SNEAKERHEADS know the struggle and dedication that’s needed for one to get into and stay in the shoe game.
There are a handful of reasons why people take up collecting shoes as a hobby. It could be the novelty of owning limited editions. It could be swag of adding statement pieces to their fashion ensembles. It could even be all about the lucrative investment opportunity it presents.
Ilokano sneakerhead Charles Estavillo has been in the shoe game for almost 10 years now, dating back to his high school days. And for him, it was all about the art.
To him, shoes were like a painted canvas hung in museum walls that pleased the eyes but at the same time possessed a rich story worth knowing.
“I started collecting sneakers because I just truly enjoyed seeing an aesthetically organized stack of sneakers in my bedroom. But at the same time, the history of the shoes that I collected also mattered to me, particularly the collaborations and the artists who conceptualized and designed it,” he said.
His shoe collection began with general releases, as well as the floral-themed releases of Nike’s Stefan Janoskis. As the years passed by, his shoe portfolio expanded to around 35 to 40 pairs, with a wider variety in terms of brand and models.
Estavillo counted down some of the precious pairs he'd scored over the years. An Adidas X Bait EQT Support Future 93/17. A Nike x Off White Mid Blazers "Grim Reaper". An adidas Yeezy Boost 700 "Inertia”. An adidas x Pharrell Williams NMD “Human Species”. Varying colorways of the Yeezy Boost 350 v2.
But aside from being a shoe collector, Charles was also a gaming fanatic.
Growing up, he’d be known as a regular or “suki” together with his friends in some of the computer shops around the city. In intense internet cafe sessions, they’d play all day until their parents stormed the shop and called them back home for dinner.
Since then, it was his dream to have a gaming desktop of his own. While he started off with an entry level PC, it couldn't keep up with the specifications he needed to play the games he wanted. Plus, he also needed extra horsepower for other creative tasks like video editing.
That experience led him to eventually learn more about the DIY PC scene. He watched reviews, joined communities and visited forums online reading up on the subject matter.
“That convinced me to invest in building a high performing PC so that I don’t have to frequently upgrade by buying a new model every time,” he shared.
In order to build his dream rig, however, he needed to make a choice: PC or sneakers?
In the end, Estavillio decided to sell off a part of his collection to finance his gaming dreams. “It was a risk that I needed to take, investment-wise,” he said.
He built his computer part by part, selecting mostly Aorus-branded components. At its current configuration, he has a Ryzen 5 2600, powered by a RX 5700 XT GPU and 16GB of RAM, all slotted into a Gigabyte Aorus B450 Pro motherboard. Waiting to be installed, though, are his new finds: a Ryzen 5 3600 and an NVidia RTX 3060Ti.
For good measure, he even has a Bathala gaming chair, from a local brand founded by one of the former members of E-Gilas.
At first, he just wanted a PC that would be enough to run the latest games. But, as he fell deeper into the rabbit hole of the gaming universe, he was inspired to assemble a console capable of streaming as well.
While he saved up for each individual part — CPU, graphics card, hard drive, the works — time became of the essence. The parts he needed for his build only had limited stock, while the demand in the community was high.
Luckily, with the help and guidance of friends from several gaming communities, he was able to secure the parts and finally complete his set-up amidst the pandemic.
Today, outside his day job, you can catch him streaming the likes of PUBG, Apex Legends, The Forest, and Mafia II on Facebook. He also hooks up his PC to his phone to livestream Call of Duty Mobile plays.
“Looking back at all of my experiences and hardships to build my gaming console, I’m very much satisfied with the outcome of my PC. I am proud to say that my dream build is finally in front of me,” he said.
But now that his PC dream is finally complete, he's turned his eye on a new goal: Rebuilding his shoe collection.