THE POWER OF THE SNEAKER (PHOTOS FROM PEEP MY FEET)

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Words by Cheats, (Peep My Feet photos by Cheats)

I guess I should start this post by saying, “My name is Cheats, and I’m a recovering sneakerholic. I’ve been clean for about 2 months now and I’m just taking it one day at time.” Naugh seriously, I remember the exact moment when I realized The Power of The Sneaker. It was 1990 and I was a middle school student at Brookland Middle School (yes, the one right off Parham). I remember before first period, we played sports outside. There were games of 2-hand touch football, basketball (when the rims were up), and handball (right outside of building T). Well, back then, Brookland had its share of fights. We all knew the drill, if a fight broke out, we would all run towards it to see what was happening. Well, there was one morning, we were outside playing before school, and all of a sudden the whole school was running over to where we played handball, and when I say the entire school – I mean the entire school - was running over to the  handball court. So like everyone else, I thought it was a fight and I ran over too. When I got there, I saw one of my classmates, Paul, standing in the middle of a circle and the entire school was staring at his new Jordan V sneakers, the Red Fire Jordans with the 23 on the side. I’d never seen anything like it. The best part of the story, is that Brookland had a lot of cats with style and personality – but Paul was not one of them. Paul was a quiet, I dare to say, nerdy type kid, with a small group of friends. That morning, my friend Paul went for being nearly invisible at Brookland Middle to the most popular kid in school. That may not mean much to you – but to me – in middle school – that was unreal. All day long Paul was getting high fives from strangers – kids that never talk to him before was asking him, “Yo, Where you get those?” The next day or so reality sat back in because other “cooler” kids got the Jordans that week. BUT Paul had them first and from that morning on – I understood the power of the sneaker. As misguided as middle school popularity was….it stuck with me for life.

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Victor Cruz – sporting the Jordan V Red Fire – Paul had them first.

I really love sneakers and that’s why I was so excited when found out about the inaugural Peep My Feet event last week at the Camel. S/O to the homie Noah-O, him, along with Chris North and Kharee Hamilton, they really spearheaded this effort to bring over 20 vendors to The Camel to check, buy, and trade sneakers and vintage clothes.

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Noah O and Chris North making moves…

You can’t deny the correlation between sneakers and hip hop culture. From the birth of hip hop in NYC, you had the sneaker, the gold chain, and the Kangol (pretty much the Kangol – unless you were on some Whoodini black cowboy stuff). You had the toothbrush to keep them clean, it was a glorious time. I didn’t really get into sneakers until I could afford to buy my own in high school. My man Matt B had a crazy shoe game in high school and college – I was just trying to keep up. But all over the country, sneakerheads were being born and raised through hip hop culture. It’s big business now and it good to see the entire culture being embraced.

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The gold chain has been replaced but sneakers and caps are a still key elements of hip hop culture

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The DJ always holds down the event. Swerve is one of the best in RVA.

20130216-IMG_0801 Hip hop culture is probably the most diverse community in the world. There are no barriers to success.

20130216-IMG_0817 Building off the success of this inaugural event, I was told this type of event will be brought RVA a few times a year.

20130216-IMG_0792Not just sneakers, Peep My Feet featured some jewelry vendors as well.

20130216-IMG_0796 For more information on Peep My Feet – Check out RVA Sneakerhead Community on Facebook

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