“My first pair of sneakers that I could honestly say, ‘I’m cool now’ were Giuliano [Fujiwara’s] and they had snakeskin on them,” says Ride Along 2 star Kevin Hart. The 36-year-old father of two might be best known for cracking jokes and starring opposite Hollywood’s leading comedians, including Will Ferrell and Ice Cube, but he’s also got a sneaker collection to make any hypebeast envious. “I’m probably at 500 to 600 pairs,” laughs Hart via phone, adding, “I bought some of the same ones again.”
That collection includes everything from “pretty much every Jordan you can think of” to rare Air Force 1s and Cartoons, sneakers reworked by the tattoo artist Mister Cartoon. “I turned the dressing room closet into a Jordan closet,” jokes the comic, adding that he’s attempting to curb his habit. “Right now I’m big on limited editions. I’m big on the ‘you can’t get them’ or ‘can’t find them’—that idea of limited exclusivity.” And one of his favorites is also one of the sneaker world’s most coveted kicks: the Air Yeezy 2 Red Octobers. “A lot of people didn’t know they glow in the dark. The red sole clashes with the sneaker, and one night when I wore them I saw the red glow,” Hart says with excitement. “I was 35 and saying, ‘Did you see my sneaks glowing?’ That’s when I had to re-evaluate what’s important.”
Hart says all this with a laugh, but when it comes to wearing the sneakers, he has plenty of serious styling advice to offer. His Instagram is flooded with images of him all over the world in slick ensembles punctuated with hard-to-find shoes. “There’s nothing cooler to me than dressing down an outfit with sneakers,” says Hart. “It’s a great way to wear a jean. Or dress it up with a nice high-top or sophisticated low-top.” As for the red carpet, Hart suggests—you guessed it—designer sneakers: “I love being able to do that. It’s about who you are and what you have on your feet. My mom told me that you can tell a lot about a man by how he keeps his sneakers.”
Particularly when one has designs on his very own sneaker. The actor has been working with Nike on his own cross-trainer expected to be released this April, the Hustle Hart, which he says is equipped for everything, “from lifting to running to jumping to being all over the place—this is a great shoe to have.” And with his own shoe under way, is there anything that still eludes the sole collector? “The [Air Jordan 10] OVOs,” he says immediately. “I have the cream 12s, the ones that are round in the front, in the cream and gold color. But they just came out in black and Drake is being a jerk,” Hart laughs. “I don’t like to use my relationships to get them, but I’m going to have to get those.”
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