Digging Your Soles Out

In Lebanon, two 18-year-old men are running from the law after pulling a 16-year-old from his bicycle, beating him and forcing the sneakers off his feet. The assault ends with threats against the teen-victim’s family. Word. In Lebanon, minefields are taking sneakers and lives. But I’m making reference to Lebanon County, Pennsylvania. And vicc’ing a 16-year-old kid in Pennsylvania at 4:15 p.m. is like a scene from a Spike Lee film.

Sneakers are bread for the feet.

Rappers endorsing sneakers make for a sliver in Nike’s total sales pie chart. The World Cup, the NBA Finals, the World Series and the Super Bowl sell sneakers in a market with competitiveness similar to the automotive industry. Adidas, Nike, Puma, Converse and Reebok are the big five that make the sneaker industry happen.However, every Tom, Paul Frank and Ben Sherman has a sneaker line that’s made for typecast demographics and conscious rappers; sneaker prices are skyrocketing to record-highs since Jordan’s first dropped in 1985!

What about skippies?!

Materialism hit a record low with the Starbury One, a $15.00 sneaker that NBA baler Stephon Marbury endorses. Between a truck stop DVD selection and Starbury One’s, I choose Perrier, burrito, Juicy Fruit and USA Today.

Wait.

If Starbury One’s battleship sinks, then Rwanda gets sneakers! Well, Rwanda probably will not receive end-stock from Stephon Marbury. But shoe polish giant Kiwi recently donated 1000 pairs of sneakers to Rwandan school children in grades five and six to celebrate, um, 100 years of excellence. Donating 1000 pairs sneakers to a country with a GDP of $1500 per year and an average life expectancy of 47 is like giving a band aid to a civilian casualty in Lebanon – little-green-tree-on-their-flag Lebanon, that is – a great distance from Pennsylvania.

The hotplate is off the counter and Africa is hungry for sneakers. Quick, holler at Jimmy Carter and build condos for the disenfranchised.

Either Eminem is a great man or his publicity team is receiving pointers from the Devil. However, The Marshall Mathers Foundation’s Eminem Sneakers For Charity auction on eBay is an intelligent mix of celebrity, non-profit and swag. Eight sets of limited-edition sneakers in seven different styles totaling 64 pairs of Nike Air Max sneakers that Eminem designs and autographs is genius. The average price is approximately $1000 a pair, and Eminem’s John Hancock is on 64 of the Air Max butters. Now, multiply 64 with $1000 and the total is $64,000 –use the $64,000 to buy 4266 Starbury One skippies and introduce the triangle offence to Rwandan children.

The proceeds of Eminem’s auction are sent to ninemillion.org, an organization that believes in providing sport to children in Azerbaijan, Thailand and Uganda, placing special attention on girls, because the third world makes women out of girls way too early.

In a Westernized world that praises glamour-television, fatty food and alpha paychecks, it’s no surprise that sneakers can be Liberace-gaudy without being considered gay – gay in a pre-adolescent way. Sure, I have a yearly sneaker budget that exceeds the GDPs of Rwanda, Mozambique and the Gaza Strip, but does that make me a superficial Westerner oblivious to dying nations? Probably, but the soft sole of a fresh pair of kicks will support my posture so I can hold my head high.

Jordan Chalifoux

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2 comments

  1. “Sure, I have a yearly sneaker budget that exceeds the GDPs of Rwanda, Mozambique and the Gaza Strip, but does that make me a superficial Westerner oblivious to dying nations? Probably, but the soft sole of a fresh pair of kicks will support my posture so I can hold my head high.” PRICELESS!!!

  2. yo…you can’t hate on Marbury for tryin to do a good thing. cats is killin and gettin killed, cuz they got/want expensive sneaks. i can’t front, i drop way too much loot on shoes, but everyone can’t do that…and therein lies the problem. i think more athletes should step up like Stephon, ease up on those trillion dollar endorsement deals, and drop something everyone can afford. even if your kicks only cost $15, so what….they can still drop $15 exclusives! feel me? i know what it’s like to stuck up for your shoes bought with your hard earned money. i also know what it’s like to struggle, and have financial responsibilities that won’t allow your feet to get fitted in the latest. there’s already waaay too much violence in our community, if something like this can help ease that even a little bit…i’m with it! plus at $15 a pair, i’m coppin ALL the colorways!

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