Over my nearly 20 years of collecting I’ve had thousands of sneakers -some very rare- pass through my hands (and feet). I’ve also been there for the birth of Internet Sneaker culture and the many magazines and books on the subject that followed -some of which are treasured by the sneaker community. Sneaker reference books like Irreverence Justified (a book issued back in Y2K by Nike to certain individuals both in and out of the company which detailed Nike’s history up to that point, was numbered to 2000 copies and featured a shiny gold cover that was made out of the left over material used for the shoes in which Michel Johnson set the 200 Mt. World Record), and The Encyclopedia of Air Jordan’s. Then there are those treasures that are not only reference material for product but for the culture as a whole, books like Sneaker Freaker The Book and of course Bobbito Garcia’s Where’d You Get Those: New York City’s Sneaker Culture: 1960-1987. This site too serves as reference for many industry employee’s and collectors alike and so when I come across a new book on the subject of course it will be closely scrutinized. This brings us to one of the latest book drop’s from Mathieu Le Maux -the sports editor of French GQ -who is an avid sneaker collector that owns more than 300 pairs. Like the Sneaker Freaker Book you get info about the sneakers and brands the masses flock to but also a lot of diversity – think brands like Skechers, Zoot, Enko and Le Coq Sportif – a breath of fresh air in that regards. You also receive personal memories as well as cultural reference which is also of great value. Initially though, I must admit that I was a little disappointed in the low number of OG Shoe Examples featured on the pages of 1000 Sneakers (most of the photo’s are of retro’s but list OG release years which could be confusing to those that are newbies on the subject) and was a little taken back by a lack of reference to footwear legend Steven Smith in regards to the New Balance 576.
Still, the more I turned the pages of 1000 Sneakers the more I found myself enjoying the book. You see, occasionally I enjoy disconnecting from the Internet yet I still find myself wanting to read about sneakers and for that you need a magazine or book. With 1000 Sneakers you are treated to tons of great visuals, fun facts, movie references, sports moments and more. Its a book that years down the line you’ll want on your shelf for one simple fact: Although many of the shoes in the book have already been documented in print years earlier, there are still many sneakers featured here that haven’t been in previous books and for that a lone this ones worth the time. Add to the fact that you are being treated to some valuable historical info mixed in with memories many of us can relate to and at the very least its worth a look. Available now at RIZZOLIUSA