Steve Aoki has more than 400 pairs of sneakers — half of them are Adidas, including 70 pairs from the Jeremy Scott x Adidas line. And he knows plenty about packing shoes.
“I can travel my whole life in carry-on luggage — it’s my life,” the globe-trotting DJ shared with Footwear News in Los Angeles at the April 6 launch of his collaborative capsule collection of traveling gear with retailer Burton.
The Grammy-nominated hitmaker has put his wisdom learned from years of touring into a five-piece line of backpacks, rollers and accessories. The Steve Aoki x Burton collection ranges from $49.95 to $359.95; it’s available at the retailer’s flagship stores and on Burton.com.
“It’s modeled after me,” Aoki explained. “I’m a gadget guy and I like pockets for accessories and items. It has functions for iPads and computers. I sometimes [travel with] three computers with me, and my sunglasses, hard drives and luxury items like eye masks.”
When it comes to traveling with shoes, the sneakerhead advises devoting one piece of luggage entirely for footwear rather than mixing it in among other items.
“On the bus tours I have a whole bag with different shoes — fitness shoes for workouts and boot camp, and then sneakers that are just all about rocking the newest collaborations or what’s fresh at the time,” he said.
The producer added that a good alternative would be the exact opposite — traveling with only one pair.
“When I do tours I do a string of dates and come back and I’ll run through one shoe,” Aoki explained. “I’ll get two pairs — one for deadstock and the other to bash the s–t out of and do what I do on the road. When I got the Pharrell Human Being shoes, I hit up Adidas and said I needed two pairs. I need one to keep, because I’m a collector, and one to wear on the road and have fun.”
Admittedly, he used to be afraid to wear new kicks until he adapted a two-pair philosophy; now he can unapologetically hurl cakes at fans (it’s his thing) and stomp around to his high energy beats. “For a long period of time I had these shoes and I was like, ‘I’m never going to wear these things’ — so what’s the point? When I’m on the road I might get cake on them or dirt, or whatever happens when you do festivals.”
Aoki’s sneaker collection was recently estimated to be worth more than $100,000 by StockX.
“I did not know that — that’s why I brought them in,” he said of the estimation of his archive in Las Vegas. “Those shoes, sometimes I take them out and wear them, but I’d rather wear new s–t. I don’t even remember the last time I bought sneakers; I work so closely with Adidas. They always come up with new collaborations, so I always want to test to them out. I got some Yeezy. I like my Y3s and other new collaborative stuff.”