We’re first attracted to a shoe for many reasons. Maybe it’s the eye-catching design, the bright colors, or the sleek lines. We stay committed to that shoe because of how it makes us feel. There’s an undeniable chemistry there.

In keeping with the romantic spirit of Valentine’s Day, the Eastbay copywriters present Solemates, a love letter to each of our favorite kicks. Our collective advice to you: when you find a pair of shoes you truly love — your solemate — lace them tight and never let them go.

Trent: adidas Alphabounce

Let’s just say I’m very picky when it comes to choosing a pair of shoes. Call me crazy, but when I finally settle down with a pair, I become extremely loyal to that shoe. Some could say I almost become obsessed. When I’m looking for a new pair, they better be versatile, strong, and in it for the long haul. The minute I saw the adidas Alphabounce, I knew this shoe was destined to be a companion of my feet for a long time.

The cheetah print tongue and heel, the bounce cushioning that makes me feel like I’m walking on clouds, and the black and grey colorway that matches with anything — this shoe is the ideal match for me. For the past few months, I have worn these shoes to the gym, in a five-mile race, around the house, and even to work. Yet these shoes still look like they are brand new, something you’d be hard-pressed to find in my closet. Let’s just say you can bet I will be sporting these kicks for the foreseeable future, my friends.

Brianna: ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 Comic Pack

I’ve never believed in love at first sight. That is, until I laid eyes on ASICS’ Comic Pack.

I first learned about these shoes roughly a year before they hit the market. Usually, this insider knowledge feels like a perk of the biz. This time, it meant a terrible test of patience. But as they say, distance makes the heart grow fonder.

A year later, when I finally lifted my pair out of the box, I felt the earth shift. My two worlds collided. Shoe lover, meet comic nerd. A truly dynamic duo.

As we jogged off into the sunset together, I realized that the ASICS GEL-Nimbus is more than just a pretty face. It’s a solemate and true running partner, softening the blows that pop up on this long road called life. They’re my perfect fit, and I’ve never felt so comfortable.

Our favorite date? Movie night. I lace these up for every superhero movie I attend, and it’s fair to say we’re quite the (super)power couple.

Chris: Jordan AJ 1

The Air Jordan 1 is where my sneaker obsession began, and nothing will ever compare to it in my opinion. The shoe changed the game forever and is so essential to today’s sneaker culture. The AJ 1’s history alone is enough to make any basketball fan fall in love, but on top of that, it’s just a super clean shoe that never goes out of style.

Other colorways might be more historically important, but my favorite is the AJ 1 ‘David Letterman.’ It was inspired by MJ’s appearance on David Letterman’s show, fresh of Jordan’s 63-point performance in the playoffs. The insole features a microphone graphic with the words “On Air’ to tie into the theme.

It is the perfect example of sports history and pop culture colliding, which is exactly what Michael Jordan, basketball, and sneaker culture has done ever since. I’ve ventured off to other Jordans and other brands, but I always come back to where it all began.

 

Lauren: adidas Originals Stan Smith 

I want you all to meet my solemate, Stan. He’s been with me for only six short months, but I love him dearly. Stan was born in 1973, but age is just a number, and like fine wine, Stan gets better each year.

He fits me perfectly, which is why we were destined for each other.  We both enjoy long walks to any destination I want to go (Stan always lets me go wherever my feet will take me). Stan also complements so many of my outfits, so we always look great together.  His rose gold accents fit my personality to a T — shiny and bright. With his timeless style, I think we’ll be together for a very long time.

Jake: adidas NMD Runner

The adidas NMD Runners have been one of the hottest shoes for the last year or so now, so there are a lot of great colorways I could choose from. But if most of their colorways are a slam dunk, the all-white ones are a blindfolded, behind-the-back, jumping from the free throw line jam.

The stretch mesh upper keeps my feet cool and dry, the leather heel tab locks my foot into place, and the Boost cushioning turns my comfort up to 11. But let’s be honest, the best part about this shoe is that it just looks so clean! When I step outside in these during a hot summer day with the sun shining down, a chorus of angels will probably descend from the heavens to bless my every step.

Looking For Your Own Shoe Love?

Check out our full selection of shoes in every sport, style, and brand — your perfect pair is waiting. Then, tag us on Twitter and Instagram to show us your #solemate