Every story has a beginning, and that’s as true for sneakerheads as anyone. We all have that special shoe that transcended just being protection for our feet and earned our appreciation on a higher level. Maybe we actually got that sneaker, or maybe we didn’t, but it was a catalyst for a passion that’s stuck with us ever since.

While many have fallen in love with sneakers after that first connection and chosen to embrace it as hobby, some have even turned it into something they’re actually known for. We spoke to notable sneaker personalities for the first installment in a new series where we explore the sneakers that got us started.