"I don’t agree with most aspects of the reselling business but I’m also not going to deny that’s who I have to thank some times in order to get my sneakers."

The year is moving on fast, almost as quick as the rising prices of collab Ultra Boosts! We’ve hit May already and here at DopeKoto, we are happy to bring you the fifth instalment of our Sneakerhead Talks series.

When I ponder about how I want each episode to look, I think about people who would stand out for being quite unique in their own little way within the community — I also give credit to the genuine nice dudes out there. Without further ado, I present a hard-working individual, who’s a father of two, and loves quality over quantity when it comes to his sneakers. This guy is a fiend for that ever so perfect pair!

A Little Bit About CJ

“I’m a 28-year-old father of one and soon to be of two. I’m also a car enthusiast and through this passion I have obtained the necessary skills in order to restore old classics. Apart from spending time with friends and family, I keep myself busy restoring a 1970 HG Kingswood and a 1977 MX32 Cressida, a true Japanese beauty. I also love comic books, tattoos, and a great film. When it comes to my style, I love to emphasize my sneakers in my fit so more often than not, you’ll find me in black jeans and a plain tee.”


Sneaker Beginnings & Collection

“I have been collecting for just under three years so I still consider myself new to the game. The first shoe that got me hooked was the 2007 Air Max 1 ‘Hufquakes’. The form and function of the shoe is just perfectly executed all throughout. The colour way is fantastic and you really can’t beat the shape of the older Air Max models. Unfortunately I wasn’t aware that pre-2008 AM1’s run big, and so I had to move them on to a good home. Still looking for an 8.5US if any one has?

My collection is still filled with plenty of Nike SB’s but I mostly have collaborative sneakers from brands like ASICS, Saucony, New Balance and Puma. I do have some Air Jordan’s as well but I’m more of a runner kind-of-guy now.”

Iconic Sneaker

“One pair that definitely stands out, simply because of how difficult it was to find is my Nike SB P-Rod 2 ‘Valentines Day Massacres’. It was a joyous moment when I found a very near deadstock pair after months and months of searching through social media and sneaker meets. When the seller finally messaged me back I instantaneously sent the money through to him, and later that week they were in my hands. They may not be everyone’s cup of tea but hands down they have to be one of my favourites.”


Thoughts on Today’s Sneaker Scene, Loves and Misconceptions in the Game

“There is too much hype around sneakers right now. As the community grows so does the hype. I love collaborative sneakers. They put so much thought and effort into the production of the shoe, and more often than not they’re one for the collection. It really comes down to quality over quantity for me so I do try to be as limited as possible with what I buy.

It honestly pumps me up seeing everyone get excited for the next release. Whether they’re copping for themselves or to assist, there’s usually a good atmosphere around it all and the community genuinely wants to help people out. I love all that and I’m upset I missed the Sneaker Freaker meet and from the video you guys posted it looked really dope.”

The community needs to be proactive, not reactive, and educate its newest members.


Thoughts On Camping & Hanon’s New Rule

“The rule that Hanon recently implemented not allowing people to camp overnight for sneakers is great and can work, but they also have to be mindful that it may form conflict. Imagine all the people who rush to get to the front of the line at 8am. We remember the chaos that happened when Up There Store tried that for the Yeezy ‘Pirate Black’ 350 Boost release last year. I understand stores don’t want people loitering, especially when it’s for 2 or more days, but I also think it should be a bit earlier than 8am. I personally have not camped but people always talk about the good vibes and laid-back atmosphere around it all. I’d love to experience it, plus it would be a great opportunity to meet the rest of the heads! I think if stores in Australia made it a point to only allow a maximum of 24 hours camping time, it would make things somewhat better.”


Thoughts On The Reselling Business

“I don’t agree with most aspects of the reselling business but I’m also not going to deny that’s who I have to thank some times in order to get my sneakers. I can’t afford to line up and online drops are almost impossible with the amount of bots and people trying to purchase a limited run of sneakers at the very same time. So long as the price is not ridiculous, I’m generally okay spending a bit extra in order to get my pair.

We all start somewhere and even though there’s a growing influx of younger dudes in the scene, if they keep it real, they’ll make it better than it is now. The community needs to be proactive, not reactive, and educate its newest members.”


Next Sneakers On The List

“Although there are new releases almost on a weekly basis I always put new sneakers down to my own criteria. Two questions I ask myself on a recently released sneaker are, ‘Do they go with my style?’ and ‘Will I wear them?’ I don’t let my choice in sneakers be influenced by the hype — too much anyway.”

A list of CJ’s next cops include:

  • New Balance x Bodega 577 ‘Hypercats’,
  • Asics x Highs and Lows Gel-Lyte 3 ‘Silver Screens’,
  • New Balance 997PR,
  • Puma x Sneaker Freaker Blaze of Glory ‘Black Beasts’, and
  • Saucony x Feature G9 ‘High Rollers’.

To our readers: I know I said I’d be going interstate on the last one, but this time it’s locked in. Flights are booked to Brisbane for the sneaker swap meet on the 21st of May. You’ll find us sharing a table with the good guys from Brisbane Sneaker Bazaar. If you’re coming we’d love to see you, so make sure you come down, say hello, and grab some goodies! With that said, get ready Brisbane sneakerheads, as you may soon see a local grace our next installment in the Sneakerhead Talks series!

Photography by Thom Bonilla