Shoe hoarder? No. Shoe Lover? Yes.


By Manika Parseghian, Staff Writer

There are many cool and unique shoes all around Hoover High School. Even Hoover teachers will surprise you with their amazing taste in shoes. 

Ian Duong, a student teacher at Hoover this year, has up to 150 shoes and counting, with his collection being worth $50,000-$60,000 on the secondary market. 

“At first it was the community aspect of it because all my friends were collecting shoes but now it’s more of an investment piece,” Duong said.

Duong keeps all of his shoes in a room organized in a way that he knows where everything is when he needs it. 

“There are times where I pull out a few pairs of shoes, wear them for a month or so, then rotate them for another pair,” Duong explained.

Athletes do popular commercials for shoe brands in order to get more buyers, which was where Duong’s interest in shoes first started.

“I actually saw an ad Kobe Bryant did and he jumped over a car with his shoes, which I thought was cool,” he said. 

Duong brought his Nike Kobe VI Protro “Mambacita Sweet Sixteen,” – valued at approximately $500 on the secondary market – to the sociology class that he teaches while he was teaching about cultural objects and students bombarded him with questions.

“How did you get those?” one student asked.

“How much are those worth?” another student wondered.

Prices for shoes range from 50 to thousands of dollars, depending on the shoe’s quality and uniqueness. 

“The most expensive shoe I own is the Air Jordan 1 Diors,” Duong explained of the shoe, which costs between $7,000-$15,000.

Collecting shoes requires a lot of patience and smart decision making. 

Duong explained his experience with buying a valuable shoe. He has been lucky enough to win shoe lotteries that have allowed him to purchase shoes before the general public.

“At this point in time it’s just luck, before it was a lot of work and time, but now it’s just pressing a button and hoping for the best,” he said. 

How many shoes does he want?

“I don’t really have a goal of how many shoes I want. I buy what I like but I always told myself if I got the Venomenon Kobe 4s I would stop buying shoes.” Duong said.

There were only 48 of the Venomenon Kobes produced, according to Duong, with the latest price he saw a decade ago being $2,000. He estimates that a Venomenon Kobe 4 shoe would cost approximately $10,000-$12,000 today.

That would be a unique shoe to own.