By Adam Dove | Photo by Seth Binsted
When Nick Wynne was a child, doctors told him he might not be able to run by age 16. With an extra bone in his feet, pronation problems and little arch, he had to learn how to cushion and support “the poor excuses for feet” nature gave him. It was then that Wynne, a senior writing, rhetoric and technical communication major, took an interest in sneakers, and in seventh-grade he began collecting them.
The collection now includes roughly 85 pairs of shoes by Wynne’s estimate. The majority are red, black and white, his favorite color scheme. He owns all 23 pairs of Air Jordans, and many of his other kicks are also basketball shoes. “I’ve got J’s for days,” he said.
Because of his need for comfortable footwear, Wynne is well versed on shoe technology and its evolution. “Dude, you remember the T-Macs? Those were kind of ahead of their time,” he said. “They hid the midsole, and you just see the outsole. That became a huge trend, how it’s so low profile.”
His favorite pair is the high-cut version of the taxicab yellow Jordan XII’s. “They were the first Jordan to use zoom air, which is my favorite cushioning technology,” he said.
Wynne’s second favorite pair is the Olympic version of the Jordan VII’s, as seven is his lucky number and his birthdate. The VII’s are also the shoes Jordan’s Dream Team wore at the 1992 games in Barcelona, and they’re labeled with MJ’s Olympic jersey number nine rather than the customary 23.
Wynne’s shoe collection lent itself to photography as another closely related hobby. “It went hand in hand,” he said. “I would buy the sneakers, and I would find really unique ways to photograph them and capture their essence and their materials and their design.”
With pairs of J’s lining his closet for days, Wynne should have no problem finding material to shoot.