Inside Yu-Ming Wu’s Closet

Yu-Ming Wu could go a couple of years without wearing the same shoes twice.

The 31-year-old Web designer co-founded FreshnessMag.com in 2003 to cover the “amazing culture surrounding sneakers.” So it makes sense that over the years, Wu has amassed more than 800 pairs of shoes and turned the basement and second floor of his Brooklyn, N.Y., home into storage space. The collection is so immense that Wu chronicles each pair he wears on his personal blog, Liquidrice.com. “I try to wear a new pair every day because I want to document every pair that I own on the website,” he said. “That’s the goal for Liquidrice.”

The Web publisher’s passion for sneakers started when he was a student at Parsons The New School of Design in New York and bought a pair of Nike Air Max 1 running sneakers from a friend. “Through high school and college, I’d always owned a lot of sneakers, but I never really collected,” Wu said. “But when I got those, they were so dope that I needed to find more shoes like that.”

Footwear News recently browsed Wu’s hoard of shoes and got an inside peek at true sneaker love.

Pairs owned: More than 800

Brands owned: Adidas, Asics, Jordan, Nike, Penguin, Puma, Reebok, among others

Organization system: Wooden and metal industrial shelving and plastic boxes

Time spent picking which pair to wear: “Ten to 15 minutes. I have in mind what I want [when going out]. It’s a little bit tougher for some of the fancier events because I don’t own many not-so-wild-looking sneakers. I don’t want to go there and be the outsider. Any random sneaker is cool inside the sneaker world, but to the outside [world], no one understands.”

In place of a dress shoe: Air Jordan 1 Tuxedo. “I have a pair in black patent leather, and I wore them on the red carpet in Cannes, France. No one noticed anything.”

Most spent on shoes: “I used to own a pair of Nike Denim Dunk SBs. I paid around $1,100 for them.”

Shoes on your wish list: “I’m trying to get a sample pair of Kid Robot Air Max 1s. I actually bid $2,000 for them on eBay recently. I lost, but I still want them. That’s the only pair I would pay that much money for.”

Favorite pair: Nike Air Max 1 Safari. “Looking at the shoe now, it’s such a classic. It was designed back in 1987, and it’s such a clean silhouette. It’s amazing. The shape and everything about the shoe is pretty much perfect. This is the shoe that got me started.”

Rare pair: “I have the Nike Coraline Dunks, with the tail on the back and all. It’s one out of 1,000, or something. My friend Rob Heppler from the Weekly Drop [blog] gave them to me.”

Wears on a rainy day: “Any non-mesh pair. It doesn’t have to be a real rain shoe. I just don’t like having wet feet. I’d probably wear something like the [Nike Air Force 1 Premium World Cup — Portugal], just because they’re patent leather and I haven’t worn them in a long time.”

Most comfortable pair: “Nike Lunar woven chukka. I like the Nike Footscapes — they’re one of my favorites.”

Favorite places to shop: “Nike Sportswear is two blocks from my office, so it’s quick and easy. Alife Rivington Club is like family to me. I shop Nikestore.com a lot. I really don’t buy off eBay unless I absolutely have to, or it’s an amazing deal.”

Pair you’re embarrassed to own: “None at all. I’m a very core Nike sneakerhead. I own shoes of all kinds, but I just don’t wear them a lot.”

Buying philosophy: “If you have a favorite shoe and you don’t have more than one pair, that’s lame.”

Sneaker obsession: “You get to a point when you try to collect everything. I try to keep it to models I really like. For me, that’s the Air Max 1. I’m trying to get every Air Max 1 ever made. It’s a little tough.”

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