Second Story: TDH’s Resident “Shoe Dog”
Here at TDH, we have this thing called Second Stories. It's simple; our first story is how people know us at TDH. Our Second Story is the thing that most people don’t know, but it makes us better at what we do here as individuals at this agency.
Every night, I double-check my calendar to see if I have a client meeting. Not because I may have to prepare last minute (I’m already prepared). I double-check to see if I have to wear dress shoes. I hate dress shoes.
I’m a sneakerhead. I’m not a crazy sneakerhead that spends alarming amounts of money on sneakers. I don't have a room lined with shoe shelves. But I do have more pairs than one person needs and I go out of my way to take care of them (shout out to Jason Markk shoe cleaner and those little silica gel packets). I’m also starting to put my kids in them. My wife actually has to get any shoes she buys for my kids approved by me before they go on their feet. So yeah, I guess it’s bordering on a real problem.
This obsession started with the Jordan 1. I was five years old out shopping for school shoes with my parents. And I saw them; red, black and white high tops that I had to have. I didn't know Nike or who MJ was, but those shoes were so different that I needed them. Good news for me, Jordans weren’t a thing yet so they were pretty cheap. So I got a pair.
Jump 30 years. I’m still wearing sneakers exclusively (unless forced into dress shoes). I don't buy specific brands – although I skew more Nike – I buy what I think looks good. My prized sneakers? Air Jordan IV OG Retro Cements. I had the originals when I was a kid so there’s some nostalgia, but they also rank #1 on my all-time Jordan’s list. Yep, I have a list.
Why do I still like sneakers so much? Well, for one, they are a hell of a lot more comfortable than dress shoes. But there’s also something to say about the craft of making a good sneaker. A designer sets out to make the shoe functional for its use, but also has to make them look great. They must consider every last detail and at times, push convention. There’s actually a lot of similarities to making a great ad.
Look, I get it. I’m well into adulthood, I’m a dad, I live in the suburbs. I should be rocking the penny loafers or those Keen half shoe/half sandal things or, even worse, the Curry 2 Low Chef’s (If you don't know, Google them. You’ll see what I mean). But who says that once you hit a certain age you have to dress like your dad*?
On the feet today: Nike Nightgazer (Man, even the way they describe their colors are well-crafted: "midnight navy, vivid blue, laser crimson, white.")
*Writers note: In the off chance my Dad is reading this, I’m just using ‘your dad’ as a generalization. Dad, your shoe game is actually okay.