Sneakerhead Talks: Tom Grinyer
Late last week I caught up with a homie, Tom Grinyer to continue Kenny’s hard work in the ‘Sneakerhead Talks’ series. I hope to continue the series with a different Sneakerhead each month so without further ado let’s get into this one!
A Little Bit About Tom
“Okay! I’m originally from Sydney but moved to Melbourne at the end of 2015. I’m super into coffee, burgers, and barbecues. I love art and its philosophy, [as well as] contemporary circus.”
“I’m super into neutral-coloured, long layered clothing, and I have a lot of shoes that match the vibe. At the same time, I do love runners, so I have a lot of plain, well-made t-shirts and jeans to wear with them. In both cases it’s a pretty simple aesthetic, so we’ll go with that.”
Sneaker Game Beginnings
“It’s been about three years in total, but my taste has changed a lot since then. I never really took much notice of sneakers and when I came across a pair of the triple black Supra ‘Falcon’, I remember being pretty engaged by them. Mostly because I’d never seen shoes like that before. So I tracked them down and boom! I started buying skate shoes.
Maybe a year after that I started to get into runners, which was also sparked by stumbling upon a pair I was immediately super into. Unfortunately for me, that pair turned out to be the Atmos x Nike Air Max 1 ‘Elephant’, and I’m still yet to get my hands on a pair.”
“The same thing happened again, actually. A friend of mine asked me if I could identify a pair of shoes, so he could get a pair. I really dug them too, so I was all “Dope, if I find a pair for Wes, maybe they’ll have a pair for me too”. A minute or so of google time later, I learned that we were chasing the Air Max 1 BRS Powerwall. We had no idea what they were, just that they were fresh as froosh. Sigh. Life…
Oh, and then maybe in the last 12 months, I’ve gotten way more into clothing designers, so I’ve bought a lot more “designer” shoes. Y-3, Rick Owens, Bruno Bordese — that kind of vibe. Variety is the spice of life, and all that.”
Thoughts on The Sneaker Game
“I think the thing that I like most about the sneaker scene is the fact that it exists. Seriously. I haven’t been around for a long time — no way, no how. But in that time, I’ve met some pretty fantastic folks, and they are all just stoked on sneakers. They love what they love, which I think is fantastic.
To sum up what I like least in a single word: “hype”. It ties into something I like to call the ‘Supreme Effect’ — where folks appear to like things, because it’s cool to like it, rather than having any real interest in it. It makes me more sad than anything. Especially seeing things like posts in Facebook groups along the lines of ‘I have Shoe X, looking for trades in heat’. To me, that’s the worst. When I see that, what I read is ‘I have no confidence in my personal taste, so I want what other people think is popular/cool/rare/valuable/whatever’.”
Thoughts on Resellers
“In some ways it annoys me. Mostly when it comes to folks buying shoes with the intention of selling them for a profit. In that case, I think it’s a really scummy thing to do. People love sneakers, and there are ways to make money without making it harder for folks to love what they love.”
Advice for New Sneakerheads
“If you are a person reading this, and are just getting into sneakers you should stop and think for a second. When you find a pair of shoes you like, take a minute to actually think about why you like them. Maybe you didn’t think blue and pink could look that good together, and it surprised you. Maybe you were super into some crazy cool stitching around the eyelets. Whatever it is, just know what you like and be proud of that!”
Next Pair of Kicks
“Well it was the new Adidas Ultra Boost in the Iron Grey colour way, but I just managed to get a pair from Eastbay. I was going to call in some favours for those, but looks like I’ll just have to save ’em.
So at the moment, I’d love a pair of the Vegetable Tanned ‘Pillar Low’ by Collegium Shoes. But the release is limited to 75 pairs worldwide and cost roughly $500AUD. Actually upsetting, but I can’t do it right now. More realistically, the Nike Obsidian-Blue Sock Darts. Super keen on those.”
Photography by Thom Bonilla