This I Believe

Ryan - Bellingham, Washington
Entered on June 14, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

“This I Believe”

I believe that shoes can say a lot about a person’s personality. I am an active collector of shoes and a firm believer that they can reflect the person wearing them. I began collecting rare and limited sneakers when I was a young boy. The obsession started off gently, only finding enjoyment in the basketball shoes I would play in. From there, I began studying the history and technology of certain shoes, primarily the Nike Brand. The obsession bloomed once I started camping out, and waiting in line for a certain shoe to release. I now work in a shoe store where I have exclusive rights to shoes all over the country. This makes the collecting a little easier, less stressful, but still interesting.

Reflection of shoe and owner can be shown simply by a basketball player wearing basketball shoes around the mall. It doesn’t matter if the person plays for a national league, or plays casual ball in his/her backyard; you can tell they play basketball. The reflection runs a lot deeper than that, however. Colors, shapes, materials, and icons can say a lot about a person, especially with women. Girls can coordinate and wear a specific color for whichever kind of mood they might be in at that certain time.

I have found that I can walk down the street with my head down and know what kind of people I would want to talk to, or what kind of people would want to talk to me. This makes it easier to strike a conversation with anybody, which makes my job in selling shoes a lot easier. Because I know so much about shoes, I can relate on some kind of level to any customer that might happen to come into my store.

History has shown that shoes can represent a person through gang violence. I know of instances since the seventies where people would get shot while casually strolling down the street simply because of the brand or model of sneakers that they happened to be wearing. This isn’t the greatest and most positive example, but a solid example indeed. I believe that shoes can say a lot about a person’s personality, and I also believe that if we all learn to recognize this, we can all begin to communicate a little better in the future.