A local sneaker authority killing it on the gram invites us into his amazing walk-in sneaker closet
Words: Dylan Muhlenberg | Photography: Luke Kuisis
With a sneaker collection bordering on obsession and on the lookout for a home to call his own, after three years of renting across the city Chris Jack finally found a place with the perfect “shoe room”.
Shoe room is an understatement though, and doing the most in the small and awkwardly shaped space off of the master bedroom Chris has built what’s better described as a shrine. Floor-to-ceiling shelving is backlit by LEDs and underneath the display area is enough storage to keep the shoe boxes he can’t bring himself to throw away. Despite the abundance of everything in here it’s a calming space, which probably has something to do with how Chris individually hangs and colour codes his apparel and then arranges his sneakers by brand, silhouette and newness.
A man putting this much effort into his collection is sure to harbour heat, and as the host of Sneaker Stories Chris is happy to share this with his audience.
A DJ currently on hiatus, before seeing Chris' show on your Insta stories you would’ve caught him behind the decks, and it was through music that he first got into sneakers about a decade ago, after being booked on a nationwide DJ tour.
“I was given the opportunity to pick up a bunch of shoes from adidas HQ and saw kicks I had never seen before. Insane packaging, collaborations, backstories… I was really excited.”
Those who know Chris will tell you that he puts his all into whatever he does, and when that new shoe smell became more enticing than playing to a packed dancefloor, Chris quit exiting clubs on Saturday mornings and started lining up to cop new sneakers instead.
As you know, collecting sneakers isn’t cheap, but it doesn’t need to break the bank if you’re smart about it and a lot of Chris’ more expensive items have been acquired through trades.
“Spending 10k on a pair of shoes you can't live without isn't necessarily affordable, but trading one or two pairs of shoes you can live without, and costs you a fraction of that price, is.”
Which is not to say that the majority of his disposable income isn’t ending up on shoes. Depending on the release mechanism – raffle, camping outside a store, online draw – and exclusivity, Chris sometimes has to reach out to others to help his chances and has connects in all corners of the world.
Right now he’s copping a new pair of kicks a week to feed his habit, and shares his grails via what’s arguably some of the best local sneaker content in the country right now, @SneakerStories.TV.
Born from a need to locally showcase kicks and share information around them, Chris has gone from unboxings to in-depth reviews that have evolved with Instagram’s features over time.
“There's a lot more to sneakers than meets the eye. The design story behind the collaboration, the material make-up of the shoes, the technology created to produce a certain element, sizing, where to buy… All things I'm fascinated by and information that was largely unknown or overlooked by the majority of people lining up to cop the next hyped release.”With three reviews a week, live sessions and regular Q&As, Chris aims to extend even more offerings to the platform considering just how supportive the community has been.
Shooting and editing everything on his iPhone, Chris has reviewed over 200 pairs of shoes and other sneaker related product in a format that’s concise, informative and honest. Much like his personal style, the show is minimalist and highly serviceable. But what about actually wearing his kicks, what style advice does Chris have?
“I choose my kicks based on occasion, time of day and will often match my jacket, cap, or T-shirt to the colourway or elements of the shoes. Less is always more and I favour good quality items that not only look good, but feel good, too. I almost always pin roll my jeans to accentuate my kicks.”
Chris has selected his favourite pairs on Superbalist right now, so that you may kick-start your own collection, but tread carefully, or like Chris you may be dedicating a room in your house and a large part of your life to your sneaker collection.