The Last Sneaker My Mom Bought Me in 2003

by Christian Atles

Mom Said "No Mas"

I have so much to thank my parents for that are more important than clothes. They provided me with the gift of life, shelter, food and, more importantly, they always supported me even in my downfalls (a lot them). I come from a low-income family who are immigrants and money was something that was hard to come by.

Let me share with you the sneaker that my Mom said "no mas" (translation: no more). It is the futuristically designed Air Jordan 18 "White - Sport Royal". It was released in 2003 and this is the year that my mother stopped buying me expensive Jordans. This was also the first pair of Jordans for Big Kids that was priced at $100 (correct me if I'm wrong).

I still remember seeing Michael Jordan wearing them in the Nike Commercial to promote them. It was great storytelling through the use of asking a simple question, "What is Love?", as Michael was playing his last season in the NBA. Once I saw the commercial, I fell in love and wanted to own a piece of history. For me, this shoe is what got me in love with the design aspect of sneakers and understanding the back story behind each piece. 

Love At First Sight

I begged my mom for these and told her that I would take care of them and get the best grades (neither happened - sorry Mom). After several days of begging and playing a good kid act, she eventually gave in.

The journey to Foot Locker was filled with excitement, fear and nerves. I was excited because I was going to be the only kid in school with these (another kid had the black color), fear because my mom wasn't too happy about splashing $100, and nerves because I wasn't too sure if they would have my size. 

We got off the bus and entered Foot Locker. I knew where the kids section was so I walked in a pretty fast pace leaving my mom still at the door. I stared up (I was a short kid) and saw them. The most clean white and blue pair of sneakers standing out to the rest of the sneakers that were merchandised.

The Foot Locker employee came over and asked the typical sales pitch question "Do you need help with a size?" I asked for a size 6 in the most low voice and with teary eyes (hoping this would help me with those back door pairs they always had on hold).

"Let me check for you. I think we may not have anymore" (hate when they do this).

The agony and nerves came back to me with my heart somewhat beating faster than usual. My mom finally caught up and asked, "These are the ones you want? They're ugly!" Mom always said the pair of sneakers I got were ugly as she was more into dark color sneakers (easier to clean and last longer).

The employee came around with one arm behind his back and as he came closer, I saw that Jordan Box hiding behind him! "You're lucky. I had to search hard for them and finally found them" he said. I lit up in joy and took the box and glazed at them. As I took the right pair out the box. I started to unlace them to try them on (noticing my mom hover over me with a serious face). 

My right foot went inside and as I got up and went to the mirror, I said "Ma, I love you so much" and she hissed at me with love. We walked over to the checkout counter and as she took out her wallet to pay, she reiterated to me "Ya no mas". 

This was the start to my journey as a sneaker collector, sneaker enthusiast, sneaker lover and hustler as I needed to start paying for my own sh*t. 

Dedicated to my Mom and Dad. Gracias!


Shared by Christian


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  • Yeah, our moms always said, no more while their love released the benjamins for our true loves.

    Bry Sr -

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