Ben Affleck has truly peaked as a sneakerhead. Hell, I'd even go as far to say that he's currently the world's biggest sneakerhead by virtue of his new movie, AIR. Like, there are almost certainly folks out there with bigger sneaker collections than Ben, sure, but have any of them directed a feature film about Nike that's gone on to play in theaters across the world?
Uh, no, obviously not.
With Nike biopic AIR, which Affleck directed and stars in as Nike co-founder Phil Knight, Affleck is finally bringing his footwear fixation to the forefront of the cultural conversation. About damn time, 'cuz this guy has worn more than enough rare sneakers to prove his sneakerhead chops.
Need proof? Happy to share!
We've exhaustively tracked Affleck's impressive Nike collection over the past year or so, simultaneously shouting out Affleck's signature grimace and insanely relatable habits.
It's such a cliché to say something like, "Celebrities! They're just like us!" (and it simply ain't true, really) but despite being a world-famous, ultra-wealthy, and terribly handsome guy, Affleck really is just like us.
Affleck's sneakerhead resume is wildly expansive but it's also a pleasantly unexpected.
Unlike other well-shod celebrities spotted in fresh designer duds with new Nikes to match, Ben Affleck is a pretty low-key guy. He dresses totally fine, don't get me wrong, but Affleck saves the flexes for his wrist and his feet.
Like I said, for being an A-lister, he's shockingly relatable: Affleck's just as likely to be seen eating McDonald's as he is to step out in Nike Dunks that resell for a couple grand.
But Air is where Ben Affleck and the average sneakerhead differ.
The Nike biopic wasn't conceived as a celebration of Nike — it purports to be a relatively unvarnished recreation of the events surrounding Nike's attempts to sign Michael Jordan and thus create Air Jordan — but that's basically what it ended up.
Now, I haven't seen AIR, which premieres on April 5, but I'm going off of Affleck's own words, official synopses, and the movie's trailer here.
The movie was given Michael Jordan's blessing, for one, and though Affleck didn't work with Nike in developing the story — "I did not have a conversation with Nike... because [AIR]'s not a history of Nike," Affleck recently said. — it ends up being a love letter, of sorts, to the company at the core of the story.
You can't have a Nike-adjacent story without talking product and, judging from all the beauty shots of Nike Cortez, Air Jordan 1s, and sneaker sketches we see in the trailer, I must assume that Nike product shows up quite a bit throughout AIR.
That's not a complaint, just an observation.
In spite (or perhaps because) of that, AIR is Affleck as peak sneakerhead.
And, yet, people aren't really giving Affleck the footwear cred he so richly deserves. Don't get me wrong, I'd also rather focus on his impressively memeable mug over some rare shoes but credit where credit's due.
I am curious, though, if all of Affleck's Nikes are gonna hit the backburner once AIR hits theaters in early April.
Like, maybe Affleck was just trying to get into character as Phil Knight and, now that AIR's behind him, he'll move on to adidas, New Balance, ASICS, and all the rest.
Or maybe Affleck, like Knight, is just a Nike lifer through and through.