Thursday Thoughts: OSD Real?

Let’s delve into something that is apparent in the sneaker culture today. Every day we get sneaker news about release dates, future releases, samples, sneaker collections, celebs rocking sneakers, etc. Whether we think the news is good or bad is always up for debate. So let’s talk about…

OSD: Collecting or addicting? (Topic idea by John aka Lem)

“The truth behind Sneaker Collecting: A Hobby or Un-diagnosed Addiction.

There have been many in the sneaker culture that have labeled themselves as “addicts”.  Most of the time it’s simply a play on words that stresses someone’s enthusiasm about the shoe game. But have you ever really thought about it?  Being addicted to shoes? Sounds crazy, right?

Check out one of the various definitions for addict: To habituate or abandon (oneself) to something compulsively or obsessively.

Ask yourself these questions:

Have you or do you obsess about the upcoming release of a particular sneaker?

Do you plan your finances around the release dates of shoes?

Do you get a “high” when purchasing an anticipated release? Do you wonder why you bought the shoe after the “high” has diminished?

Do you long to feel that high again and eagerly await the next popular release? (Wanting another fix)

Can you wear a different pair of shoes everyday for a month or perhaps even two?

Have you ever forgotten what you have because you have so many?

Have you ever paid more than twice the amount for a shoe?

When people keep excessive amounts of newspapers, clothing, furniture or anything it’s known as hoarding. Are some of us hoarders? Are some of us addicted in the true sense of the word?

-John AKA Lem

I wish I could add more but Lem really hit it out of the park with this one. However, I will address one point he brings out and that is the last section.

I’ve seen plenty of TV shows about people who have OCD or some type of disorder and collect various objects and such. I’ve also seen people diagnosed with such disorders and personally know people who collect random items just because. Now before I go on, let’s get this out of the way. Yes, this can be applied to the collection of any objects but it’s a shoe site so we are focusing on the shoes.

Now that that’s out of the way, let us continue. Hobbies and addictions can go practically hand-in-hand but with shoes, it can be a little different. The hobby of collecting shoes is just to get as many sneakers as you want to satisfy a want. Example, you head to the store to grab a pair of Chuck Taylors. At the store, you see a bunch of other sneakers on clearance that are very tempting. However, you know what you came to the store for, so you just grab the Chucks. To me, that’s the hobby, going after what you want. (Obviously, if the shoes on sale were ones you wanted, I hope you hop on them.) Now for the addiction part, this is how I see it. Same scenario, shoes on sale, you want Chucks, all that jazz. Instead of getting the Chucks only, you grab all the other shoes. Why? Cause you don’t want them, you NEED them.

That’s the underlying difference between a hobby and addiction to me, wants and needs. For us sneaker addicts, we can see some collectors are really TRUE addicts. Think about the people who have hundreds of shoes but refuses to wear them, just keeps them deadstock forever. Now, it could be because they are keeping them fresh but it could also be because they just bought them to buy them.

I’ll stop now because really, I could write a novel on this topic (very good one Lem), but I’ll let the readers decide.

Hobby or addiction?

Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Written by: Jordan Rainey (@Jawrduhn)

Topic idea (& excerpt) by John aka Lem

(See something in the sneaker culture that catches your eye and drives you crazy or impresses you? Send it to only), and it could be used in a future Thursday Thoughts. Credit will be given if the idea has not already been planned or submitted by someone else. Remember, it can be anything sneaker related. Put “Thursday Thoughts” as the subject.)

About The Author

I write a little here and there for TSG... I'm the Gary Payton of sneakers cause I talk a lot... Follow me on Twitter: @Jawrduhn.

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  • jon paxson G.O.A.T.

    addiction!!! im always on the hunt.. i need help! i haven’t slept in two days, been wheelin and dealin.

  • J. Chang

    For me its an addiction….i pretty much do all of the above except fell like why did I buy these….its gotten to the point that when I take trips I’m planning things around hitting up shoe stores….last week it was ATL (thanks for the help again G Roc)….next couple weeks its going to be detriot chicago and dc (anyone can suggest the spots in should check out I would appreciate it)…. Definitely an addiction for me though….

  • @J. Chang – You’re welcome. Hope you enjoyed your stay in ATL.

  • No need to say anything. Everybody in the community know what it is.

  • J. Chang

    @G Roc…It was cool…a lot more spots there than in va…japan was still the best….well maybe second behind ny (I’m basis to home though lol)….


    its borderline addiction for me. its not like i’m stealin hubcaps to feed my shoe need, but everytime i say ima chill on buying kicks i find a Gel Lyte III in a dope color or run accross some other random shoe. the shit be callin me, man!

  • ja aka lacemob

    Do you plan your finances around release dates of shoes..yes i do, im trying to figure out how im going to pay my phone bill this month with picking up 2 pair of metalic

  • Bware113

    Great Read. Answers to the listed questions:
    1. Depends on the release: Cement IV I will and the Mars IV I did.
    2. If Necessary Yes, absolutely.
    3. a)I guess it’s a good feeling. b)Maybe once or twice
    4. Nope
    5. Yeap
    6. Yerp
    7. NEVER…there’s always a deal to be found for most.
    8. Some are hoarders in the the sense, which in their eyes I’m sure they see themselves as ‘collectors’ just guys comics or Star Wars stuff. Addicted probably so or else you probably wouldnt do it.
    I say I’m still at hobby status only because other hobbies keep me from becoming an addict.

  • Puerto-Black

    “Im Addicted to Fresh/6 pair of kicks, is my definition of 12 steps.” As I get older that outlet/come-up/talk down on prices is a better high since Bills became a part of life……………………………..SpiderMan is a Puerto-Black!!!!!

  • No addiction. Just something I do/buy. Simple as that.

  • Chadio

    As a member of the OSD fam, I’m gonna say I’m addicted. I don’t really have to plan my finances around shoe releases, but only because I am at a stage in life where I can afford to buy most of what I want. Shoes have been a major part of my life from the time that I was a little boy so it is a part of who I am. There isn’t a person on this planet who knows me doesn’t know about my passion for sneakers. I have travelled to other countries just to buy a pair. I don’t even count how many pairs I have at this point… yet when I look at the stacks and stacks I have amassed it still feels like I don’t have anything to wear. It has even gone outside the sneaker realm and into my gear. I have shirts that are 10 years old that still have the tags because I haven’t gotten around to wearing the shoes…yet LOL Anyway let me get off my soapbox!

  • Also. Something to think about…..if you call yourself a sneakerhead, does that mean your an addict…b/c when people call somebody _____head, it usually means they are addicted to something…i.e.: crackhead…or do you just look at it as a phrase or a nice term to associate yourself with.

  • @Jordan – When you receive a picture message and within seconds reply with a text… immediately try to call that person who does not pick-up because they are reading your first text and can’t figure out their stupid phone’s ability or inability to multi-task… then you text again while said person is in the process of calling you back! You might be a sneaker addict! LoL…

  • As you get older, kicks start to mean nothing.You have to go to work and support the family,unless you have a job where you can get fresh everyday, which I doubt.Some of us only get to wear fresh kicks on the weekend.Next thing you know you got alot of fresh kicks with no time to wear them,asking yourself wear did the summer go.

  • And yeah I am an addict.

  • I think OSD is more a part of it than addiction. OSD is like chum in the water… it gets everything flowing until the kill! Personally I don’t really lose the high… I appreciate every kick I own and they all have a story even if it’s, “I saw so-and-so with these and they looked insane… my OSD kicked in and I hunted them down immediately and have rocked them a week straight!”

    I will really obsess over a new pick-up(s) for a solid week or so. Just leave them laying out so I can look at them… wear them as much as possible then rotate them into the closet. I often pull up/out 2-4 pair for the week for a mini-rotation and basically OSD over each of them all over again like when I hunted them down for the first time!

  • I believe it can be addicting just like with anything else. I think calling it a “hobby” is a means of being labeled as a “Hypebeast”. I buy what I like, however my credit and bills are a higher priority for me.

  • Miles

    For me it’s sort of an addiction, i’m always waiting for the next pair to drop. I have shoes that I haven’t even worn yet and I keep buying more. And every time I say i’m not getting those, I find myself buying them. I work all week and the only time i can wear them is the weekend. I blame my mom when I was younger she never bought me Nikes or Jays just shoes from Wal Mart and Pay less, so i’m making up for lost times.

  • Eric

    GUYS, lets face it, if we come on here actually to see new shoe arrivals, we be ADDiCTS! Why lie to yourself or try to call it something else.

  • Eric

    Co-sign with Ill Will, I work all the time and my kicks see no light.

  • DatMezkinBoy

    Im a collector I usually buy the shoes I like. If I don’t get them I don’t trip…..j Chang in Chicago go to Madison and pulaski there are a few stores their if ur lucky u might find early realeases

  • Honestly I think its a two stage process for most “addicts”. When they are younger with less responsibility, they can purchase what ever they “NEED” and not have to worry about it. But as they get older MOST of us have to start prioritizing as bills, family, kids, buying house…etc come into play…

    It’s funny how after a certain amount of time you can see the change as people’s priorities change.

  • @ill will- I could not say it better myself Sir!

    I work at a bank here in WA and still sneak in wearing my all black leather airmax BW’ a business attire. WHY? cus I am an ADDICT. I don’t get to wear the fresh stuff in my closet unless I do something on the weekend. So I end up with a ton of kix I love (some DS) that never see daylight. I figure I can give them to my son when he gets older. He can be the retro kid (if that is still cool in 2025 or whatever). But I would never, never, never skip a bill or mortgage payment to buy a shoe. Too old for that BS…

  • TribeCalledKicks

    I don’t care for kicks as much as I did back in 06-08 I feel like the companies are trying to milk every shoe for all it’s worth and everyone’s falling for it. I just focus on my grails.

  • 203Sneakerking

    I’m Addicted I Have Over 120 Pairs Of Kicks But Sometimes I Get Bored With It The Sneaker Game That’s Why I Set A Goal For Myself “I Will Buy Every Single Pair Of Air Jordan Retros That Come Out” (Men Sizes Only Lol). I Really Started Taking My Collection Serious About 3 Years Ago But I Just Started That Goal This Year So That What Keeps Me Motivated When It Comes 2 Buying Sneakers

  • J. Chang

    @DatMezkinBoy…preciate it…I’ll be sure to look them up….

  • For me it can be addicting, but I’m not an addict. I’m in high school. I only have 13 pairs. (16 last week, just sold 3 to get cash up for sneakercon lol) Yes I definitely get obsessed about upcoming releases. And yes I most definitely plan my finances around sneakers. Really not much else I spend money on at this point.

  • Great post J…..

    LOL DunksRus…why we gotta be Crackheads?

    Even my kids know what is up. For my birthday, my 7 year old gave me a cut out picture of the Cement IIIs, and signed the back with…”Now you can wair [sic] your other ones in the box” refering to my DS Cements chillin in closet. True Story….we all got issues.

  • @Blackground- Lol.

  • justin t.

    although i playfully say im “addicted” im really not. do i love sneakers? yes always have and always will. as a college student i’ve had to pass on a lot of stuff that i’ve really wanted because other things are more important(books, grocery, etc) but if a shoe is about to release and i like it i save up an try to get them, if im not able to no big deal

  • @jerronimo, I feel you brotha.

  • Mr Kadillac

    The way I feel, it’s an addiction. The high for me is not only the purchase but when you can go into your stash and see a pair that just really makes your high resurface. LIke for example, when I saw the Lebron 8 South Beach for the 1st time I had this feeling like “I NEED THOSE IN MY LIFE” and it never went away. I was online looking for dates, looking at pictures, trying to find t-shirts and fitteds to match and then I waited online at FootAction and finally got them. Every since when I look into the box and everytime I wear them I get that same feeling. I think for alot of us that high never goes away. It’s like a kid who collects baseball cards and you get that Ken Griffey Jr. card in a pack or that Greg Maddux card you’ve been wanting for so long. It gets you hyped and you fall in love with the feeling. Plus not to mention alot of times the sneaker reminds you of your childhood. Like when I see the Air Force Max I think about the Fab 5 and how I always wanted them with black socks and yellow shorts because I wanted to be like C Webb and dunk on my indoor basketball hoop when I was 11. You know you can’t bring those years back but that feeling is always there somewhere.

  • I am an addict but only for certain drugs (shoes people). I collect shoes in a very weird way. At most I will only own 13 pairs at a time. (red, orange, yellow, green, blue purple, black, white, gray, and 4 personal grails). As one gets old or start to crumble I replace accordingly.

  • Also, I’m addicted to the reaction of making someone break their neck when I walk pass and the look at the kicks… (Pause for anything else that may be suspect lol).


    @Chadio, Damn Bro I feel you, Im glad im not the only one…I just gave my cousin over 15 new j brand shirts all oversized from like 3-4 years ago…I wouldnt be caught dead in a size 2-3x these days, lol You Gotta rotate and give some old pairs away too !!