I come from Perth in Western Australia, which despite the fact that it is the second most isolated capital city in the world, is home to one of the largest concentrations of sneaker collectors around. This is partly due to the fact that we are home to one of the best boutiques in the world, Highs and Lows, and also the fact that there is nothing else to do.
I would say I got into sneakers through mutual friends but also HAL and the impact its had on the scene here in Perth, I have been into collecting for a little over two years now, buying my first pair (Packer x Saucony Snow Beach) while on a holiday interstate. My first real camp was for the Highs and Lows Le Coq Sportif “Swans Pack”, deep in the middle of a Perth winter for about 11 hours with 60 people I hardly knew.
The enjoyment I get form shoes comes from multiple fronts, I have met a whole lot of new people through collecting, from both around Perth, as well as interstate and overseas, so the friendship aspect is important for sure. When I first started I didn’t appreciate things anywhere near as much as I do now, instead I was looking for something to spend all my money on, and consume my time. As its gone on however I have started to appreciate all the work that goes into shoe design, backstories, and colour and material choices.
The journey that you have to go through to get certain pairs is always worth it, and the feeling when they finally arrive is great. I would compare my hunt for Ronnie Fieg Volcanos, which took about 4 months of searching resulting in me grabbing them from a local in Perth, versus my hunt for Mint Toothpaste 1500, which took over a year and a half and a long shipping wait from Germany.
My favorite pair? This one is a tough one, as im sure it is for most people, I could quite easily list my most expensive and hyped 3 pairs as the ones I like the most, and while I personally think they are all amazing, I will pick a few pairs from each brand instead and explain why I like them so much, and how I managed to get them:
New balance: Hard to go past the 1500WTU for me. Solebox Mint toothpaste are far and away my favourite sneaker, im a big lover of the colours mint and white on shoes (and a hater of black), and a fan of the 1500 model so this shoe was a perfect fit. Honourable mentions go to 1500BLR “le rezoh” and Hanon 1500CHF “chosen few”
Asics: This one is super difficult, glv wise it would be my Volcanos, a shoe that I have worn into the ground. My favourite asics model would have to be the Gel saga however, I am a huge fan of my Ronnie Fieg neptunes and mazarines, as well as the work done by footpatrol, but my favourite saga at the moment would have to be my 24 kilates. I managed to pick this pair up from a HAL employee for a super good price and have worn them a heap since.
Other: this one is super challenging for me, I would say my most worn pairs are my Hal eqt, and Hal white swans, which both have awesome designs and backstories. I think my favourite pair that isn’t Asics or New Balance would be the Sneaker Freaker Black Beasts, which along with Mint Toothpaste and Volcanos were the 3 pairs I wanted the most when I started properly collecting. The shoe is such an awesome design on a model that I am not usually a fan of, so it’s a very worthy inclusion in my list of favourites.