words // Zac Dubasik
All-Star Weekend, 2004. Being from Cleveland, I remember the disappointment from people around here when LeBron didn't make the All-Star team his rookie year. He would have been the first Cavs player to make the team since Tyrone Hill -- which is obviously a little funny -- but it just wasn't meant to be that year.
But while LeBron's All-Star edition of the Air Zoom Generation never came out, nor was even worn, since he didn't make the game, another sneaker did: The Wheats.
I loved the Wheats the second I saw them in the mall that All-Star Saturday. I didn't even know about them prior to that trip, and didn't know they'd be worn that night, but I had to have them. I decided to buy them right then and there, only to be disappointed when I was told they only received one size 13, and that it had already been sold.
It was no big deal. I hadn't even known they existed a few minutes prior, and I figured I'd just get them at another mall.
The shoe wasn't particularly limited, and I came across them time and time again. But each and every time, they were sold out of size 13. I remember them eventually going on sale, all the way down to $79. And that made it hurt even more. I was still searching, but still no luck in size 13 at any of the stores around me.
About a year later I came across an online retailer that was here and gone, but legit. And I finally found them. Size 13. Brand new. And $20 over retail. Plus $20 for shipping. They ended up costing me about twice what every store around me had them on sale for, but it was the only time I'd ever seen them in my size. And that was the day I came to the conclusion that size 13 is the hardest to find.
I'm sure everyone thinks their size is particularly hard to get, especially when they can't find something in it. But I'm going to make my case as to why I think size 13 in particular is a tough one.
For one thing, people actually wear it. It’s not crazy to find guys anywhere from 6-foot, all the way to almost 7-foot that wear size 13. It falls within a not-very-extreme size range, yet stores typically only get one pair per style.
Us size 13-ers also don't have the option of going up or down a half size. Tell me the last time you came across a 12.5 or 13.5 in anything but a team hoops shoe. That means, unless we are willing to wear a 12 or 14 that doesn't actually fit, we really have to stick to size 13.
Finding an existing pair of size 13s can be a hard enough task. But it's not uncommon for a size 13 to not even be made with particular models. Visvims? Forget about it. Many Y-3s? No way. I realize I shouldn't complain about this too much, and that people wearing size 14s and up have much more of a right to be upset about this issue. But when added to the others, it helps to make my case that size 13 is one of the toughest to wear.
What about your size though? After taking a look at some of the NBA's most interesting sizes, it's time to share your own stories. Have you ever found that you have a hard time tracking down your own size, while you see neighboring sizes sit, awaiting someone to grab them? Are you a larger size that often isn’t even made? Or are you such a common size that there’s an abundance of competition on them with ever release? Share your stories in the comments.