Originally published in KICKS 1, 1998…

Sneaker Pimps: True story. Just a few years ago, a woman from Cali called us with a simple question: She’d been cleaning her garage and come upon three pairs of deadstock Air Jordan 1’s that her adult son had stashed away and forgotten about. They’d never even been laced. Size 9 1/2. Red-white-black. Red-white-black. Blue-black. She had no idea what they were worth-“The price on the box says $65.”-and she came to us, looking for guidance.

For the next 10 minutes, both of us just sat there slackjawed. See, this is the kind of situation that sneaker aficionados like ourselves often dream about. Our dilemma was obvious: should we sucker her, or tell her what they were really worth? Let’s just say that one of us was firmly in each camp. In the end, after a protracted negotiation that puts the NBA labor fight to shame, we decided to tell her what they were worth. Several hundred bucks a pop, easy. We couldn’t live with ourselves if we hadn’t.

But it’s the fact that two “honest” guys such as ourselves-ahem-were even contemplating taking advantage of some poor woman we didn’t even know, that’s indicative of our heightened degree of sneaker lust.

Another good example of that kind of insanity, it seems, would be this magazine. It just wasn’t enough to give kicks four or six pages in the back of SLAM. We wanted to provide kicks the forum they deserve-98 pages, no interruptions. We also wanted to get real, real in-depth, so we could move beyond the simple sneaker box. Toward that end, we decided to focus-this time-solely on Nike, its athletes, designers, ad guys and, most importantly, its basketball sneakers, of which we’ve each owned quite a few pair over the years. And judging from our recent expenditures, that trend should continue through the millennium.

We included a kicksology on each baller, which corresponds to pages 38 through 47.

Check it out.


Tony Gervino
Russ Bengtson