by Hunter Johnson on Unsplash

When Sneakers Turn Us into Gollums

Julia E Hubbel
7 min readMar 31, 2018

You have to have a bank account and a level of sneaker addiction that is incredibly serious to shell out twenty grand for a pair of sneakers.

However, assuming you have that kind of dime and most assuredly nothing else worthy of your financial attention (such as critically important charities, helping starving vets, hell, I dunno) you can acquire these:

Air Jordan 3 Retro “We The Best”


At some point, and I have no idea where that point lies, we have to ask, how did a sneaker end up getting valued at more than some cars? You wear them, they fall apart, they stink. And your twenty grand? Really?

But you want those sneakers. Somehow they make you into…..well, not Michael Jordan. What you did was buy Michael Jordan more cigars.

Your Shoes or Your Life..or Both

In 2015, reported that some 1200 kids are murdered annually for their sneakers ( That number continues to rise. The hype that surrounds these sneakers- all wholly imaginary, the implied promise of “ being like” Jordon or Le Bron or anyone else who shills these shoes — causes kids to be shot or beaten for their footwear.

In November of 2016, Nike unveiled their HyperAdapt Self-Tying shoes for a mere $720. For those of us far too lazy to lean over and tie them ourselves, and who for some reason feel the need to have flashing blue LED lights announcing where we’re walking, these are perfect. They would be vastly more useful if the shoes also had a motion sensor alarm that went off every time the wearer — face pressed firmly into his iPhone- was about to get run over by a bus.

Here’s what one breathless reporter had to say on the tni website:

You can hear a whirring sound. And it encases the foot. Seems more like an Iron Man’s shoes, right? Yes, but they are not made of Iron. The whirring sound is the mechanical elements. But that noise is not high. And one more feature is the large blue battery light and five tri-color LEDs

Julia E Hubbel

Not writing here any more. You're invited to peruse my writing on Substack at .Also visit me at