Over time Nike, adidas, and Reebok sneakers have been the subject of many’s addiction. Television actors, musicians, and athletes set trends in Urban areas that went mainstream, leaving some today with closets filled with shoes.
From that love for sneakers such as Air Jordans, Nike Air Force Ones, Reebok Pumps, and adidas Shell Toes, a subculture has been born and SoJones got to connect with one of its’ most well known names, Got_Kickz.
Imitated by many but only one holding the crown, read how this Harlem native went from a pair of adidas superstars to a collection of Nike Air Force 1s, Jordans, and Dunks that is over 700 pair deep.
[ SoJones ] Greetings Got_Kickz, lets start off by letting people know, what your real name is and where you’re from.
[ Shoe Collector: Got_Kickz ] Well to the entertainment industry I’m known as Malicious. To the sneaker community I’m known as got_kickz(founder of the Footwear Federation), but my given name is Mark.
[ SoJones ] With that said, at what age did you start collecting sneakers.
[Shoe Collector: Got_Kickz ] I guess I started collecting at the age of 17.
[ SoJones ] When you started was it more about just wearing what was stylish & trendy or did you start collecting immediately?
[ Shoe Collector: Got_Kickz ] Its always been about fashion. What was in and what was hot. I didn’t consider myself a collector till years down the line. I just always purchased sneakers whenever I could.
[ SoJones ] Whether it be athletes or music artists, Were there any celebrity influences at the time that you followed when it came to sneaker wear?
[ Shoe Collector: Got_Kickz ] I’d definitely say Run DMC way back in the day. The shell toe Adidas was crazy. I’ve only owned 1 pair my entire life but I remember standing in front of my block with a t-shirt on, a pair of Lee jeans and a pair of White shell toe Adidas with the black stripes and white fat laces. This was way before my collecting stage. As far as athlete’s go of course Micheal Jordan was a big influence. So was Magic Johnson and Larry Bird when it came to the Converse Weapons. But there are a few forgotten heroes when it comes to sneaker culture. They are actually actors! Will Smith as the Fresh Prince is obvious. But what about Tony Danza from Who’s The Boss? Every episode he had on a crispy pair of black Air Jordan V’s. And both Ron and Dwayne from A Different World. The Nikes that they wore on that show were serious!
[ SoJones ] If you can remember, what was the first pair of sneakers you ever bought in your current collection?
[ Shoe Collector: Got_Kickz ] The first pair of sneakers that I bought that are still in my current collection are my Air Jordan VII Bordeaux. They were on sale at Foot Locker for $79.99. It was the craziest shoe I had ever purchased because of all of the colors on it. I bought them to rock on Easter Sunday when I went to hang out with my friends from the block.
[ SoJones ] Do you remember who you purchased them from?
[ Shoe Collector: Got_Kickz ] Foot Locker.
[ SoJones ] A lot of people are aware that there’s some kicks in your collection that no store can supply or what not. Name a few of these in your collection and how you got them.
[ Shoe Collector: Got_Kickz ] Well, some of my player samples may be what you are referring to. I get these shoes thru connects that I cannot reveal. But they are not purchased in stores. For instance, I have a pair of Amare Stodamire CB MAX and a pair of Vince Carter Air Force 1’s. Everyone knows that VC wears shocks….lol
[ SoJones ] Would you ever consider selling or trading any of those exclusives? I know those Amare Stodamire CB Maxes would look nice with my Phoenix Suns track jacket. And even if not, I can trade those in and make a mortgage payment or something *laughs* I know sneaker heads will pay over a grand for those.
[ Shoe Collector: Got_Kickz ] It really all depends on the offer. I might trade for a more exclusive shoe but I’ve seen your collection. I have everything you have twice.
[ SoJones ] I’m saying though… I got me a nice lil’ Beyonce girl and she’s going to upgrade me she said. I told her I’d upgrade her later; Just gotta finish off the down payments.
Moving on though, A lot of sneaker heads get stuck on buying one kind of shoe specifically. Did you ever find yourself like this or did you buy everything from the start?
[ Shoe Collector: Got_Kickz ] I bought a little of everything from the start.
[ SoJones ] If there were one pair of shoes you could add to your collection, what would it be?
[ Shoe Collector: Got_Kickz ] I would love to have a pair of Kobe Bryant PE Air Jordan VII’s. That is one of the best player samples I’ve ever seen.
[ SoJones ] Now, lets get into this sneaker show talk. A lot of people have been waiting to hear your response to why you did not go to the Sole Collector event in Las Vegas, NV. Is there any bad feelings towards SC?
[ Shoe Collector: Got_Kickz ] No bad feelings towards SC here. It is what it is. People who actually won categories were invited to Vegas. I never won a category at any of the SC events. Therefore I was not invited as a competitor.
[ SoJones ] In the past you attended several of their events, which we caught rumor of having people showing shoes that were not threes. Did you see any of this? A few competitors reported this same concern to us.
[ Shoe Collector: Got_Kickz ] Well there is nothing you can really do about that. SC allows you to display any size shoe you want. If it’s on your table I guess they consider it yours. I have only displayed shoes that belong to me and are my size. I wear sz 13-14. How would I look displaying a size 9?
[ SoJones ] Also, it’s rumored that someone won a contest and had fakes up for show? This was a bit more far fetched and just on-line rumorage we found, but did you hear or see of this?
[ Shoe Collector: Got_Kickz ] I heard something of that nature happened in Vegas but I wasn’t there so I can’t really comment on that.
[ SoJones ] You passed the Las Vegas, Sole Collector event and attended the FunkMaster Flex “International Sneaker Battle”. Word has it that Rob Heppler and Mike the CEO really wanted you out there. What got you interested in that show?
[ Shoe Collector: Got_Kickz ] Mainly the promotion. I heard it all over the radio and the saw fliers at my local sneaker shop. I went to the competition in Edison just to check it out. I saw what was out there and said to myself I need to do this. I spoke to Mike and he told me my presence was definitely necessary. So I went to the CT battle and the rest is history.
[ SoJones ] What were the pros and cons of Sole Collector’s event and International Sneaker Battle?
[ Shoe Collector: Got_Kickz ] I’d say the judging was quite different. SC seemed to consist of 3 judges. Some of which I could never tell if they looked at my table. And the ballot box thing never worked for SC either. There were some competitions where I left with my ballot box because it was never collected. With the ISB, the judges really took time to ask you about what you had on your table, how you got it and even why you bought it. They even looked inside of some of the shoes to verify the authenticity of them. And there were at least 5 to 7 judges there easily. It just felt like they were paying close attention to what was going on.
[ SoJones ] You came out on top of the I.S.B. by far according to Mr. Heppler, event judge and founder of WeeklyDrop.com. Did you feel a bit or relief to finally be recognize for your collection and judged off strictly what was on your sneaker display?
[ Shoe Collector: Got_Kickz ] Not sure if I would call it relief. But it did feel good to be recognized based on what was on the table and not who knew me. Politics ruin these events.
[ SoJones ] The trophy from the International Sneaker Battle, which you brought to the KicksAndChicks.com studio for a photo shoot, is 6 feet or more. That’s a huge show piece for the living room. Did anything else come as a prize from the competition?
[ Shoe Collector: Got_Kickz ] There was also a cash prize involved. I am uncertain of the amount as it has changed from the original prize and i have still not received the check as of yet.
[ SoJones ] At the end of the day, a lot of people will be split between these two events but I think I’d go for the cash prize personally. I wish you the best luck at the next ISB show in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Go ahead and throw the shout outs if you would like it done to all our fans, supporters, and friends.
[ Shoe Collector: Got_Kickz ] First off I’d like to thank the members of the Footwear Federation. Will aka Feets Malone(we been in it for a minute!), Pan aka Narcissus1, Quinn aka qh_inc, Nick aka LB Fam, DJ Hakim and Howie aka HowFresh. These guys truly represent what shoe collectors should be. Secondly I’d like to thank Dave, little Mike and Mike Packer at Packer shoes. Eric, Will, Troy and the entire staff over at Champs Sports. Migan and staff at the NBA store. My boy Tariq the video freak and J Vini at SC. Steve Mullholland at SC for allowing me to participate in the competitions in the first place. Alex aka Retro Kid and Dee Wells at SC. Rob Hepler, Roman 234life, Lori, Jaime and Mike The Executive from ISB CT. ESPN and It’s the Shoes. My mother for not throwing out the shoes I left at her house after I moved out…lol. My nephew Kion and little brother Lance..next generation sneakerheads. Salute Entertainment, For Your Life Entertainment and Empire NYC. All of my fans from ISS, KicksandChicks.com, SoJones and all over the world. Nike, Reebok, Adidas, New Balance and Puma for making the hot kicks that I collect. And a special shout out goes out to every sneaker store across the world that I have made a purchase from. Peace….
[ SoJones ] Much Love for running the interview Got_Kickz! Much appreciated.