Sophomore Maria Munguia shows off her Air Jordan Retro University Blues, her favorite pair of sneakers.
Sophomore Maria Munguia shows off her Air Jordan Retro University Blues, her favorite pair of sneakers.
THE MIRROR | GIANNA IOVINO

Inside the brain of a sneakerhead

A shoe collector reveals what makes her hobby special to her and the challenges of being a footwear aficionado.

Among the surplus of hobbies and obsessions, shoe collecting might be one of the most expensive, yet satisfying, ones for a teenager. 

Sophomore Maria Munguia explains the origin of her hobby and other interesting aspects of those who identify as sneakerheads.

Munguia explains that her shoe collection expresses her personality through their designs and colors.

“I collect shoes because they represent my personality and they also look nice,” she said.

Though still only 15 years old, her interest in shoes sparked at quite a young age.

“I got into shoes when I was about 10,” Munguia said. “I went to a shoe store and saw some white Air Forces and ever since then I’ve been a sneakerhead.”

Shoes, along with many other objects nowadays, are very expensive, the average shoe price in 2023 being around $130. As a teenager without a job, Munguia says she’s found a system that works for her.

“Sometimes I get a little help from my mother,” Munguia explained. “I usually work with her to earn money for my collection. When I’m close enough, she helps me balance it.” 

Seeing as shoes are items that constantly come in contact with the ground and other objects, they can get dirty very quickly. Munguia expressed that because she spends a lot of money on her shoes, it’s discouraging to see them get dirty so easily.

“When I first get my shoes I make sure not to crease them and I clean them each time they’re dirty,” she said.

Munguia seems to have an affinity for Jordans; her favorite and most expensive pair of shoes are called the Air Jordan 4 Retro University Blues, which retail for $200.

“My favorite brand is Jordan shoes and basketball shoes as well as Nike,” she said. “Most of my collection is made up of Jordans and the reason is that Jordans have a backstory to their shoes, which makes them more valuable to me. Also, Jordans are just good looking shoes.”

Though Munguia’s hobby is partly financially supported by her mother, her mother doesn’t share the level of interest in shoe collecting as Munguia does.

“My mother feels that buying expensive shoes is a waste of money,” she said. “She believes that shoes are to wear, not to collect. But if you really think about it, everyone has a shoe collection.”

Sophomore Maria Munguia collects shoes as a hobby. She collects mostly Jordans due to their unique backstory and good design. (THE MIRROR | GIANNA IOVINO)
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About the Contributor
Olamide Olumide, News/Features Editor
From writing stories at the back of my elementary school notebooks to my unhealthy obsession with law-themed shows, (especially Lucifer), I've always loved telling and reading stories. As a returning staff member to the Mirror publication, I intend to explore my interest in writing in a more in-depth way as well as reporting stories in a dynamic and interesting perspective. Besides writing and law, I'm an absolute sucker for the kpop industry.
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