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Community Collections celebrates Memorial Day with one of the U.S. Navy’s biggest sneaker enthusiasts. This special edition feature not only puts this serviceman’s collection on full display, it also features interesting insight about the unique differences in the sneaker culture around the world. Reggie Bince is currently serving overseas in Italy, but his passion for shoes goes back to his upbringing in New York. Now with a closet full of rare gems that he has collected across the globe, Bince is ever interested in opening his own sneaker shop when his service is complete with the Navy.

Click through the feature to hear Reggie’s unique sneaker story, and see some of his personal favorites including his Most Rare Pair and Most Frequent Wear. Drop a line with your feedback in the comment section at the bottom of the page, and keep Nice Kicks bookmarked for everything sneakers.

Photography by @epicfrecklez

Name: Reggie Bince
City: Queens, NY -> Italy
Instagram: @Reggie1000aire
Size: 10
Started: 2003

Sneaker Story:

“My collection started in Queens, New York and then went global. I always had a passion for sneakers, their stories, and the history behind them. I try my best to stay in tuned with the new releases, as well as some of the oldies that I may have missed as a kid. I remember having four boxes stacked up and my parents would say, “What do you need with all these shoes?”  Ha! Looking back at it now, I actually have a sneaker room, and when I’m done overseas, I plan on filling that room to max capacity. I would love to be able to open my own shop sometime in the future, for other shoe lovers all over the world to come check out and not have to worry too much about breaking their bank.”

Nice Kicks: When did you start collecting? Has your passion for the hobby grown or declined since you joined the military?

Reggie Bince, U.S. Navy: “I began collecting in late 2003, when I was employed and finally able to buy my own shoes. When I finally joined the service in 2009, collecting sneakers wasn’t just a hobby anymore, it became a lifestyle. I haven’t looked back since.”

NK: What is the difference between sneaker stores in the US and overseas?

RB: No lines! Ha! Probably the best feeling in the world to collectors and sneaker lovers worldwide.

NK: What is the difference between the sneaker culture in the US and overseas?

RB: Overseas, the sneaker culture is not always jumping to what’s in style NOW. They prefer just what makes them comfortable, and they stick with it. In Italy, I see 90% of people wearing Air Force Ones with different color laces, or Air Maxes, adidas and New Balance. That’s just what the culture here is into. Definitely different from the U.S. A lot of people I know and have met back in the states love a variety of shoes and where all Jordans, Foamposites etc.

NK: What are some of your favorite shoes you’ve collected while in service?

RB: “I’ve collected way more than imagined while in the service. Air Jordan 7 “For the Love of the Game”, “South Beach” Lebron 8s, “Galaxy” Foamposites, “Area 72” Barkleys. The only pair to this date that I’ve had a hard time acquiring would have to be the Air Jordan 11 “Breds.” I was at the mall waiting on the clerk to bring me the shoes from the back room, and as I turned around to look at the “All Black” Foamposites that also released on the same day, the clerk placed the shoe next to me and someone snagged it right from me and rushed to the cashier to pay for them! Never in my life have I wanted to rip someone’s head off over shoes, but that was one of those days.

NK: Have you encountered a lot of other sneaker collectors/lovers while in service?

RB: I’ve encountered more sneaker collectors and lovers than expected, from Nebraska all the way to the Middle East, and over in Europe. I still keep in contact with all of them to this day. Probably some of the most interesting people I’ve ever met in my life.

NK: Has your view of sneakers changed over time? If so, how?

RB: I grew up in a time where I can actually say that I have seen drastic change in the sneaker world. Nowadays, it’s all about the profit and resale value. The bigger the hype, the more bang you will get for your shoes. There’s no real love anymore in the sneaker world.

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