For over 15 years, the cult sneaker mag, appropriately known as Sneaker Freaker, has been the forebear when it comes to being really, insanely obsessed with sneakers.
Fortunately for you, this particularly virulent strain of shoe mania has culminated in The Ultimate Sneaker Book. As its title not-so-humbly suggests, this is..the ultimate sneaker book. But also, an anthology of the magazine from which it was borne. Edited by Simon Wood, the zealous Australian founder of Sneaker Freaker, it comprises over 600 pages worth of sneaker-related knowledge, history, photos and analysis. To say that it's the perfect gift (or purchase) for the sneakerhead in your life (or the sneakerhead in you) would be an understatement. It's available for pre-order now from Taschen, and is projected to ship in December.
You might be thinking: "Holy hell, how am I supposed to flip through, much less read, 672 pages of sneaker-related content?!?" Or you might not be. Either way, the book is helpfully divided into sections, such as Sneaker Moments, Sneaker History, Sneaker Advertising and a Sneaker Index. Within each, you can find mini-chapters on a vertiginous range of topics, such as the perfection of Air Force 1s, the symbiotic relationship between sneakers and hip-hop, Bill Sumner's classic Nike ad photography and a complete guide to Yeezy. Not that you really care to read any more about Kanye at this point...
Along the way, you'll also encounter odds and ends from Sneaker Freaker's archives. Perhaps, browsing the book as your friend bores you with that story he's told you a million times already, you'll come across a late-'80s interview with LL Cool J; maybe you'll pause, if only for a moment, to peruse a conversation with a dedicated Air Max 90 collector from Germany. Such are the random pleasures of owning a giant book about sneakers and those who love them.
Of course, you don't really have to read at all. Not if you don't want to. Like other coffee tables of its ilk, this thing's probably worth it for the pictures alone. Taken together, they serve as a visual history of the last 30 years or so, as seen through the lens of, well, sneakers.
To be fair, it's one of our favorite kinds of visual histories.