Sneaker Freaker: Nat Young
Story by Theo Lewitt | Photos by Tom Carey We all have our kinks. Some like watches, some take pride in their fin collection, others are content just collecting Instagram followers. Nat Young, when he isn’t flying under Pipeline bombs or putting fear into the hearts of his world tour opponents, collects sneakers. Enthusiastically. Open the […]
Story by Theo Lewitt | Photos by Tom Carey
We all have our kinks. Some like watches, some take pride in their fin collection, others are content just collecting Instagram followers. Nat Young, when he isn’t flying under Pipeline bombs or putting fear into the hearts of his world tour opponents, collects sneakers. Enthusiastically. Open the kid’s closet and you’ll find stacked footwear boxes – not the kind filled with mementos and stashed contraband, but the kind filled with crisp, un-scuffed Nikes with laces yet to find their loops. Throw in a flurry of San Francisco 49ers football jerseys and a rack of Giant’s baseball jerseys, and there isn’t a whole lot of room left, yet, the collection continues…
Nat’s current daily rotation.
Stab: So. You’ve got a little sneaker habit.
Nat Young: Yeah… I’ve probably got about 60 pairs of shoes in my house.
You must have some tough decisions to make each morning. I pretty much have five pairs that are my everyday shoes that I kinda rotate through. Then I’ll throw in a few others if I’m feeling a bit flashier.
And how’s this daily lineup look? I’ve been wearing a lot of the Nike Roshes – they’re really comfortable running shoes. I’ve been on the ‘comfort over style’ thing lately. But then there are some Jordan 1 high-tops, and Air Force 1 low-tops that are pretty sick. Those are kind of the staples.
Go-to color? Black, for sure.
Is this a new obsession? Not really. I’ve always liked shoes, but now that I ride for Nike, they give us a budget to spend on their site. I think if I don’t use it, it goes away, so I order quite a lot…
On land, a jump like this would be assisted by Jordans. Above a West Oz lip, less so.
Were Nikes your thing even before you rode for them? I used to always skateboard, so I was always wearing skateboard-type shoes without a whole lot of preference. But, ever since I started knowing a little more about shoes, Nike has been my favorite. I love the variety.
Will we find you camping out on sidewalks for shoe releases? No! I’m not like that. I’ve honestly only gone somewhere to buy a pair of shoes once in the last few years.
What pair did you buy then? I went and bought a pair of black Timberlands. I like boots, but just wanted some that weren’t really the hipster type (Docs). I’m not into those… The Timberlands are the kinda boots that go with a little bit baggier of pants. I think they’re super cool.
Who has more shoes, you or your chick? I do for sure. She thinks I have some crazy obsession, and I’m nuts. I try and explain to her that if she had a LuLu Lemon budget she’d probably order just as much of that stuff as I do shoes (laughs).
Time was when this was the most common type of surf photo – the more vert, the better. It’s since been replaced by a flipped version, with tail at 12 o’clock rather than nose. But, this is still classic. North Shore Oahu.
Does that cause any problems? It’s almost more of an issue for my mom. She doesn’t think I have enough room for all of them and gets kinda pissed when I order more.
High tops or low tops? I pretty much only wear high tops. Probably most of the shoes I have are Jordan 1 high-tops, to be honest. I have a lot that I haven’t worn yet.
Shoe of choice for playing ball? Definitely Jordans. Keep it classic.
Any other sneaker freaks on tour? Jordy is really obsessed, too. We’re on the same page, but I think he goes out more to buy all kinds of more expensive shoes. He’s obsessed with Jordans as well, though, so we go back and forth talking ‘bout them.
You always scoping each other’s feet to make sure you’re not outdone? I’ve seen him jealous of my shoes before. But, the opposite happens too…
A return to regular transmissions – tail up and immaculate placement. WA.
What’re the most expensive shoes you’d buy? If I’m going out to buy shoes, It’s gonna be a really nice pair, not just everyday stuff. I’d probably get some Balenciagas, or something like that. Those are sick. (A pair of these kicks will run you upwards of $600)
Party nights in San Francisco… what shoes do you wear? Probably the Timberlands, or some high-top Air Force 1’s, or some Jordan’s…White ones. It all depends on the color of my pants and all that…Gotta have fun with it and mix it up.
You wear lots of SF 49ers jerseys… Have matching shoes for the team colours? Yeah, I’ve got a pair of red shoes for that…
Next addition? I have too many that I haven’t even worn yet, so I think I’m good for now…
“Grinding in my Jordans, kick ’em off they might be hot.” And, Pipeline.
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