Shoes perform many functions. They cover feet, protecting them from the elements, while adding grip and traction. In addition, shoes communicate cultural messages of status, wealth, education and clan. A 40,000 year old invention, shoes have evolved in shape, material and ergonomics, yet are still essentially unchanged from their humble origins.
That is, until now.
In early 2009, Bobbito García, famed New York sneaker historian and DJ, collaborated with Keds to bring humanity a shoe that distills 40,000 years of shoe technology into a styled, comfortable object, more talisman than footwear. The example you see above, in the Nugget Gold colorway, features luxe-suede lateral and vamp, contrasted by white accents of diagonal lines, heel and midsole. Adding to the rune-like quality of the shoe, cryptic messages are inscribed throughout, referencing the history of the man and the sneaker cult he embodies.
Donning a pair of Add On Royal Flash Mids, one feels as if your feet are enshrouded in the excitement, energy and passion of pickup games played on the basketball courts of Spanish Harlem 30 years ago. In the video below the Bobbito explains his transition to manhood was the day he got his first pair of Pro Keds, an experience he describes as becoming "true deal, true article." I cannot say it any better myself. While I don't share the cultural experiences of Bobbito, I do feel a kinship and solidarity with the vision he espouses of manhood, maturity and positivity that comes with wisdom and experience.