Sneaker collector Janz Abdullah does not believe in sealing his collection of 100 pairs of highly prized kicks in display boxes.
The 26-year-old proudly wears his shoes come rain or shine, including a pair of Nike shoes that is easily worth US$10,000 (S$13,980) on the resale market.
"Some people call me crazy for wearing a pair of shoes that is worth thousands, but I'd rather display these 'heat' shoes on my feet," he says, referring to the slang word used in the sneaker community for footwear that is particularly rare and exclusive.
Mr Janz, who helps to run his family's Malay apparel business, will be showcasing some of his more exclusive footwear tomorrow at Sole Superior, Singapore's biggest sneaker and streetwear convention, held at nightspot Zouk.
There will be 57 vendors at the event, including a mix of global brands such as Nike and New Balance, independent streetwear labels and individual collectors.
The convention, in its fourth edition this year, is a one-stop shop paradise for sneaker and street- wear enthusiasts.
BOOK IT/SOLE SUPERIOR
WHERE: Zouk, 17 Jiak Kim Street
WHEN: Tomorrow, 1 to 7pm
ADMISSION: $20 at the door (children aged 12 and below enter free)
More than 2,200 visitors attended last year's edition, from 1,600 for the first edition.
Visitors every year would start queueing from as early as 7am to get first dibs on the items sold at the convention.
More than $20,000 worth of prizes are also up for grabs in the lucky draw, including the recently launched Adidas Yeezy Boost 750 in grey/gum, worth about US$1,000 on online marketplaces.
Mr Jonathan Fong, co-organiser of Sole Superior, says more consumers consider sneakers a must-have in their wardrobe.
"The sneaker wave is tremendous right now. Everyone from fashionistas to students are coveting sneakers," he says.
Mr Janz has been hooked on heat kicks since 2010, when he paid about $550 for a pair of Nike Air Yeezy 1 from the brand's first collaboration with a non-athlete, rap star Kanye West.
So far, Mr Janz has spent about $30,000 on his collection.
He has also started a business based on his reputation in the local sneaker scene. Last year, he released T-shirts emblazoned with the word "Janz" on the front and all 30 of them were sold.
He will be selling limited edition T-shirts with new designs at the convention tomorrow.
His favourite pair of sneakers in his collection is the special-edition Nike Dunk Low Pro SB "Pigeon" that is signed by American streetwear legend Jeff Staple, the designer behind the shoes. Mr Janz traded four pairs of sneakers for it.
He got it 10 years after the shoes were released in 2005. The launch sparked a riot in New York among fans, complete with machetes and baseball bats. There were more people who queued than there were shoes available for sale.
"There is so much history behind the shoes and this is why I even collect sneakers... as each pair has a story behind it," says Mr Janz.
The floppy-haired sneaker enthusiast now owns four pairs of the model, but the other three are not signed.
"I will never sell the signed one," he adds.
Sole Superior will be running for the last time at Zouk's Jiak Kim Street location because the nightspot will be moving to Clarke Quay later this year.
Mr Fong hopes the event can continue at Zouk's new premises.
For Puma sneakers fan Kenny Goh, 31, attending Sole Superior each year is a chance for him to catch up with fellow sneakerheads.
The business executive says: "It's a place where sneaker enthusiasts can come together and check out what's available on the scene."