Filip Bendersky, 19, followed his sneaker obsession straight to the Brooklyn Museum's The Rise of Sneaker Culture exhibit for a "sneak" preview before it opens on Friday.
Elizabeth Semmelhack is both a shoe historian and the curator of this rare and valuable collection. Every piece of footwear stays behind glass, like a coveted jewel. She says the oldest sneaker in the exhibit is a running shoe from the 1860s. It also showcases the original Converse All Star from 1917, the original Keds Champion from 1916, and sneakers designed for celebrities and made by pop artist David Hirst and top fashion houses Prada, Christian Louboutin and Jimmy Choo.
The exhibit is really a timeline of how important the sneaker has become in urban culture, from the early days when they were made from rubber and for only a wealthy few to spreading mainstream with canvas and leather, to today, coming full circle, when once again the latest greatest sneaker is considered a status symbol.
Sadly, for teens like Bendersky none of these shoes can be bought. But they will be on display at the Brooklyn Museum until October 4, 2015.