Not Your Average Sole

Written By Thando Nojaja

I bet when you think “sneakerhead”, your grandparents are definitely not the first thing people that will come to mind. The term sneakerhead is usually reserved for the hip youngin’s, who rock sneakers for the culture, for expression and aesthetics of course. The common perception is that sneakers are for the young, the trendy, the cool kids. The latest kicks mean they belong to this generation, they are now, they fit in. My relationship with sneakers, however, is a simple
one, if it fits… I’ll wear it.

“Not Your Average Sole” Nike 5

Photo By Irvin Khumalo

As the saying goes, fashion repeats itself. It is evident, with the word vintage and retro popping up in the same sentence as trendy. Vintage stores popping up everywhere and “thrifting” has become a thing. Wearing what some would consider hand-me-downs has become trendy. Hours and hours are spent thrifting, finding bargains and merchandising those with off the rack fashion. Fashion from yesteryear has become an “IT” thing. I remember a time when we would not be caught dead in clothes our grandparents wear. Times
have changed though…

“Not Your Average Sole” Nike Air Jordan

Photo By Irvin Khumalo

 Now, what would happen if we switch it up a bit? What if our parents and grandparents wear
what we wear? What if we consider it trendy, as much as we consider it trendy for ourselves? In this series, photographer Irvin Khumalo explores the alternative flow of culture: where it used
to be, passed on from the older generation to the new. He is passing on the culture from the
young to the old. Dressing old folk in sneakers, because they are as comfortable and just plain

Not your average sole is a photo series on the figurative age of fashion, depicting how it passes
from generation to generation, and the literal age, as seen in the people in these photographs
making sneakers fashionable. So, the next time you’re out shopping for the latest pair of kicks,
grab a pair for your grandparents as well. Now that would be something!

“Not Your Average Sole” Nike Roshe

Photo By Irvin Khumalo

“Not Your Average Sole” Nike Airmax

Photo By Irvin Khumalo

“Not Your Average Sole” Nike SB Blazer

Photo By Irvin Khumalo


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