If you have a passion for collecting rare or exclusive footwear, you're probably all too familiar with catching yourself developing some strong emotional ties for certain pairs from your collection.

In the monthly Kickin' the Door Blog series, we welcome fellow Rotterdam-based sneaker aficionados and footwear connoisseurs to share the Top 3 sneakers from their collection and let us in on the stories that make them so unique. 



For the 29th edition of the Kickin’ the Door series, we are joined by Maartje.


-Maartje, can you tell us about yourself and your introduction to sneakers?

I grew up in a tiny village in Brabant, and always tried different styles and tapped into different subcultures. I was going through a colorful phase with big-logo and print t-shirts from Scandinavian streetwear brands and that just seamlessly connected with sneaker culture.

I bought my first special pair of sneakers in 2009 and never left. But even before that I always wanted unique pieces and looked for stuff that other people didn't have. As a toddler, I already had a really strong opinion about my clothes and my mom couldn't dress me in anything I didn't want to wear.

I studied trend-watching and concept development. And after many years at agencies, I now work as a freelance consumer researcher and brand strategist specializing in lifestyle and culture. Over the years I have worked for many brands like Nike, Reebok, Jordan, Foot Locker and Timberland. Besides that, I also do freelance work in sneaker culture, and am currently working with Crepe City and hosting/organizing panel talks for their Amsterdam event.


We are curious - What are Maartjet's Top 3 sneakers from her collection and more importantly, what are the stories behind them?


#3 Nike x Skepta Air Max Tailwind V

(Released in 2021)

I love TN's, Tailwinds and I love Skepta, so I immediately had a crush on these. Then I saw the live interview with Skepta on the SNKRS app, and that made me fall head over heels with them. Especially the story about butterflies and how they develop and grow and ultimately become these beautiful insects. That really moved me and still has a special place in my heart as I feel that I'm also trying to develop myself all the time and grow as a person. I also love that the paper inside and the shoe box are designed to match the shoe.



#2 Nike x The Basement Dunk Low

(Released in 2017)

The day this shoe was released, me and my best friends happened to be in London. We went to visit Crepe City tand to do some shopping. So obviously we had to visit The Basement Pop-Up shop. Unfortunately, we went quite late during the day because we first visited Crepe City. But we went anyway, just to try our luck. And lucky we were!

After standing in the rain for 1 hour, (You know, London...) we got in and were still able to get them. It's such a good memory of a great trip with my friends. The material of the shoe is so cool and it just starts to look nicer the longer you wear them and as the materials start to wear off and come to life.




#1 Comme Des Garçons x Nike Air Max 95 (CUSTOMS)

(Released in 2020)

I own a couple of Nike X CDG collabs and always love what they do. I thought the Air Max 95 was a really nice one and added them to my basket a couple of times. But when I saw the custom that Lorenzo made I just had to have them.
I know Lorenzo through my work as a researcher. I found him through the Basement and asked him to participate in a research for Nike Foot Locker. That's how we got to know each other and started following one another, and we have always kept in touch.
Then he started to create these amazing customs. He even was in touch with Virgil Abloh about his work. I am so proud of him, to see him work and see what he creates, and the collaborations that he is doing with big brands. That makes me really happy to own a pair customized by him.





Little Nike Shox Turbo

(Released in 2004)

I tried to keep myself from going crazy and buying kids' shoes before I was even pregnant, so as soon as I was, I bought these shoes that I was eyeing for a long time.

I love them so much, I wish I could buy them for myself. Now let's just hope that my son wants to wear all these crazy shoes that I bought for him.