In Our Words

Interviewed by FSF journalist Mickey Keenan.

What is the sneaker scene like in the Netherlands? Are there many females involved in the scene?
There was a big and colourful sneaker hype last year, but I've noticed that it’s passing by, as mainstream is getting into other things I guess. The scene is still going of course with mostly guys and just a few chicks. In the big cities some of the heads have got an attitude, but mostly everybody gets along. I don't know many girls who are into sneakers, and the ones I know, don't live near by. There are some Dutch sneaker forums and every "big" city has its own sneaker shop.

When did you start loving sneakers?
I've always been a bit of a tomboy, and I only wanted to wear sneakers. My parents didn't buy them for me, because they were too expensive and according to my mother, they would make my feet smell. I do remember they gave me one pair of Nike Air Max 90. I loved them to death and rocked them to death. After years and years of quarreling they gave me some Adidas Superstars. Again I rocked them way too hard. When I started living on my own, my love for sneakers could finally grow.

Do you have a favourite pair?
I'm totally in love with my Nike Air Max 1 Atmos (Elephant) and Nike Dunk High Bling, but of course I like them all.

What do your sneakers say about you?

I only get myself the ones I really like, so they all fit with my personality. I just like to chill and lean back, have fun and hang out. No high heels for me.

Buying sneakers: Online/Ebay/Shops/Boutique- what do you prefer?
I prefer to buy them in shops, because of the contact with the employees and/or owner. The possibility of seeing and touching sneakers after waiting a couple of months for the release is just great. But I do buy my sneakers online too; the excitement of waiting for the package, not knowing if Customs authorities will let them pass without putting any taxes on them, and then finally having them in your hands, makes you feel like a little child again.

Have you been to 'No Boys Allowed', the new female-only sneaker store? What do you think of the idea?
I haven't been there yet as I don't live that close to The Hague, but I'm planning to go. I don't really know what to think yet, on one hand I think it could be a really big and dope thing, but on the other hand I hope it won’t get too hyped up. I saw some photos of the shop and it does look really nice.

 Do you have a 'fave' sneaker store where you live, or in Europe?
I try to check out all the shops in the Netherlands at least 4 to 6 times a year, but my fave would be "Woei" in Rotterdam. The owner opened a year and a half ago, and his shop is going really well. He pays attention to the ladies with a female clothing section in his shop and has a lot of different sneakers.

Why do you go on forums like Female Sneaker Fiend or Sneakerfreaker?
Sadly enough I don’t have any close friends who are into sneakers. They don't know anything about it and make fun of me when I get myself a new pair (“How many feet do you have?” Things like that!). That is why I enjoy going to forums. I get to catch up with the latest releases, and see how other girls, and guys, wear their stuff, for example.

What do you think about the whole issue of women vs. men's kicks?
I don't care that much. I would like to see more women’s releases that are actually dope instead of too colourful, but I guess that's too much to ask. Men's kicks are usually much nicer, but I am a size 7, so I can cop them too. I do feel sorry for the girls out there with smaller feet. But for me it isn't really an issue.

Do you think it is different being a female sneakerhead? How so? What are the challenges?

Of course it is different. Guys will always think you don't know what you're talking about, and that you are just in it because of the hype. Most of all I hate it when guys say they like girls wearing high heels better, as if...

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