Boom Gonzalez says, “I am not a true sneakerhead. I don't wanna discredit the real collectors in the KICKS game by saying I am one. I believe that true collectors or sneakerheads are the ones who really invest TIME, EFFORT and MONEY."
An ambassador of Nike since 2006, Boom Gonzalez feels blessed to be a part of the Swoosh family. His ties with the leading Sportswear brand has allowed him to work with different retailers and partners - which Boom considers his second family. Thankful for all the opportunities, innovations, products for the last 10 years, his promise to deliver the BEST for the brand has been evident in his everyday life and work-related events.
With over a thousand in his sneaker collection, Boom recalls only purchasing 10% of these - mostly are exclusives from other countries that he gets to travel in. With this in mind, Boom shows 100% RESPECT to the TRUE collectors. Still, at the end of the day, his LOVE for sneakers is shown starting from the design process, the innovations, the unending stories, the product packaging, and yes - even the smell.
An unending learning procedure, Boom admits that he is not a sneaker expert but an enthusiast.
Harnessed with a proper mindset combined with respectable core values, his quest for a better life began as he worked and studied simultaneously during his high school years all the way up to his college degree.
More than sneakers, Boom has a story to share. Learn more about him, his inner-motto, and his love for the Swoosh in this very inspiring Q&A.
BG: “It started when I moved in with this club DJ friend of mine, CYRIL. He had an ancestral family house with a lot of rooms. He knew I was looking for a place and had not much money so he offered for me to stay there for peanuts practically. We practiced mixing and “djing” everyday using vinyls... old school style... Which brings me to his sneaker collection, a lot of various brands. Old stuff. Classics. Stuff I've never seen or knew about. So with some money, when I could afford I started my own very small collection from his influence.”
BG: “When you talk about moments, I think it was 2001. A huge fan of my radio mixing show, who eventually migrated to the U.S. sent a package to the station and when I opened it, it was a pair of PRESTOs. I couldn't believe anyone would go through so much trouble to send some stranger that he hears lang on radio, a pair of what was a game changer of a shoe back then. Prestos were everywhere... and I never had one. Again... I used the little money that I had for only essentials that I needed. Fell in love with them. And it was unbelievable for someone like me to have that much of an effect on someone just through music.”
BG: “No way I can tell you what is my favorite really. But I will tell you what is the most significant, it’s a pair of red Waffle Racers. The first shoe that used the waffle sole invented by the Bill Bowerman. It was the very first shoe given to me by Nike in 2006, which started our decade long relationship. I didn't know what those shoes meant back then. But once I found out the story of that shoe and the fact that it was my first from them, makes it the most memorable in my collection from Nike. Today, I have all in all a little under a thousand sneakers...”
BG: “Let's just say I work 7 days a week for 9 months of the year. Lately I have eased up on the actual work and slowly balancing it with business interests. I need my coffee, water and gym clothes always. If there's a little break and I can train, I will try to squeeze it in. A lot of food too, I eat a lot in a day!”
BG: “Blessed. Fortunate. My relationship with them became very personal too. Both local and the South East Asia team. When it comes to Nike Sportswear (NSW), I love the classics and some of their modern iterations. The Internationalists, Prestos, Huaraches, Air Max 1 OG. From the later ones, the Zeroes, Sock Darts, Flyknit Racers. To the upcoming Presto Extremes and the hybrid shoe, Lunarcharge. I'm excited for these but there are so many more favorite iconic stuff in other categories too!”
BG: “I don't try to be too conscious about forcing any kind of connection with anything.. I just be comfortable and if appreciated then good. If not, no harm. Collecting sneakers I think is like appreciating food, when you're young and ignorant you just get what's fed to you. If home cooked food is all you knew growing up, then that's great for you. Then you mature and start getting out of the house. Trying restos with friends, trying different cuisines and travelling and tasting different food. You discover there's much more than home cooked food. (No matter how delicious and feel good it is) You develop different tastes. A discernment. So same with sneakers. The more you meet people, the more you read, the more you understand other stuff like history and innovation, the better or broader or more discerning your taste and appreciation gets. You're not (always) dictated by HYPE or just what's popular anymore. (Even if they're good) You appreciate back stories now. Gives a shoe more SOUL, hence you love them more.”
BG: “My parents never gave up. Always soldiered on. My dad was incredibly motivational and my mom is truly inspirational. I do all of these for them.”
BG: "It has exploded for sure, but it is still evolving. Some of the true experts actually think we are still at the infant stages as a whole. But there's a lot more to learn about it. And I'm part of that population who are still learning along the way. As for sports... Filipinos are truly passionate!”
BG: “Dream big. Nothing replaces hard work. But as a friend would always tell me.. it's not just about working hard, it's about working right. Doing things for the right reasons. Not for glamor or popularity or superficial reasons. There are no shortcuts... I've worked as a dishwasher, bike mechanic, cashier and bust-boy, DJ'd in bars and parties before all of this today!”
During this interview Boom recalls his younger years as he started from scratch: "It's truly ironic that I have so much in my collection now because I grew up not having much. Not much money for shoes, school uniform, food or anything else for that matter. We had tough life. And growing up I had to only stick to what was essential. Only what was needed. That's where money went for us as a family. One pair of shoes for the whole school year. If it's still good enough for the next school year, even better. Same with school uniforms. All the kids in grade school and even high school always had new stuff. Not me.”
Forever thankful to his friend, Edward Pascual, Boom says that Edward’s family helped him a lot by giving him uniforms and sneakers. An unbreakable friendship, Edward always wanted Boom to save up money by having him picked up for school, or even driving for him. With this, Boom regards Edward as his most treasured friend. Beneath the television screens, the radio shows, and his tasteful sneakers, Boom’s life journey exhibits proper work ethics, faith, family, friendship, and respect.
A heartwarming story for everyone, Boom adds that he feels lucky enough that he has worked earlier in his life in different fields. A perfectionist, his story never stops from being one of THE BEST hosts in TV, radio, events, and sports.
Geared with the proper skill set, his involvement in food, fitness, clothing, and retail businesses, wouldn’t be possible if he did not explore, and FAIL and then recover. Reflecting on his life accomplishments, Boom’s inner personality takes form from Bill Bowerman, the creator of his most significant pair: "The real purpose of running isn't to win a race, it's to test the limits of the human heart.”
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