July 24, 2013 BY Aaron Kr. / 17
Folks, you are in for a real treat today! Many of us consider ourselves “collectors” for lack of a better term, but when you see a collection like the one that awaits you, it essentially redefines the word. There are plenty of sneaker enthusiasts out there who own hundreds of pairs with a healthy supply of “heat” mixed in, but there’s a next level of passion and determination that few collectors dare to pursue. If you’re willing to pay the asking price, anybody can scoop up “rare” and “limited” releases on eBay or at Flight Club, but where do you go to get a pair of Air Jordan XI Deion Sanders PEs or 20+ year old wear test samples?
Just ask Jermaine, a.k.a. Phase2, an accomplished sneaker connoisseur who unquestionably goes the extra mile on the regular when it comes to hunting down some of the rarest footwear gems the world has ever seen. When most of us see a vintage pair of game-worn Michael Jordan PEs, we may daydream about how nice they’d look on a shelf in our house before drifting back down to reality, but Phase2 actually goes for it! Dropping a grip for a pair of worn shoes in the wrong size or a ready-to-crumble pair of 1980s OGs is not for everybody, but for a devoted few, it’s the next logical step in climbing deeper into the unearthed nooks and crannies of the sneaker landscape.
In many ways, Jermaine is living the dream for all of us. Through his blog and social media accounts, he gets us as close as most will ever come to some of the most extraordinary relics and buried treasures in sneaker history. Whether it’s an Air Jordan player exclusive worn only once in a 2002 pre-season game or a crazy unreleased sample that never saw the light of day, if it wasn’t for bona fide sneaker archeologists like Phase2, we may have never known that some of these rarities existed.
While some of us have a more practical approach to our sneaker consumption, for others, the hunger runs much deeper. Having something the next guy doesn’t have has long been a cornerstone of the sneaker game, but for collectors like Phase2, that philosophy has basically become an art form. What you’re about to see just might blow your mind, but as difficult as this may be, try to fight the instinctive human urge to feel envy and despair over all these great shoes you’ll never get your hands on. Instead, let’s be grateful that passionate and dedicated individuals like Phase2 are out there to feed our own curiosity and knowledge every time they share photos of their prized acquisitions with the rest of us.