bubblegum-Clothing choice expresses a lot about a person. There’s a saying that goes, “dress for success,” and that clothing choice and success can be anything imaginable. A person could wear a suit when going to work, an athletic fit when going to the gym, or a pair of jeans and a t-shirt when spending a night out with friends—a person’s clothing generally determines what type of frame of mind that person will be in. Wearing clothes that embody the vision of success attracts a successful lifestyle, and that’s how I feel about my news pair of shoes.

I recently bought a pair of cool grey Nike Vapormax. I love them. Not particularly because of the way they fit or the way they feel—although they are amazing in both areas—but because of the way they make me feel when I wear them. Let me explain.

You can bet that these are one of the most comfortable and stylish shoes that I own, but this shoe means more to me than just esthetic value. These shoes are me if I were to have been made into a pair of sneakers. They represent my hard work, and they leave me resonating with confidence.

I didn’t grow up with a lot of nice things. My family grew up living in a small one-story duplex: three boys, my single mom, my uncle, and my great parents packed into three small bedrooms, a living room, and a kitchen. I won’t act like I was broke, but we weren’t wealthy. I didn’t grow up with a lot of nice pairs of shoes, and definitely nothing worth more than $100. I don’t consider myself poor either because that was the life that I knew at the time.

The reason why I chose these shoes and not just any pair of Jordans, Adidas or Nike was because of several reasons. Not only was this a silhouette that I instantly fell in love with, Nike released a pair in my colorway, “grey,” a day before my birthday. It was meant to be.

bubblegum-4066Those that know me know that my favorite color is grey. Not only because it’s my last name—although I’m sure that has a lot to do with it—but because it represents me and all that I value in a nutshell.

Nothing in life is black and white, it’s grey. “Enlightenment lies down the middle road.” Grey, to me, represents the balance between two opposites. Grey is the balance of the force, and everything in the universe. So beyond just the color, and beyond just my last name, grey represents what I want to be: unbiased, well-rounded and understanding.

These shoes represent my financial climb from not having much to having greater wealth. These shoes come from hard work and determination of accomplishing a goal. It comes with learning how to save and manage money, and from earning a wage through the skills you’ve learned over the years of practice.

I am a writer. I get paid to write. I bought these shoes with the salary I earned writing. They may have cost $190 retail ($210 for me, now averaging around $250 according to www.stockx.com), but they were worth every penny.

The Story of How I Got My Shoes

The story of how I got these shoes is shows perseverance.

When I first learned of the shoe through www.SneakerNews.com, I knew exactly what I wanted to get myself for my birthday. Coming up to the date, I monitored sneaker blogs and ensured I was up to date with any information regarding these shoes. I set reminders in my calendars and waited patiently for the date to come.

On launch day, I woke up early and monitored the website like a hawk. But, before I couldn’t even throw a pair into my cart, they were all gone. Not even five minutes went by and every single pair of these sneakers had sold out from the Nike website. I thought, now if I wanted to get a pair that I would need to cough up an extra $50 to pay the aftermarket price.

But I didn’t stop looking. Instead of throwing in the towel, I continued searching for information on potential places I could buy the pair of shoes. I look up retail locations that I could call to ask if they could hold the shoe. Many of the stores were closed, so I wrote down the numbers on a sticky note and continued looking for more information just in case that didn’t work out.

Then finally eureka. I came across a tweet from @kicksfinder that said, a business in Switzerland called Sneakers N Stuff were selling them for $219 shipped. I cut my losses and attributed the $29 tax for being a noob to the sneaker subculture and trying to jump into a water full of sneakerhead sharks without studying.

bubblegum-4071.jpgInstantly after my purchase, I looked for reviews on the legitimacy of the business. Before I knew they were from Switzerland and before I even did any research at all on the company, I excitedly purchased the shoes. I was captivated, and I wanted to make sure I bought a pair in size 10.5 before they were out of stock. During my research, I was met with dozens of bad comments describing issues with shipping, attempted returns and incorrect products. My stomach dropped. I thought, I may have impulsively threw a $200 away on an illegitimate website.

After I received the invoice, I stalked my email inbox like an ex-boyfriend waiting for a text that’ll never come for the confirmation letter that my shoes were shipped. A day of anxiety and considering to cancel my order went by, then an e-mail came into my inbox, “Your package has shipped!” I turned on text tracking and waited anxiously for five days.

I received an email while on my lunch at work (so much for text tracking). My sneakers had shipped. I raced home after work and quickly unraveled my gift. I opened the box, and just like opening a box of treasure, the reflective Nike swoosh glimmered in my eyes. They were beautiful. I instantly snapped photos and shot videos for my Snapchat, and then I threw them on my feet and went to my local Starbucks to show them off. No one commented on my shoes, but I felt amazing. I felt like the coolest person sitting there sipping on an unsweetened green tea, even though no one else cared but me.

When I wear them, I still get the same feeling that I’m rocking the dopest pair of sneakers that had ever been constructed. These shoes give me a confidence that says, “I made it. I’m living my dream of writing for a living.”

These shoes represent me. The reason why I love them is because they’re me if I were to have made a sneaker. My favorite pair of sneakers is the Nike Vapormax in the Resty Grey colorway.