The kicks make the man

Sep 202006
Authors: By Tanner Bennett

I have 10 pairs of Air Jordan shoes that I wear in regular rotation. I could go more than 20 days without wearing the same pair of shoes twice.

It is my opinion that shoes are what make the man.

Crocs for CU trust-afarians.

Steve Madden for yuppies.

Leather flip-flops for frat boys.

And skate shoes for the Emos.

Air Jordans, in my opinion, are far superior to any other kind of shoe. In fact, they are their own species. They are not shoes – they’re kicks.

The king of all kicks was released in 1998.

They were designed after the Ferrari 550 M. Their original colors were white with a black sole and tongue, with black “shark teeth” wrapping over the toes, but there are currently 10 different color variations. Kicks like the XIVs are much more than kicks; they’re collectors items.

A personal favorite of His Airness, Jordan wore the kicks around the time of his second retirement. Jordan was wearing them when he made “the shot” (over Byron Russell) to win his sixth NBA championship.

In my mind, and in the minds of many others, the Air Jordan XIVs are the greatest kicks of all time.

In fact, I own three pairs myself.

I have a buddy who owns six pairs and a roommate with two more.

The retro re-releases of these shoes have been around for years, but I own two pairs of the originals.

In the past, shoes were stereotypically viewed as a passion for women. There was even “Sex in the City,” a hugely successful sitcom that was primarily about shoes (or so I’m told).

It’s time for men to take shoes back.

And there’s evidence that we’re on the right path.

For every Carrie (fine, I admit, I’ve seen that crappy show), there’s a Turtle (from “Entourage,” check it out). Kicks act as a muse to many rappers and are an obsession to many ballers.

So where do I fit in?

I am white, middle class, and go to CSU.

It’s safe to say I am not the key “kicks” demographic.

But one thing is certain: I know no better feeling than wearing a new pair of Jordans fresh out of the box.

I have zero fashion sense. I have worn stripes with plaid. I never could pull off the popped collar. And I mix black and brown together.

But when I am wearing a fresh pair of kicks, I’m styling.

Visual editor Tanner Bennett can be reached

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