From 12 awesome submissions, one reigns supreme!
For our Pick Of The Year, the love of basketball cannot be denied. It’s a universal language, an invisible handshake that unites people from all walks of life. The same goes for the love of shoes. It’s a part of our respective youths and will always remain that way. Our featured shoephoric for this month is a true blue fan inside and out who knows his kicks and the game that spawned it. Singapore-based with a Filipino heart, please make it rain for Mr. Jon Gonzales Garcia!
Can you share with us what you do outside of being a member of the shoephoric community and what got you into shoes?
I do Information Technology as an Assistant Vice President in an international bank. I’m into photography ever since I worked overseas and play basketball once or twice every week. Basketball is the main reason why I got into shoes.
I’ve always been passionate about basketball and the sneaker game that comes with it. When I was a kid my parents used to buy me ‘rubber shoes’ for basketball. I wore each and every one of them proudly when I play ball in school and in our barangay.
When I got into high school, I would switch my leather shoes with my classmate’s black Nikes before basketball tournaments.
The first sneaker that I ever bought using my own savings is the Converse ‘One Star’, the one worn by Ely Buendia of the Eraserheads. The most expensive shoes that I bought with my own money when I was in college was the adidas Kobe Bryant KB8. I remember using it hard for balling. I would also let my classmates borrow my Kobe’s during our intramurals.
Mainly, what shoe lines are you into? When did you start?
I’m into Air Jordans. Mostly Air Jordan 1, 3, 4, 11 and other new shoes that I can get for SRP. I started collecting Air Jordans when the AJ XI Bred was released in 2012. It was too good to wear and it brought back memories of my childhood when I couldn’t afford Jordan’s and I didn’t want to pressure my parents to buy them for me.
About the shot, tell us a little story about it. How did the shot come about?
Every week, we have a pickup game of basketball at OCBC Arena in Singapore. Me and my buddy Randell Pablo who also plays decided to shoot some of my shoes after our game. He takes really nice photos and has a lot of great concepts. So on that day, I brought 3 pairs of sneakers, one for balling and two for the shoot. But by the time we finished our game it was close to midnight, so we only managed to shoot just one pair. Little did we know it would become the Pick Of The Year!
As a collector, what pair are you looking into owning?
If given the chance (and money) I would get the Air Jordan 5 Tokyo, Air Jordan 4 Oregon Ducks, Air Jordan 4 Eminem Carhartt or Encore.
5. What are your top 5 pairs?
My top 5 pairs are:
1. Air Jordan 6 Slamdunk – I’m an anime fan and I’ve watched Slamdunk starring Hanamichi Sakuragi. I even use his number 10 as my jersey number. I liked the details embedded on the shoes, it’s as if I’m reading a manga.
2. Air Jordan 1 Banned – The Air Jordan 1 silhouette is my favorite and this one with an ‘X’ on the back is really a must for me.
3. Air Jordan XI Bred – This shoe is a childhood dream come true. It reminds me that everything is possible.
4. Air Jordan 1 Royals 2001 - I won this from a raffle in the US. It’s extra special cause it’s my first AJ 1 Royals.
5. Air Jordan 1 High OG Chicago – It’s my favorite because it has the same colorway as the Bulls home jersey. I also love the OG look.
Can you share with us an epic sneaker story of yours?
In 2013, I went to Tokyo with a friend and my wife. We were on a mission to find Kickslab. Pocket Wi-Fi wasn’t fully available during those days, so I looked for the closest landmark to Kickslab and from there we decided to just ask around. The landmark that I’ve got was YM Square Mall. From Shibuya, we asked someone from a local store on how to go there. He asked us if by train or walking. We said we will just walk, and then he pointed out a straight path. After walking for 30mins we asked someone again and he said just go straight, so straight we went. After maybe more than an hour of walking we finally reached (not Kickslab) but YM Square Mall! One of my friends was wearing brand new Timberland boots and her feet must be in pain! By then I was the only person left eager to find the store. My companions were so tired and were sitting on the street! XD
Finally, we found Kickslab and I think I went crazy that day! My eyes shined cause of all the awesome shoes. It was epic to see tons of beautiful sneakers right in front of you! We all made sure to buy shoes to compensate the long tiring walk.
Is there a shoe that you can never imagine rocking? Why?
I can’t imagine that I’ll be rocking the Air Jordan 1 Royals 2001 because where on Earth can you find this pair, my size and in DS condition? And the price tag is really high for me. But good thing lady luck smiled upon me and was able to win the raffle and get the pair below SRP value.
shoephoric is euphoria. It’s a community bringing people together to share their passion and love for sneakers.
shoephoric is the people behind the sneakers.
Any tips for those getting into the hobby for the first time?
My advice would be before entering this hobby is do some research.
Know when and where new shoes would be released and how is the release procedure and the mechanics.
Check the legitimacy of websites if you’re buying from an online store.
Check the legitimacy of the seller if you are buying it from someone you don’t know. Always do a legit check before closing a deal. Do not rush.
Don’t bite off more than you can chew.
Always remember that friendship is always greater than profits.
Enjoy the journey and make some new friends!
Shoutouts to my QuickStrikeAsia (IG: @quickstrikeasia) friends that helped me with this feature and for inspiring me every day. Salute!
To my basketball buddy and photographer Randell Pablo (IG: @randellpablo) who took the photo of the shoe that became #POTM and now #POTY. Hands down bro!
To my Pinoy SGKicks Collector (PSGC) friends and families who supported and voted for my entry. Appreciation and thanks!
To my Pinoy Basketball Camp and Supreme Pilipinas basketball team, thanks for the votes, support, t and your data plans! XD
To my colleagues, friends and families who supported me, thank you guys!!!
To my dearest and ever loving and supportive spouse that’s always tolerating me that I can cop the pairs that I want as long as I will wear them, I will use them all! Love you as always!
To God be All the Glory!