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A Sneakerhead’s Confession

More like “A Memoir of a Sneakerhead.”

8/2/14 — The release date of the KD 7 “Global Games”

5:55am  — The blaring sound of my alarm goes off and my eyes remained shut as I proceed to snooze it.

6:00am — My second alarm sounds and now I’m ready to take the  day head on. I check my inbox and see a message from my friend Peter time stamped at 5:45am, “I KNOW YOU’RE AWAKE!” I proceed to brush my teeth and gather my belongings. I skipped out on washing my face because for a sneaker release, timing is crucial.

Every minute wasted is a minute someone else is taking advantage of to take your spot in line.

As I leave my girlfriend’s apartment, her dad is awake and to save my breath & time, I simply tell him I’m going to play basketball (It was easier than letting him know that I was going to sit around at the mall for 3 hours just to buy a shoe). As I walk through the door, he said, “JUST WIN.” Winning is what I intended to do…just not on the court.

Time saved? Probably 1 minute and 27 seconds of explanation.

I get to Peter’s around 6:32am and that’s already rattling my nerves. He opens his garage with two lawn chairs in hand as I suggested that we bring. Nonchalantly, he walks down the driveway with his typical cool step, we exchange daps & pounds and load up the car. We’re off.

Our quick trip led us down the 15N freeway with a slight journey on the 91 West. We grabbed some iced coffee from a Starbucks nearby. Side story: Whenever I get an iced coffee, I ask for light ice so that I’m not stuck with half a cup of frozen water and the rest milk with barely any coffee. Not only was it not iced lightly, in order to fit a lid without having the cup overflow, the barista poured out some of my precious energy inducing liquid into the sink and handed it off to me like it was all gravy. It wasn’t all gravy. End story.

7:05am — We’re at a stoplight about to take a left into the parking lot of the Galleria at Tyler and Peter is coming up with the scouting report. Foot Locker is on the second floor not too far from the food court. This meant nothing to us since we don’t frequent this mall.

We found the nearest entrance to the store, parked, and pressed our luck by walking towards the entrance. As we walk towards the entrance, a car of three dudes pass by us with eyes fixated towards the ground; that is a typical indication of a fellow sneakerhead. It’s not a threatening size-up of a potential enemy, it’s just a natural gaze that begins at the feet that slowly leads to an assessment of the outfit and ends at the face.

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Peter rocking his LeBron 9 “Dunkman’s” and me in my NYC “City Pack” Polka Dot Roshes. No, we didn’t match Active socks on purpose; if you’re not from SoCal, reading active on someone’s leg is a common sight.

7:11am — We walk towards the automatic doors and YES! They slide right open. An empty mall before official open times is quite eerie. You’re used to a loud and bustling environment: loud kids, frustrated parents, and beauty kiosk employees forcefully handing out coupons. Like the Promenade in Temecula, the Galleria opens up early for people to use the indoor, air-conditioned building as a walking area for morning cardio.

Peter quickly locates the escalator that leads to Foot Locker and to our suprise, we were the first ones present. Success. We ended up ditching the lawn chairs for some comfortable seats across the way from the storefront. Two minutes after sitting, I see the three guys from the car that passed us earlier walk into the mall, look at the store and try and scan the area for other potential customers; they spot us and I see some slight disappointment that they weren’t first. Hehe.

7:25am — A kid and his what seems to be his sibling sat in front of the store.

8:02am — Five teenaged boys scout the storefront.

8:08am — Peter and I decide to stand in front of the store to secure our position as first and second. We’re a bit defensive at this point. No definitive line.

8:19am — A man dressed in jean shorts, tank top, reflective sunglasses, and a long chained Jesus piece walks up. Not in line…more off to the side and I’m worried. Was he going to try and jump the line? I hope not!

8:46am — Still no definitive line but Peter and I stand firm. Everyone was nice though. We were all there hoping to snatch the same pair. Some of the questions: What time did you get here? What shoe are you buying? Are you from here? What size are you? Did you buy the 35k Degrees?

9:24am — An employee walks towards the store and talks to some people in line…we were in front of the wrong entrance. The fronts of the Foot Locker and the House of Hoops were right next to one another: Foot Locker on the left and HOH on the right. I’m carefully eyeing the situation; I see a customer give a handshake to the employee and that worries me. Are they friends or is he a frequent customer? Are they going to secretly hold a pair for him…he looked like he could be my size. Crap, I’m not going to get the shoe.

The employee then asks those on that side of the “line,” who first in line was and right as I heard that, my hand shakily raises up, but now there is an official start point, and we were officially customers one and two. Phew!

9:31am —

Our view.

The employee was wearing a pair of the Oregon Foamposites that can be seen for sale on eBay for $1,000+! He apparently had the right connections for the sneaker and was able to buy them for retail ($240).

9:56am — Two employees walk towards the gate and I get all giddy inside. Peter was first in line and the employee called him up. “You getting the KD’s? What size?” Before Peter answers with a numerical response, he first makes sure I get the chance to go in and pay at the same time.

"He's with me."

“He’s with me.”

Good look Peter. He locked in his size 9 and and I, my 11.

10:01am — My hands are shaking from excitement during the transaction. Told them the phone number associated with my VIP Member card, handed over my military ID for a discount (thanks for serving in the Navy, dad), and then my debit card for payment.

A question employees cannot answer until release day is “How many pairs did you receive?” Well, now that I’m an official owner of a pair, I asked and knew I was going to get an answer. So how many did they get? 24 pairs. With men’s sizes ranging usually from 8-14 and half-sizes in between, there isn’t much room for foot size variation!

Oh well, I got mine! Pair 2 of 24 at that location to be exact.

10:08am — We walk out of the store the line probably extended to about 30-40 people. All were there to press their luck for a pair of Kevin Durant’s 7th signature shoe or a pair of the retro Jordan 14’s that were releasing that day.

We get to my car and we counted down, “1, 2, 3…,” the top of the boxes popped open and betcha by golly wow, these shoes are a beaut.

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One of the more popular colorways of the KD 7 out of the first five scheduled releases. (Shoe 3 out of 5 in the lineup.)

Our efforts were worth it. I don’t care if I had dark circles. Eye boogers? A wet napkin solved that problem. Sure I was hungry, but meal time was worth the wait. For a retail price of $150, these are one of those shoes you can’t not try and buy. Reminiscent of the “Red October” Yeezy 2’s, sneakerheads across the country (and globe) made this a definite yes on their list to add to their collection.

Thank you Foot Locker in Riverside for making this an easy release to deal with. The first come, first serve system worked thanks to organized and stern employees. This is only my second sneaker campout and no bad experience was taken from it.

Good thing I don’t fall for EVERY sneaker like some sneakerheads do, or else I’d be spending more time in line waiting to drop ca$h I shouldn’t.


The title of this blog is a shoutout to an online sneaker community named “Sneakerhead Confessions” that I am a part of. Check it out: www.sneakerheadconfessions.com.

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