 and 2011 again why would you release a shoe back to back years?

 

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#1 “Paranorman” – of course I had to go with the Paranormans because of a personal history with them. I wish I had a personal picture of them, I don’t even think I had an iPhone at the time. Late to the game, I know, right.

 

Image’s taken from www.solecollector.com and www.modern-notoriety.com

Categories: Sneakers

Nicknames

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                Amidst all this Kevin Durant madness (which I am crazy excited for, shout out my dude X for being a Laker fan still, we welcome you here with open arms on Warrior’s ground) I’m going to be writing about sneaker nicknames.

 

              My main job here at Sole is to post our eBay auctions. Most Jordan’s have a nickname like “Black Toe, Space Jam, Breds.” I have the toughest time with the New Balance’s, Asics, etc. I always have to google search what they’re called which is a pain but cool to find out the story behind some of the lesser known kicks out there.

 

              An issue I always have is deciding what I should title the sneaker. What will get the most search results on eBay? Are “White and Red” Jordan 14’s called “White and Red” or are they called “Candy Cane?” Are 2008 CDP Jordan 13’s called “White and Black” or are they called “He Got Games?” Or is it disrespectful to call the CDP and Original “White and Black” Jordan 13’s the “He Got Games?” Every time I post shoes with multiple nicknames I always take a few minutes and struggle with what I should call them. I basically just go with White/Red and White/Black for the 2 mentioned above.

 

             I wanted to blog about nicknames because we were talking about sneaker nicknames at the store today and it always makes me laugh when people refer to certain shoes with a different nickname. No I am not laughing at people’s knowledge of sneakers; I’m just laughing at the nicknames themselves.

 

             A few of the common mispronunciations that I hear a lot are Bordeaux’s being called Bor-Dox, Year of the Rabbit’s being called Yo-Ter. And Bred’s being called Breeds, like animals breeding.

 

             My favorite though, has to be the recent Olive Nike Air Foamposites. A customer came in once and said, “Aye yall got the beef and broccoli foams?” That one had me laughing so hard I have to share it with the sneaker world.

 

            What are some of your favorite nicknames for sneakers? Let me know if I missed any!

White/Black? He got game?

White/Black? He got game?

Breeds? Black and Red Space Jams?

Breeds? Black and Red Space Jams?

Scotty wore these to work the other day and of course since everyone at work is a troll, I told him nice Black Cement Phat 1 Lows bro.

Scotty wore these to work the other day and of course since everyone at work is a troll, I told him”Nice Black Cement Phat 1 Lows bro.”

 

 

Categories: Sneakers

Intro to Sole Restorer

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When I first started working at Sole one of the proposed jobs/ventures that was presented to me was to start restoring shoes for customers through the shop.

 

My good childhood friend Ken Chan aka Kention aka T-Rex started experimenting with restoring Jordan’s in his own garage. He had his own little setup and showed us some before and after pictures of these 2010 Cool Grey 11’s he was working on. They were a worn pair and he had them looking completely blue with zero yellowing or greying of the soles.

 

At the time this was pretty amazing. As we all know the clear soled Jordan’s yellow so easily even if you don’t wear it. So making it clear again, was a complete game changer at the time.

 

So come May 2012 Sole Restorer was born. Ken put together a nice little indoor light set up that we put in the 2nd store of Sole. We worked out of this little closet space which was pretty small but a great experience.

 

Running Sole Restorer with one of my best friends, allowed us to really experience how it is to run a business. Of course the money wasn’t there but everything else was real life, hands on of how to run a business.

 

It really also got us to connect with the sneaker community first hand. At the time I really just wanted to be a behind the scenes person because I’m so introverted. But with Sole Restorer, it allowed me to share a common interest with sneakerheads and converse about a common problem they all had.

 

Yeah I know, there are those out there that claim “Yellowed” sneakers show character, or whatever you want to call it. Yeah right, I think that is complete bullsh*t. When I see a pair of icy blue Jordan 11 Concords, I think to myself, “Damn, that’s icy.” Never would I want my pair to be piss yellow and have to keep explaining to people that yellowed soles=character. Yeah, have fun with that one.

 

 

*Some random pictures of my experiences with Sole Restorer. Plenty more to come!

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Categories: Sneakers

Personal Pickups

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What means more to you, how expensive a shoe is or how hard is it to get?

 

Working at a consignment store makes it that much worse. I have access to pretty much ANY shoe I want. I try to keep my collection to a rotation of no more than 10 pairs (I know, first world problems).It really tests my self-control. I like to think of myself as a pretty practical guy. I am definitely the most conservative in terms of expensive tastes at the shop.

 

The other day Bjourne pulls out a yeezy box from who knows where and goes “Yo Ree you mess with these?” It was a pair of Yeezy Boost 350 Turtle Doves, worn, size 8. For me, I like to buy shoes that have a higher than retail value, worn so I can wear them at a more reasonable cost if that makes any sense. I’m not a collector so I never keep any shoe deadstock. So we all know how hard it is to find an excellent condition Turtle Dove for a decent price.

 

We bought them in at $900 according to DLew. Scotty said $800 but I guess that got overruled real quick. So I ended up trading in a few pairs that went to beater boxes. Asics Gel Lyte V “Champagne”, Nike Zoom KD IV “Black N7”, Nike Air Max 1 “Denim”, Nike Air Max 90 “London” were the 4 pairs I gave up for a value of $220. So all in all I paid $680 for the Turtle Doves.

 

That is THE MOST I will ever pay for a pair of sneakers I will wear. I know that it will still hold its value if I keep it in good condition. But I just contradicted the earlier statement of calling myself a “Practical” guy. Just the idea of spending damn near $700 dollars for a pair of shoes the average person must think I am insane. But hey I am positive that that is not even near what some of you serious sneakerheads out there spend on a pair. So I’ll make myself feel better with that said.

 

Until I got the Turtle Doves, the most expensive sneaker I owned were the Nike Air Max 1 “Clot”. I got them a couple years ago from the store as a Christmas present. They only released in China and DLew used his China connect to get them for me. When the images first came out I asked DLew if he can use his connect to get them for me. He goes in and out of the “Zone” as we at the store like to call it, so I’m not sure when or if at all he heard my requests. But came Christmas time he surprised me with them. I would actually consider these more valuable than the Turtle’s just because there is a backstory to them.

 

What shoe is most valuable to you? Let me know!

 

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Categories: Sneakers

Never pay retail

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Part of my job is to post brand new GR’s (general release) on eBay when they come in to the shop. The guys who buy them in just stack them on a back table so sometimes it can get pretty hectic.  I love doing this because as my coworkers know, I probably have the LEAST valuable collection of everyone.

My go-to’s are runners of any brand, Asics Gel Lyte V’s, Nike Flyknit Racers or Prestos, and of course Adidas Ultra Boost and NMD’s. It took me a while to hop on the Ultra Boost bandwagon because I’m the type to NOT give into the hype but hey, look at where I work.

I say never pay retail because a lot of the stuff that we get in we also don’t pay retail for. So of course the perks of the job I get them at our cost. But if there are GR shoes that I want that we don’t get in, the best thing to do is wait. I know being a sneakerhead waiting is probably THE hardest thing to do next to working out or dieting but in order to save money, WAIT!

I know that not everyone is as lucky as me where I can just show up to work and choose between some of my favorite shoes for a bargain. Don’t worry, you can still get GR runners at UNDER retail if you just wait. Some of my favorite sites to use are kicksdeals, sneakersteals, and of course, shameless plug, solesteals. Shout out to my boy Scotty aka Sneakerslut aka Chunky’s pops aka Raef Lafrentz.

Honestly if I didn’t work at Sole and I would definitely get a solesteals membership. You get most if not ALL of the GR Jordan’s and many others for BELOW retail for $20 beans a month? Why not?

But anyways kicksdeals and sneakersteals are where I get most of my Asics at under retail. The Gel Lyte V is probably the most underrated runner in my opinion. More comfortable than Flyknit Racers and just as comfortable as Ultra Boosts minus the hype. Most Asics you can get at retail or below if you are patient and just wait.

I know girls will disagree with me but you can also try to find used sneakers from your local consignment shop or our eBay. The value of shoes drop so much after they are worn. You can still get very good condition shoes for a good deal if they’re worn versus deadstock.

So lesson to all including myself, be patient!

Only shoe I paid retail was the white ultraboost. Asics and NMDs under retail. Multi 2.0 Flyknit under retail, worn.

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Categories: Sneakers

The Holy Grail

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Every sneaker lover, sneakerhead, sneaker connoisseur, sneaker collector, whatever you want to call yourself, has a “Holy Grail”. If you are none of the above, I will explain to you what the “Holy Grail” is to sneakerheads. The Holy Grail is the MUST HAVE, above anything and everything else, sneaker. Usually the Holy Grail can’t just be bought without hesitation with a click of the mouse or a trip to the local shopping mall. Either you can’t find the shoe anywhere or when you do, it’s not in your size, or its beat to death (worn so much you won’t mow the lawn in them). Or you CAN get the shoe with a click of the mouse or a trip to your local consignment shop but not without selling your textbooks, your PlayStation, 3 other pairs of sneakers, and working a few hours of overtime. Anyways, everyone has their own definition and opinion of what the Holy Grail is but that is the gist.

I wouldn’t even label myself as a “sneakerhead”. I kind of stumbled into the community and fell in love with it. My first pair of Jordan’s my dad bought me were a youth sized pair of original Cardinal 7’s from the outlet at Athletes Foot when I was in the 5th grade. Yes there was once a retail sneaker store called “Athletes Foot”.  After working in the industry for over 4 years now I like to think that I have a good feel for things sneaker related. Personally, my “Holy Grail” changes from time to time and most of the time doesn’t exist.

Recently the Adidas NMD runners came out. The one that really caught my eye were the “Glitch Camo” color way. When I first saw the pictures of them on Instagram I had that feeling that I HAD to have them. These, at this time, were my “Holy Grail”! When they actually came out, I saw the price tag on them were about $350 on eBay. I told myself no way am I paying $350 for those when retail was under $200. Normally I don’t buy any sneakers off eBay because I just can’t trust a random seller. But of course when you want something bad you do irrational things that you cant explain yourself. You just NEED that shoe.

A week later I check eBay and the price’s skyrocket to $500+. So a couple months later the market is flooded with NMD’s and I figure I can try to grab the Glitch Camo NMD’s for a reasonable price. So I go on eBay and find a brand new pair in my size for a posted price of $350. The seller had around 100+ positive feedbacks and nothing negative said.  I bought them knowing there was a high probability they were fake. So I get them and bring them into Sole so my awesome coworkers can legit check them for me. They barely took them out of the box and everyone there said they were no good.

How embarrassing to be working at Sole Supremacy and buy fake sneakers?! My coworkers probably think I’m a fool for that one. I hear this phrase so often at the shop “The fakes are just so good nowadays”.  So luckily eBay and PayPal protect me from these types of situations but not only is it embarrassing but just a hassle to go thru. We hate seeing people get worked over or tricked for spending their hard earned money. So learn from me, if the deal is too good to be true it most definitely is!

Notes:

Below are some of the actual pictures of the shoes I received off eBay. Should have checked @fake_education on IG also, could have told easily.

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Categories: Sneakers

The Intern

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In August of 2011 I started as an intern at Sole Supremacy. I was living at home still at my parents while going to school. I was in my last year of undergrad at San Jose State University and I needed to figure out what I wanted to do as a career. Like many out there, I had absolutely NO idea what I wanted to pursue. I knew that my friend Derek who I grew up with playing basketball, owned a sneaker business so I asked if I can intern for him. I loved being on social media like everyone else and saw that at the time Sole Supremacy could have used some presence from being on there as well. I just wanted to find my niche and learn how the business ran.

I started by taking random pictures at the shop and posting them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Little did I know that Sole Supremacy already had somewhat of a following online. I started using twitter and we had maybe 50 followers. My knowledge for Jordan’s at the time was pretty much none. I knew which number Jordan was what but didn’t know the color ways or the nicknames. I noticed that we would always have a table stacked with used shoes waiting to be cleaned and put on eBay. DLew had me go through them and select a few to post on Twitter. Every day I would ask DLew “yo what are these called?” and post them on Twitter for X amount.

My office as I like to call it was a 2-and-a-half-foot filing cabinet that I placed my laptop on. I sat on a metal folding chair too at the time. Hey, it was a start. I did a bunch of random stuff at the shop when I first started. I just brainstormed anything and everything that might possibly work. DLew always gave me the freedom to just run with it. I did stuff like canned food drives at the shop during thanksgiving. If you brought in a can or more you would get $10 beans off your purchase. I did a shoe drive as well where we encouraged people to get rid of their beaters or shoes they don’t wear to give back to the ones who could use them. I did giveaways for reaching a certain amount of followers, random things like that. It helped boost my confidence that I was actually contributing to a real business, which in a way I kind of was.

This trend picked up pretty fast and we were able to move shoes quickly that way. By the time we moved to our 2nd location I had my own “specials” section, where we sold what I like to call “worn heat” or mainly more sought after sneakers. I felt pretty good because I had my own little rack, own corner desk, and a REAL desktop computer. If my coworkers TPN or X needed to move some personal stuff quickly they would just have me post it up on specials, tweet it out, and in a matter of days it would usually sell.

I had a valuable experience as an intern at Sole. I learned how a business was ran and got hands on experience of applying things I learned in school or just ideas that I thought would work. For young readers out there I really recommend interning or even volunteering in an industry that you have a passion for pursuing.

Notes: Few random pics from the first Sole shop, DS Bin Jordan 5s for $650 and DS Space Jam’s for $425 was what we were selling these at the time on Twitter.

bin5 spacejam13

 

 

Categories: Sneakers

Purpose

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It’s 2016 and we are living in the digital age of YouTube and Instagram so why start a blog? I’ve found inspiration from other sites such as Grantland (RIP), the Players’ Tribune, Vice, Hypebeast, just to name a few. I understand the value of organic content in this industry. Every other sneaker blog or Instagram account reposts other users pictures to gain likes or attention. I want to create organic content that brings value to the sneaker world. I’m not going to review every upcoming release and give my opinion on them (might do it sometimes here and there). I’m not going to rehash popular stories to gain likes and exposure. For those who want to see the sneaker industry firsthand, keep coming back to the blog for more stories.

Every one of my coworkers at the shop are hustlers. They never stop trying to find ways to better themselves to provide for their families and futures. Let me introduce you to my coworkers, Derek (DLew or Darryl), Rob (Robear), Tony (TPN), Christian (X), Juan (Troll or JCP), Jeremy (Jer), Sanh (Bjourne or Reeeeeek), Scott (Scotty). I will continue to refer to them in this blog by their nicknames in parenthesis. Oh speaking of nicknames, they refer to me, Ryan, as Ree Ree.  I get inspired by these guys by their work ethic which is one of the reasons why I started this blog. It really is true when people say that if you surround yourself with others who always try to better themselves it will rub off on you as well.

My vision for Tucked Laces has yet to be fully determined. I am thinking bigger picture so I will not limit myself to the topic of sneakers but sports, pop culture and fashion as well. My short term goals are to engage our audience and provide them with not only entertainment but a valuable insight as well. I have a million different ideas on how to make this blog stand out from the hundreds of others. Hope you all enjoy!

Categories: Sneakers, Uncategorized