Old Skool


This year I saw a lot of people get excited about the new Iphone. And suddenly the version that only came out a couple of years ago became sooooo old. With some people, changing mobile phone every 6 months for a newer one is a must. Even the Blackberry now seems bog standard. The first Playstation seems stoneage by now. LCD TVs then the Plasmas came along. High Definition. We are up to about 12 megapixels on a digital camera these days. Well isn't newer supposed to be better? Hmm, maybe not always.

This week I bought myself something new that is something old. A pair of Adidas Superstar trainers. Another pair. Old Skool stuff. They haven't changed in over 30 years yet still as modern in style today. That's what I like about them; they are design classics, they just don't age, they are cool, and above all they are mine. You may not agree and I know I've talked about them on another entry (Timeless Repeats, 1/12/08) but this is what floated my boat this week. Besides, this is my blog and therefore my world, so there.

I don't know how many pairs I've had in all, but they are up there with the Adidas Gazelles and the Converse All-Stars. Actually The Adidas Gazelles may come out on top since I remember buying my first blue pair at 17 years old. By the time I had finished college I was having a passionate love affair with them; an orgy with the several pairs I bought in those few years. In fact years on, the other day I very nearly bought yet another bright blue pair since they have come back in to reproduction. Instead I looked at my aged and dulling Superstars and decided I wanted that gleaming white back again. I wanted the unique shell toes once more with nothing ingrimed in them. I play a lot of hockey and run and do other sports and this is where newer is better, I buy and wear them for their sporting performance technology. Old Skool retro trainers aren't for training or sport. They are just damn cool that's all. Like I said, no arguments, this is my blog.

I have another pair of retro trainers which I treasure even more: Adidas Cross. I have had them for 5 or 6 years by now and they still look good as new - I wear them less to preserve them. They were quite simply a just gotta have thing. The shiny sinthetic looking green material with the 3 jagged, orange stripes and the black toes and heels. I preserve them because I have seen them nowhere else apart from on Jay Kay from Jamiroquai's feet (now he has a trainer collection to be envious of...). I just love the contrast (If anybody sees them anywhere in the world, please get me them...two pairs in fact). I don't wear brightly coloured clothes, I prefer natural toned down colours. But on my feet my trainers have to make up for that colour. Shoes no, but trainers yes. I love a little colour splashed in to my greys, whites, blacks and blues and beiges. I went out one night recently smartly dressed in a black shirt and black trousers and my Adidas Cross trainers to finish. They are the cherry on my cake. This taste is probably reflected in the colour scheme of this blog - An injection of bright green amongst the sleak of greys.

Nike Tennis classics, the Adidas SL trainers like Starsky used to wear as he jumped and slid across the bonnet of his red and white-stripe Gran Torino. Nike Cortez. Adidas ZX, Adidas Chile '62. I've had or have got them all. And will continue to buy them for a long time yet. But that is once each summer has finished and I ease myself back in shoes after wearing my Havaianas flip-flops which I live in. Obrigado Brasil.

Oh my God. As I write this I've just realised how much of a girl I sound. Talking about footwear!!Arggh!! But I know my good friend Tom will back me up as he is a dedicated buyer of Nike 'Hooves' (you will won't you mate? I'll buy you beers all night...) I don't know how many pairs of them he's got either. Like so many people would do, I don't say 'What, another pair??' (Andrew now starts worrying about the girly aspect of this post and contemplates deleting it...)

My last girlfriend was a boot fiend. When we used to walk through the historic streets of Bologna on a lazy Sunday, I could often find myself continuing to walk and talk to myself as she stopped infront of a shoe shop window and drooled over a pair of boots. I have to admit that it is a romantic thing walking hand in hand with a girlfriend, but it is always a practical thing to make sure you don't look crazy talking to yourself as she slinks off several metres behind you. I'm also glad I couldn't understand the conversations with her co-Danish girl friends after she had bought them and all got excited together.

In a certain way I think it might stem from my teen years. When I was around 13 or 14 my parents bought me my first pair of branded trainers: Puma Napoli. It's just one of those things I will never forget. Like for any kid at school they had to be branded or you just didn't fit in, you weren't cool. Times were tight back then, there were three of us brothers and my parents made it very clear that I had to look after them; I wouldn't be getting a new pair in just a few months like some kids did. And I did just that. I kept them as white and clean as possible. I learned to appreciate them. I still do. Every time I buy yet another pair.

Now, as you can see I haven't deleted this post, but I am signing off here to go and save my masculinity and crack open a beer. Sat in my new Adidas Superstars that is.

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