The window to a person's soul isn't the eyes, it's the shoes. The only sole I'm concerned with is the one under your feet. Shoes can say so much about a person. Introversion or extraversion, mainstream or fringe, comfortable or fashionable (or both!) – shoes speak to me before any word comes out of a person's mouth.
I consider myself a bit of an expert. I mean, have you ever tried to find a pair of 2011 Black Toe Air Jordan 1's Dead stock in size 14? No, well I have and I can tell you it is not a picnic. The things you learn while searching, flipping, collecting and wearing the right pair of kicks can apply well beyond just sneakers. They have taught me about people, culture and business. Here are just a few examples:
I learned that when sitting outside for hours to get the newest pair, you should always bring enough food to share. (Immersion is key to understanding cultures.)
Following designers on Instagram is the best way to know what is getting released. (Learn who’s at the bleeding edge of the subculture because they are the one’s leading the way).
When snagging shoes online, order a size up. You can always wear thicker socks. (Like everything in life, leave room to grow.)
If you miss a release it is fine. Just get ready for the next one. (Perseverance is key to sustaining good work.)
Using your friends' phones to enter a sneaker raffle increases your chance of winning. (Teamwork and the ability to cooperate can take you far.)
Everyone has their own style and should wear what is right for you. (Difference in thought is what makes this industry interesting. I love learning from my peers and find challenging one another rewarding, unless you are into Crocs. Then I don't know if we can talk.)