I am a sneakerhead episode 101 - @Allen_Marshall

Hey Guys, I'm Allen and I currently live in Bruxelles, Belgium. However, I'm English and grew up on the South Coast before moving to London.

I come from a poor background so I had to go without as a kid, it would be later as a teenager I could afford what I wanted. That being said I never asked for anything and was plenty happy to whip around on my bike and play football. Marc Overmars, Ian Wright and Dennis Bergkamp were my Idols and it was my love for football that got me interested in sportswear, in particular Nike. This is because the kit manufacturer for Arsenal at the time was Nike so I quickly gravitated to the brand, with the Nike Air Force 1 being my favourite model. It was an era of baggy fits and I could wear them with jeans as well as tracksuits so a young me would roll to JD Sports, Footlocker, Offspring or Size and cop primarily uptowns. My brother would wear 90's and I liked those but that was his thing so I mainly left Air Max alone. I remember the Nike Rift and TN's originally releasing and wanting to grab pairs but I couldn't afford them, same goes for Nike Shox. I think like most youngers I looked at what the olders wore and tried to replicate that in my own way. You didn't want to have the same gear as anyone else.

As I grew a bit older I was still playing football and really liked the Adidas predator range so I started buying more Adidas as I'm really OCD about mixing sportswear brands. I had the Climacool 1 on release and loved them. I bought them from an All Sports if anybody remembers them! Nowadays I still buy the runners but appreciate the casual/leisure side of Adidas more.

Over the years I've visited many stores and bought pairs from all the obvious brands. I've bought/sold my fair share through eBay back in the day when it was a gold mine and I've queued days when necessary to get the pair in recent years. I've sold thousands of pairs through work and hundreds of my own personal collection both online and at events. Therefore I have quite a well rounded perspective through my decade collecting. A lot has changed during this time, with tremendous growth in the industry. There will always be pros/cons with this growth but nowadays it's certainly easier to access product and network. I think social media and facebook groups in particular have been great at bringing people together and I always enjoy talking to like minded people. There are a number of great events now that didn't exist when I started which I always look forward to. I'll be at Sneakerness Paris which is next month! That being said if the events stopped and I didn't have anyone to talk to about kicks I would still buy them. It's a great way to express myself and a real blessing to have many pairs.

My favourite brands currently are Nike, Asics, Adidas and Le Coq Sportif with three favourites in my collection being:

LimitEDitions x Le Coq Sportif Eclat Patachou

Woei x Asics Gel-Lyte III "Cervidae"

Stash x Nike Air Force 1 "Harbor Blue"

Oliver Berg