words // Zac Dubasik

I hate to be the kind of person that starts a story by saying, "I remember back when..." for a few reasons, but mostly because it reminds me I'm not that young anymore. But it's appropriate here, so I have to use it.

I remember back when shoes actually were hard to find. These days, if you're willing to pay enough, you can get your hands on pretty much anything you want.

But back even 10 years ago, when eBay wasn’t AS widely used, and not every relevant model from the late ‘80 and ‘90s had been retroed, it was truly hard to track a lot of things down.

The Air Trainer SC 2 is probably my favorite shoe of all time, and I was so determined to own them, I once bought a pair of crumbling size 8s, just because it was the first pair I'd come across after seemingly years of searching. Today, if I search for that very shoe in my own size, I have about 10 colorways to choose between.

Want a pair of Air Mags? Flight Club has a pair in stock right now for a cool $7,250. How about Red Octobers? At the time if this writing, I counted 23 pairs in my size, 13, currently listed.

There are lots of shoes I'd love to have, but either can't afford, or aren't willing to pay the resale price. And sure, there are shoes I’m always on the lookout for, hoping to find for a steal. But this is about a pair that I haven’t been able to find at any price, from someone willing to part with them.

The Nike Presto is probably one of my top 5 models ever, for two particular reasons. One, I love how it looks. And two, it’s one of the most comfortable shoes ever. Sure, I roll my ankle in them an average of once-per-wearing, but it’s worth it if I’m going to be on my feet all day.

I’m not particularly picky when it comes to Prestos. They’re so comfortable, I’ll wear pretty much any colorway. But there’s one particular edition of this early-2000s classic that I’ve been on the hunt for, for many years. A size XXL pair of the Ice Picks.

I’m not typically a fan of graphics on shoes, but this is one of the few exceptions. Then again, thanks to its tonal nature, it comes across more as a texture than an actual graphic. Either way though, it’s my favorite colorway of one of my favorite models of all time. And I can’t fine them. And I don’t even think they’d fetch that much if a pair did pop up.

To make things worse, my co-worker and friend NDP has a pair, and also loves them, so he isn’t willing to let them go. And I can respect that. I wouldn’t trade or sell them if I had them. Because, again, in years of searching, I haven’t come across a pair at any price.

Over the course of the week, the rest of the Sole Collector staff will also be sharing the shoes we’ve been on the hunt for. Let’s hear your stories in the comments of the shoes you haven’t been able to find.