Sneaker Spotlight: WHUDAT – Mathias Winks
Guest blogging for us today is Mathias Winks, he is Publisher/Editor in Chief of one of Germany’s most popular lifestyle blogs WHUDAT.DE Creating original and engaging content for their hoards of faithful visitors since 2004, touching on a broad range of topics from design, art, music, fashion, photography and of course sneakers. It was on that topic (sneakers) that we wanted to probe a little deeper and find out more, see what Mathias had to say and share.
I can still remember my first pair of brand sneakers very well because I received them a few days after my first day at school, just in time for the first sports lesson. Already at that time I was aware that I wouldn’t wear any unbranded shoes in the sports hall; what would my classmates, especially the girls, say about my Lico shoes that my parents bought me one year earlier at Plaza (a mega supermarket in Kiel with weekly special shoe offers). From the age of zero to the age of five, I didn’t attach great importance to an outfit with shoes matching to the breast pocket handkerchief. But at the age of six the time when the first important pictures that will accompany yourself the whole life #schoolcornet – you should already have a certain swag basis.
And now to finally resolve that it was a pair of Puma runners, a Top Winner. There were two models that looked alike, the only difference being the colour of the Puma formstripe: “Winner” (red formstripe) or “Top Winner” (blue formstripe). A pair cost 19.90 DM at that time which would be €10 today. In terms of the quality of the material and the workmanship, they were as good as today’s Stan Smith (€100, 200 DM) or the Common Projects Achilles (€340, 680 DM). The only problem was they were simply too cheap. Anybody who thought that he could perform as a fashion influencer in the area of stylish sneakers in the school class C1 with shoes for 20 DM was definitely wrong. So (at the innocent age of 6), I already learned the hard way the definition of Marketing and PR. What madness!
Then I developed a better understanding of sneakers, I took with me all the flyers with offers on them from the different shoe shops, studied the brands, looked in detail at the philosophy behind several brands, compared colourways and other unique characteristics or special features. After only two years, I found my new shoe of dreams the adidas “Allround” the predecessor of the “Tennis Special”. Even today I prefer the “Allround”. It was more simple, timeless, straight, didn’t have this bottom-up heel and no breathable stamped holes between the stripes. I think adidas should definitely re-release that one. When I left primary school to start middle school, I got the “Columbia”, adidas again (Nike wasn’t very popular at that time) but a few years later this changed drastically. The “Columbia” featured two different coloured plugs that could be used to adapt the pronation according to the best fit for each outdoor activity. For me the most important thing was the individual colour design. Blue suede leather, I was already very cool at that time.
Years passed by and I tried out diverse brands, different designs, I even owned a pair of Reebok “Pump” in between, the fit could be adjusted to the foot by pressing a mini basketball on tongue (the “Pump”). A great gimmick, but besides that for me it was a very ugly shoe unfortunately. Just to be sure, I switched to classic street shoes for a few years, wore Doc Martens and similar steel leather shoes with toe caps which were en vogue at that time. For a few months I even wore leather shoes by Lloyd in the time before only soul-less idiots with no sense of style or aesthetics wore them (1997 until forever). But my biggest mistake in the 90s was a pair of half-opened slippers made of artificial leather that had two bobbles on top. Today I would totally understand if I would have been kicked out on to the street by Karl Lagerfeld or Wolfgang Grupp, obviously I was very lucky at that time.
One day, I noticed that leather shoes cause foot malposition and also enhance smelly feet so I returned to the runner which was called sneaker in the meantime and whose price had increased fivefold. Of course, I stuck to Nike “Air Max” both the 90 as well as the “One” I could hardly wear them today because they have become too mainstream in my opinion. But I still think that this shoe has the PERFECT design, god save Tinker Hatfield! I believe one shouldn’t tie oneself down to one brand or design, especially not to only one specific colourway. I am a fairly new collector that possesses 42 pairs, I do however have a greater variety of shoes in my modified “Expedit” sneaker closet.
You can find a selection of my current kicks in my Sneakerpedia profile here (where Hadnet, Chris from hypesRus or Jan from Lodown have also presented their sneaker collections). I still have one small request: When I depart this life one day, bury me in sneakers.
You can check out more from MC Winkel using the links below.