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Kicks are usually given a unique caption worldwide, some say that kicks are men’s greatest invention. Johan de Jager simply states that kicks are a lifestyle and no longer just a shoe. Johan’s sneaker blog:, explores the “sneaker culture” in South Africa. His love of kick has enabled him to explore and tell diverse stories through capturing photography of different kinds of kicks. Explore his views and learn about his affection towards kicks and photography. 

How did the love of kicks come about?

I’ve been working in a sport apparel shop for almost 6 years and I’ve always been excited and curious waiting for a new model to arrive. When I just started working in the shop, I was a serious runner, so I guess you could say my hobby sparked my passion. My love for sneakers developed more when I started working in Braamfontein, Joburg where the “Sneaker Game”, as we call it, is on a whole new level.

 Any adventurous memory you went through with your kicks, if yes briefly explain?

In 2012 one of my friends gave me a pair of black high-top Converse. At the time I was also working for a traveling program. When we went on tour, I only took that pair and gained some proper mileages on them. I still have them and call them my ‘traveling shoes’.

 How long have you been taking photos of kicks?

I only stared about a year ago. I’ve always had a passion for photography and shoes so I decided to combine them.

 Take us through your kind of photography?

The first photos I took was with my iPhone 5 and it was basically just a shot of the side profile of the shoe. As I got the hang of it, I switched over to DSLR and experimented a bit more with different angles as well as locations.

 Any thoughts of opening a sneaker store?

Yes, I can’t tell you when but it’s definitely something on my bucket list…

 What's your personal opinion about the culture in the SA?

It’s getting bigger for sure when you compare it to about a year ago. The diversity of people in SA can be seen in all the different types of sneakers they wear.

What are your thoughts on all the different types of sneakers created nowadays? 

There’s everything from luxury to performance.

There’s literally something for everyone out there in all colours, shapes and styles. Nowadays you also see more collaborations. There’s no rules when you want to buy a pair. The shoes I wear are mostly running shoes purely because they’re just so damn comfy!

 What are you currently working on?

I’m doing a project with Drop your Drink (link) were we are going to do Instagram street walks and capture some of the styles on the street.

 What are 3 essentials you can’t spend a day without?

Coffee, my MacBook, and my Camera off course.

 What’s your favourite kick at the moment?

Oh, that’s easy. The Adidas Ultra Boost. By far the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn and I love the design.

 What can we expect from Hip kicks?

Better shots, better locations and more collabs with people.

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Imagery: Alessio La Ruffa
Solomon Molefe | Sneakers | Culture

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