Sneaker collector stories continue as we head back to Germany and talk to Münster native Phillip “Sneakophilo” Reckhaus. His elaborate collection of runners from different brands embodies the signature European vibe but has a lot of elements from other brands thrown in for a wholesome character. In this feature, Phillip opens up about his childhood, his view on different brands and shares his top 5 sneakers with us.
My name is Phillip Reckhaus but friends call me Philo. I’m 31 years old, come from Münster, Germany, a picturesque university city of about 300,000 inhabitants and I study art history. Besides collecting sneakers I also avidly collect books about art and architecture, something I already did when I was about 11/12 years old. I’m quite a nerd when it comes to modern art and architecture because it is something that I’m occupied with almost the entire day and I love to have controversial discussions about current developments in the worlds of art and architecture.
What gravitates you towards Sneakers? What’s your fondest childhood memory of a sneaker?
My fondest childhood memory is the Jordan 11 which I got in 1995/96 after a long discussion with my mother based on the shoe’s price tag. Finally I won her over and you can imagine how happy and proud I was to have these incredible shoes.
How did it all begin? What turned you into a collector?
I believe the initial trigger for my sneaker love was the mid-1990s NBA hype in Germany when I started to watch and play basketball. And of course I wanted the shoes my heroes Michael Jordan and Shaq O’Neal were wearing since they were often prominently featured in magazines.
My actual collecting started about 2.5 years ago: I bought my first Asics GL3 and afterwards wanted more and more of them. From there my interest also turned to other Asics models and also to Puma, my favourite brand.
How would you describe the sneaker scene in your city? Are there any sneaker rivalries between neighboring cities?
I must confess that my hometown Münster, despite thousands of students, doesn’t really have a scene. There’s no good sneaker store, only the standard outlets of the big chains. That’s also why I don’t feel any rivalry between my city and another.
What made you fall in love with runners in general? You have Puma, Reebok, Adidas, ASICS, Karhu, Axel Arigato, and even Jordans in your collection. Which brands do you see yourself going back to the most and why?
Runners just appeal to me, I guess, and they simply are a good fit with me. I’m relatively slender and bulky basketball shoes simply look ridiculous on me. Although I do like a certain variety in my collection, my favorite brands without doubt are Puma and Asics. I love the Blaze of Glory, the Disc and the recently reissued Prevail and I also love the Gel Saga, the GT-Cool Xpress or the Gel Mai. I feel particularly attached to these models because I think not all of them are incredibly popular and require a second or third look to really be appreciated.
What are some of your favorite sneaker boutiques? Tell us about your favorite collab.
My favorite stores for shopping probably are Afew in Düsseldorf, Overkill in Berlin and Titelhelden in Hamburg. In terms of collabs I’m really digging Mita at the moment because with the Asics GT-Cool Xpress “Lotus Pond” they designed my current favorite collab-wise. That unusual colorway on one of Asics’ most comfortable models just won me over.
Being a German, you get to closely watch Puma vs. Adidas all the time. Which brand do you think is doing an overall better job and why?
Well, that’s a tough question that I won’t be able to answer objectively. I guess Adidas is doing a lot of things right because they are incredibly successful at the moment. On the other hand the hype they fuel leads to me being rather disinterested in Adidas: everyone’s wearing Ultra Boost and NMD’s these days and I’m pretty tired of seeing them every day everywhere. With the Tsugi Shinsei Puma recently released a very original model that finally fuses their Ignite technology with a both fashionable and innovative silhouette that might help them better compete with Adidas.
Your Top 5 Sneakers from your collection
In no particular order, these are my current favorites and are always subject to change.
Puma x Staple Pigeon Blaze of Glory
Puma Prevail OG
Puma x Kickslab Disc Blaze Storm Trooper
Asics Gel Mai OG
Le Coq Sportif R1000 Retro Affiches Gray Morn
The one shoe that I really want and never find is the Sneakerness Paris x Puma Blaze of Glory they released in 2015. The colorway is beautiful but I never see one for sale.
A big and wholehearted “Thank You“ goes to my girlfriend who is ever so patient with me, doesn’t mind me occupying a lot of space in our house and doesn’t get tired of answering the door when new shoes arrive. Of course I also have to thank all the nice people I met due to our shared love for sneakers, I really appreciate our talks about sneakers and sneaker culture!
Sneakophilo’s been on my radar ever since the sneakerhead-in-focus series kicked off with our first feature of a German sneakerhead. At that time, Phillip’s collection wasn’t as deep as it is today and I had told myself I’ll come back to this guy. He wastes no time with box shots and is all about that on-feet action, something I personally admire a lot. His choice in silhouettes is excellent and so is the photography on his feed. Another great thing about his collection is the number of GR’s he owns and wears making him instantly relatable to anyone who feels lost in the sea of collabs. I’m thankful to Phillip for letting me feature him and for putting in the time and effort specifically for this feature.