In what I suspect will be the first of many journeys into the world of sneakerheads, I give you 25-year-old Zak Nolen. With 120 pairs of first-rate collectible sneakers in his closet, he admits that he is powerless over his sneaker addiction. The Cambridge resident works at Capital Grille, and when he's not working, he's obsessing over his Air Jordans.
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Q. Do you recall how you became sneaker obsessed?
A. I started collecting when I was 20. Always being a huge fan of Jordan himself, the sneaker collecting kind of came naturally.
Q. What was the first important pair of sneakers that you purchased?
A. My first meaningful pair was the Jordan 11 "Space Jam" that were made notorious by Jordan wearing them in the movie and are also some of the most sought after out there.
Q. What's the longest you've ever waited in line to buy a pair of sneakers?
To be honest, I've always told myself I would never wait in line for a pair of sneakers. So I networked with people in the business and became friendly enough to have sneakers reserved so I wouldn't have to deal with the lines and the waiting, which is a huge plus.
Q. Do you have pairs that you can't bring yourself to wear, that just sit boxed on the shelf?
A. I have about a dozen dead stock (never been worn) pairs of sneakers at the moment which is actually not that many for what I usually have. Weather determines everything with my sneakers. Usually exclusives only make it out in the summer time.
Q. The most you've ever spent on a sneaker?
A. I spent $350 on a pair of Concord Jordan 11s because I had the opportunity to get them six months before they were set to release. I couldn't say no knowing how crazy that release was going to be.
Q. Do your friends ever tell you that you should seek help for your addiction?
A. I hear that I have problems and that I'm crazy on a daily basis from my friends who aren't sneakerheads.
Q. The sneaker that away?
A. The kicks that got away were the '88 white cement Jordan 3s. So classic.