We all have those things that we look back at in our youth and feel like we missed out on. It may be that girl that you always wanted to get with, but never did . It may be a party you missed out on because you were grounded for skipping classes. It may even be the class ski trip you missed on because your folks didn't have the money to send you on. For me it was a pair of kicks. In particular Jordan XI's.
When I was at school basketball was life and Michael Jordan was God. Living in the UK before internet was everywhere following the NBA was a chore. We got Slam magazine, there was about an hour of NBA coverage on free to air television every week at a reasonable time and one live game a week at an absolutely horrible time that I wasn't allowed to stay up for. I'd set the timer on the VHS recorder every week and have about a 50% success rate of recording the whole game. To be a ball fan in the mid to late 90's in Scotland wasn't easy. I did however know the shoes.
I knew what shoes every big named player wore. When I watched my recorded game back I spent as much time watching the sneakers as the action. I played ball 5 days a week. Whenever one of the boys got a new pair of the shoes there was a bit of excitement. There were a bunch of cool shoes on our court. The Reebok "Shaqnosis", the Nike Air More Uptempo. Nothing caused a stir like a new pair of Jordan's.
I was a Jordan guy. At least I was when I (and by I, I mean my parents) could afford to drop £100 on a pair of sneakers. I had VI's, VIII's, XII's and XIII's as a kid. I always wanted a pair of XI's. They always felt like the pair that got away. One of the guys on my team had them in the classic white and patent black leather colourway. Even thinking of them now gives me a tingle in my gut.
Fast forward 21 years from the original release of the XI and I finally have a pair. Sure, it's not one of the original three colourways. Sure, they are a reissue of a 2001 reissue. But to me they are legit as fuck. I've come to realise that adulthood is simply trying to pursue all the things that made you happy as a kid. I can barely play ball now. The knees are toast, I'm too heavy and I smoke too many cigarettes but a box fresh pair of J's still give me the same feels as they did back in 1996.
Disposable income is a dangerous thing, because for me retro Jordans are like Pokemon. I've gotta catch 'em all.