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 31st edition of the Kickin’ the Door series, we are joined by Thamar Kempees.

Thamar, could you introduce yourself to the readers?

I always like to say I am from Rotterdam, but the truth is: I grew up in Middelburg, Zeeland. I moved to Rotterdam in 2006. My love for sneakers really started when I was 14, with the Air Max BW. There was a season in my life when I bought a lot of hype sneakers, but now I am just buying what I will definitely wear and truly love. I studied HBO Communications, but I never finished it. Currently, I am working as a marketer in the cultural sector of Rotterdam. I study Psychology and media psychology on the side. Next to that, I am the founder of the Boze Bitches Boekenclub, an intersectional feminist book club, and the Boze Baby's Boekenclub, a Drag Queen Story Hour for kids (and parents) from 4 to 8 years old.


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


#3 Nike x Patta Wave Air Max 1 'Rush Maroon'

(Released in 2021)

I own the Patta Monarch and Aqua also, but this colorway really speaks to me. It's not clear if it's red, pink, or lilac to me. I think that's really cool. The Rush Maroon was a W on SNKRS, I think.


#2 Nike Air Max 1 DLX 'Atmos Animal'

(Released in 2020)

If you tell me animal print is the new black, I will wholeheartedly back you up. I bought these at Deadstock Sneakermarket in Tilburg and I was really hesitant. Not because I didn't want them, but because the shoe is very fragile (because of the pony hair) and well, the price was also a thing. But my friend Rose, former Kickin' in the Door, persuaded me to buy these. So I guess I am sensitive to peer pressure when it comes to animal-printed shoes. This pair is a pair I can say I truly love to wear. It fits like a glove, and also: animal print!


#1 Melody Ehsani X Air Jordan 1 Mid WMNS 'Fearless'

I could think of several reasons why this shoe is special to me. First of all, I am a Gemini, two-sided, just like the shoe. The sentence on the shoe: If you knew what you had was rare, you would never waste it, resonates with me. I think we, as a people, are wanting, doing, and consuming way too much. Actually, I can't remember when I first learned about this pair, I just remember the feeling they gave me. And that was enough for me. I saved up for them because let's be real: they're stupidly expensive. But I bought them for my 40th, so that makes them special enough. 



Honorable Mention

Run The Jewels x Nike Dunk High SB '4/20'

This shoe isn't my size. It's actually 1,5 sizes up. I had this pair on my lock screen for ages, I laid my eyes on it and fell in love. The pink, black, and gold were just perfect to me. But it made me sad they started at 38,5, which was way too big. So I just walked with my dream shoes on my lock screen. But one day I asked a friend of mine about the sizing of SB, and he told me they ran small. So I bought them of Vinted, below retail, and I crossed my fingers it was a hit. And it was! I was super happy. It's also very cool that the sneakers are inspired by the album artwork of Run the Jewels 'RTJ4'. Not my favorite of RTJ, but you can't have it all.