I have one pair of sneakers that are still in the box, the brown paper packaging within the shoe and the laces knotted up from the factory. I bought them two years ago. They have never been worn, and I won’t wear them until I hit it big time, until I’m a full-fledged working artist, until I have my first real book reading or my first large performance.

The sneaks are white shell top Adidas—the kind of kicks I grew up wearing, ones I’d played hoops and wiffle ball in, skipped train fares in, fought in, everything. This was the mid-late ‘80s, Queens, when Run-DMC was three-striped from head to toe; this was before Run whored himself on reality TV. The only difference between these sneaks and the ones I rocked as a kid are that the ones now have “All Day I Dream…” written across the body in varying font sizes, the beginning of the urban legend acronym for Adidas—All Day I Dream About Sex—popularized by Korn in the mid-‘90s. The sneakers were made like that; I didn’t do it myself. I think about these shoes—I dream about these shoes—often, when I’m gearing up for writing or performing or going through the throes of self-doubt that come with being an artist. I’ve always been a dreamer and, for me, the sneakers represent where I came from, where I’m at now and where I hope to be.

I’m sure these shell tops will change my life. Until then, it will have to be Clarks Wallabees. They are the mullet of men’s shoes. Fancy and expensive enough to wear with a shirt and tie, but comfy and casual enough to wear with jeans and a loose button-up or just a tee. Without delving too deeply into my sex life, let’s just say that without Wally’s it may never have happened at all. And for that I am very thankful.

The shoes I long for: Jordan 1’s. The originals. The sneakers that completely changed the sneaker game, the ones that sent Nike from a near fold-up to the number one sneaker brand in the world. But, honestly, I’d love to have all the Jordan’s ever made, all unworn sitting on shoe pedestals hung along the walls of my memorabilia room. All Day I Dream…

Brain McGuigan, Seattle, WA

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