What’s your name, and where are you from?
Ryan Swanger, Dallas, TX IG: @RyanSwanger
How long have you been collecting? Running shoes (for running) started in 1996. My collection today has many pairs that I originally bought to run in. I switched over to lifestyle sneakers in 2014.
What inspired you to start collecting? I was into Jordan 4s and 5s when they released in my youth, but my collecting of lifestyle sneakers was really inspired by a change in my lifestyle from being into suits and dress shoes to a more casual and happiness-focused lifestyle. I had collected running shoes for working out (imagine a weirdo runner who runs in different shoes every day), but now I wear them with my work or casual attire too. Sneakers represent a huge shift in my life outlook that it very important to me.
What’s your favorite pair of sneakers that you own, and why? Patta x Nike Air Max 1 ‘chlorophyll’. Green is my favorite color, and I consider the Air Max 1 to be the most important runner silhouette, so you combine a perfect shade of green with good materials and that silhouette, and you have my perfect shoe.
What grail pair don’t you have and would love to add to your collection? Tom Sachs x Nike ‘mars yard’. There is no other shoe that looks like them. I am much more interested in being different than fitting in, which makes them a grail for me. I have too much guilt about what else you could do with $1,500 to buy a pair currently, but in the next 10 years I will find a way to justify buying them.
What are your likes and/or dislikes about sneakerhead culture? I wish there was more interest in creativity and embracing each others’ personal style than flocking to what’s hyped (aka expensive on the resale market). By far the best part of connecting with others that “collect/wear/whatever you wanna call it” sneakers has been developing relationships centered around a shared passion. When we support each other because someone got a hyped up pair, I think we miss out on the commonality that comes from passion about shoes in general.
Is there anything you’d like to see more of in the sneakerhead community? Events focused on meeting people that share your passion. I’d go to a sneaker event that had a wall with the best air max, the best Jordans, the best Asics, new designs, etc where people met and got to take it all in and discuss over an event where you can buy someone’s probably worn too many times pairs for a crazy price any day.
All “kicks” aside, what are your interests/passions/hobbies outside of sneakers? True crime podcasts, NBA basketball, and 10 billion times more than anything spending time with my twin boys. They are my inspiration for everything I do in life (except the true crime stuff).