Are you the ultimate sneakerhead always on the hunt for the newest colorway or shoe release? Hibbett Sports recently sat down with influencer James Hesse to talk what he knows best: the hottest shoes for guys on the market. Whether hyping the latest drops on his site, Instagram, or his YouTube channel, Hesse lives and breathes sneakers. Here he talks the latest shoes for men, where to buy sneakers, his all-time favorite pair and his humble beginnings.
When did you start collecting shoes and why?
I really started collecting sneakers around 2003 when I started deejaying. As I made more money from that, I ended up buying sneakers since I have always had a fascination with them. My youth started out like most sneaker enthusiasts; I wanted Jordan shoes that I couldn’t afford as a kid — I wanted to “Be like Mike!” As my sneaker obsession evolved, I recognized footwear as the ultimate form of self-expression.
What are some of your all-time favorite shoes?
With well over 1,000 sneakers purchased — and at my peak, my collection stood at over 750 pairs — this is a tough question. One of my favorite sneakers of all time, however, would be an obscure pair: the Nike Air Dynamic Flight with the 33 on the side for Scottie Pippen.
They were the first basketball shoes I bought with my own money; I couldn’t afford the Air Jordan 7 at the time, so these were the ones I got. Since then, I got a pair back in my collection in DS (mint condition) in my size, and it is the constant reminder to me of my humble beginnings.
What is a shoe, brand or shoe style that every collector should have?
Personally, I started collecting Air Jordan sneakers, and I think a staple for every sneakerhead would be an Air Jordan 1, Air Jordan 3, Air Jordan 4, Air Jordan 5 or Air Jordan 6 in an original colorway that Jordan actually played in. Even for younger kids, it’s literally like owning a piece of history and capturing that moment in time of Michael Jordan’s greatness. They might not have witnessed him play, but they can search YouTube and see some of the amazing moments, and instantly understand why he has the cult following he has.
Are there any sneakers your son or daughter loves?
My son, Harrison, is 3 years old now, and he loves blue or green shoes! As parents, we’ve gotten him a variety of footwear, but the best ones for us usually have velcro straps for quick lockdown.
Which shoe trends are you excited for in 2019?
It seems to me like brands are focusing more on the lifestyle side of sneakers, which I personally love. Basically, shoes made for everyday use, not just the highest-tech specialized basketball or running sneakers.
Which brand do you think has stepped up their “shoe game” recently?
What’s your favorite part of shopping from Hibbett?
The launch calendar is a great source to see when the latest and greatest sneaker releases are coming.
Other than sneakers, what other products do you like to purchase/browse on Hibbett?
I definitely love a nice hoodie, and I’m always looking for a new one. I also love to browse the clearance section to see if there are any good deals!
Which celebrity or athlete would you say has the best taste in sneaker choices?
I always like to see LeBron flex his sneaker choices on social media. Travis Scott has all the attention so far in 2019; he will be someone to watch.
Is there anyone you’d like to give a special shout out to for supporting your content and the growth of your channels?
Just a general “Thank you” to all of those people that support the channel and enjoy the content. Even though the lens is only pointing in one direction, when people watch the videos and leave comments, or reach out on Twitter and Instagram with feedback, it’s like we are really just having a conversation as two sneaker enthusiasts, which is the best part to me!
Follow Hesse on Instagram, and check out more on men’s streetwear sneaker trends for 2019 on the Hibbett blog.