An avid collector or sneakers, Devon Still, defensive tackle for the Cincinnati Bengals, seemed more than eager to put down his Call of Duty video game, the same game he considers himself “one of the best” at, to chat with me about his outrageous sneaker collection.
The 23-year-old NFL star claims he has more than 50 pairs of sneakers, many of which he loves equally and rotates throughout his wardrobe. “The first thing I decide when getting dressed is what shoe I’m going to wear and then I go from there,” Still says.
Still’s affinity for shoes comes from a rather sentimental story, believe it or not. “When I was a kid, my family didn’t have a lot of money. We had just enough to get by, so we didn’t get to have that many different shoes. As a kid I used to see kids with a bunch of shoes and I only had one pair. When I made it to the NFL, I started buying all those things I wanted as a kid that we couldn’t afford and shoes were definitely one of them,” he admits. “I guess you could say it’s one of my most expensive hobbies, I probably buy two or three pairs a month.”
No matter how much I love sports, as a chick, shoes are definitely something I too can get behind. Here’s a little look at our interview:
JL: First off, should I call them tennis shoes or sneakers?
Still: Sneakers. For sure.
JL: Ok, well what kind of sneakers do you like the best?
Still: Majority of the ones I have are Nike. Definitely a lot of Jordans, and a lot of Foamposites.
JL: Ok, I know all about Jordans, but Foamposites?
Still: Yeah, Penny Hardway’s shoes. They’re real big right now. You’ve never heard of them?
[Interview Break: Foamposites debuted in 1997 with a hefty price tag of $180 and were a signature shoe of the former All-Star Penny Hardaway. Websites such as Nice Kicks show upcoming release dates and custom models like the Mountain Dew release, clearly indicating Still isn’t alone with his obsession, er collection.]
JL: What’s Hardaway doing these days?
Still: I have no idea. I know he’s making a lot of money off his shoes.
JL: Clearly. What’s the most expensive pair you own?
Still: My Galaxy [foamposites] that go for around $1500-$2000.
JL: Those are about the same price as the red-soled Louboutins! Do you ever wear them or do they sit in your closet like a glassed-in autographed Babe Ruth baseball?
Still: Oh no, I wear them. I’ve had them for maybe six months and probably wore them twice.
JL: For special occasions?
Still: Yeah I guess.
JL: What about clubs and bars that have strict dress codes with sneakers. Can you still get in?
Still: They don’t have a choice. These are expensive sneakers; they gotta let you in.
JL: What are your newest pair?
Still: My Air Jordan 4 Retro, they were about $150
JL: Which ones are your favorites?
Still: Probably those Galaxies I mentioned. Those are my favorite. I also have a pair of foamposites in my team colors. They are silver, orange and black.
JL: Where do you buy most of your sneakers?
Still: Sometimes my Nike rep hooks me up, but also from a local place in Cincinnati called Corporate. It’s personally owned and he sells to a lot of the Bengals players.
JL: I heard last year that some people were killing over some Jordans around Christmas? That makes me sad.
Still: Yeah, people were killing over those Galaxies I was telling you about – they are so limited and sell out so fast and you never know if they’re coming out again and people go crazy. I definitely have to watch some of my shoes and where I wear them.
JL: Speaking of Christmas, are there any sneakers on your list this year?
Still: Air Jordan 11 “Bred” [Scheduled to be released this month.]
JL: Who do you give your Christmas list to? Santa?
Still: Nah, I’ll probably ask my parents for them. I’ll put that in somebody’s ear in my family to get me those Jordans. [hint, hint]
JL: Are you afraid your daughter [she's two] is going to grow up and love shoes half as much as you? Girls’ shoes are expensive too, you know?
Still: I think all women have a love for shoes so I’m sure she’ll love them that much more because I’m a sneaker fanatic. I buy her Jordans from time to time. She likes them, so we’ll see.
JL: What about one day when you make it even bigger, making your own line of shoes?
Still: Nah, I’m good. I don’t have the imagination for creating my own, I’ll just buy them.
JL: I’ll let you get back to playing Call of Duty. That’s a pretty bold statement to say you’re one of the best.
Still: I know.
Note: This post is part of The Blonde Side’s Momentum Challenge series to interview one active player from all 32 NFL Teams within the short time frame of 34 days. Devon Still’s sneakers cross the Cincinnati Bengals off the list.
Jayme Lamm is a freelance sports and travel writer based in Houston and is currently in a full-court press writing her hugely opinionated sports column, The Blonde Side. Follow her travels for sporting events and check her out on Twitter.