On the drive home I was surprisingly contented with the information I got. The rationale behind his obsession was simple, really. The shoe-a-holic confessed that he got his kicks out of basketball kicks. I suppose anybody who collected anything would have a similar excuse. Paul’s collection started when he was still very young. One Christmas, he received three pairs of shoes that were exactly the same. His mom offered to exchange the other two pairs at the store but for some reason, the idea of having three pairs excited him. He almost immediately knew what he would do with each pair. That turned out to be his very first best Christmas and, consequently, the not-so-humble beginnings of his extravagant past time.
I’ve learned that “practical” collectors have a rather rigid yet optimistic criteria in buying their most prized yearnings. When Paul gets a desire to buy shoes, he seriously contemplates on the purpose of his immediate purchase and the value it provides. The first point is matter-of-fact, simple, objective, and no nonsense — basketball. The second started off as a little bit blurry to me but after hearing him talk about his collection with so much gusto, I wondered why I even had to ask. He is a self-proclaimed basketball addict and if he had the chance to play the game everyday, he would, with no questions asked. Obviously, he would buy a basketball shoe that he can wear when he plays the game. He also buys shoes if he finds them attractive and that could be directly dependent on just how rare they are. Anyone who thinks a pair of shoes is rare finds it attractive, while attractive shoes are rare because a lot of people want them. According to Paul, it’s a consuming cycle and it can be very hard to say no. With that sentiment, he said that the shoes he buys are mainly retros or remakes of the original shoes that Michael Jordan and other NBA players wore during the peak of their careers.