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BreakDance Decoded

TheDefinitiveSneakerGuide
forBboysandBgirls

ByErinHuang

BreakDance Decoded: Definitive Sneaker Guide for Bboys & Bgirls

Picturethis.Abridegroomwearingslippersatthealtar.

OrUsainBoltrunninginflippers.Whatdothesetwoimageshaveincommon?

Neitherhappensinreality,obviously.UnlessBoltisreadingthis.

Therealquestionis,whydoesnteitheroftheabovehappen?Simple,whenwelookatfootwear
weconsider:

1. Aesthetics
doesitlookgoodonyou?
2. Culturalcontext
hasitbeenacceptedbythegroupyourewith?
3. Practicality
doesitserveitspurpose?(Granted,Boltcanoutrunme,buthewontbe
competinginflippers)

BreakDance Decoded: Definitive Sneaker Guide for Bboys & Bgirls

Whenitcomestobreaking,weallchoosesneakers(mostly)forthesamereasons.Infact,
sneakershavebeenahugepartofourfashion.Ofcourse,nonbboyssportthefreshkickswe
wearaswell.

But,putarandomJohnDoenexttoabboy

Andbothguyswillbelookingatthesamepairofshoeswithreallydifferentlenses.

Andoneofthereallyannoyingproblemswevefacedis,

HowdoIchoosetherightpairofsneakersforbreaking?

Thereyouare,abboy/bgirlwithlittletonoexperience.Youreatawarehousesneakersalewith
amyriadofshoeslaidoutinfrontofyou.Theyreallwaitingforyoureagerfeettocaress
againsttheirinsoles

Butjustlikeselectingaboy/girlfriend,howdoyouknowwhatsgonnabeagoodfitforyou?

Sure,youvegotaroughideaofwhatyourtasteislike.Butyoudontalwaysknowwhatsgreat
towearwhenyouredancingonconcreteorparquet.Whenyouredoingslidingfootwork.When
youretrainingpowermoves.Whenyouwanttoprotectyourtwicestubbedtoes

Thelistofconcernsgoeson.

HavingrealizedtheresnoguideouttherethatIknowof(apartfrom

this
),

AndrealizingIvewornawiderangeofshoesinbreaking

Idecidedtowritethislittleintroductorysneakerguideforbboysandbgirls.

Thisguideisforthosewhoarentsurewhatsneakersaredecenttobreakin.

JustincaseyourewonderinghowIassesstheshoesbelow,itsprimarilybasedonthereasons
atthetop.TheseareshoesthatIvewornbefore,orarehighlyrecommendedbyother
breakers.

Also,Ifyoucomeacrossashoetermthatyoudontunderstand,readthis

shoeanatomyguide
inanewtab.

BreakDance Decoded: Definitive Sneaker Guide for Bboys & Bgirls

THESHOES

BreakDance Decoded: Definitive Sneaker Guide for Bboys & Bgirls

PumaSuedes

Thisisaniconicpair,theApacheofbreakingshoes.WheneveryouhearApacheatajam(and
youalwaysdo),youseetheSuedes.MostbboysIknowhavetriedtheSuedesatleastonce.

HeresRihannasportingtheSuede.
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BreakDance Decoded: Definitive Sneaker Guide for Bboys & Bgirls

FunFact:TheSuedewasendorsedbythebasketballlegend,WalterClydeFrazierandPuma
recreatedaSuedeforhim,callingittheClyde.

WhoWoreIt:
WatchThis

Aesthetics:Colourwaysareplentyseriously,checkoutthe

fullrangehere

Weighingscale:Relativelyheavy(comparedtoAdidasGazellesbelow)

Durability:Rubbersoleslastlongerthanmostpairshere

Goodfor:
Slidingonthegroundthesuedematerialissmoo
ooooo
th
Choiceofaesthetics
Decentprotectionofyourtoesandfeetsoles
Rubbersolesdontwearoutfast

Badfor:
Cleaning(unlessyouhaveasetof

JasonMarkksneakercleaners
)
Maintenance(youknowsuededoesntgowellwithrain,right?)

BreakDance Decoded: Definitive Sneaker Guide for Bboys & Bgirls

AdidasSuperstar

Anotherclassicamongthebboys.Youllprobablyseealotofgraffiticharacterssportingthe
Superstarbecauseitseasilyrecognizable.

BreakDance Decoded: Definitive Sneaker Guide for Bboys & Bgirls

SaySuperstaragain.Idareya,Idoubledareyamotherf**ker.

FunFact:
Withitssignaturethickshoetongue,thispairofshoeswasfeaturedorseenin
variousmedia
.

WhoWoreIt:

RunDMC
+aheckloadofbboysandbgirls

Aesthetics:
Theclassicversionhasaminimalistdesign(typicallytwocolours,onebaseand
oneforthesignaturethreestripes).Recently,theresthe

PharrelWilliamssupercolourseries
thatcomesin50colours.

Weighingscale:
YomamaHeavyasbricks

Durability:
theNokiaofsneakers

Goodfor:
Protectingyourtoesandfeetsoles(seriously,thisis

DurexExtraSafe
forbboys)
Spinningonthetipofyourtoes(notjusttheballofthefeet)
Tryingoutnewtechnicaltransitionsorpowermoves(especiallyifyoupredictyoullstub
yourtoeseverynowandthen)
Conditioningyourfoot/legwork,soyoullbefasterwhenyouwearlightershoesfor
competitions
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BreakDance Decoded: Definitive Sneaker Guide for Bboys & Bgirls

Slidingandsweepingonroughsurfaces(especiallyleatherthePVCmaterialdoesnt
lastaslongandmightcreaterips/cracksalongthewelt)
Feelingsolidonyourfeet

Badfor:
Speedinpowermoves(orgeneralmovement)
Makingyoufeelheavier/sluggish
Feelingchunky(moresothanothershoes)

BreakDance Decoded: Definitive Sneaker Guide for Bboys & Bgirls

AdidasGazelle

Ifyouwanttofeellikeyoureflying,weartheSuperstarforacoupleofhoursTHENwearthe
Gazelle.YoucouldalsojustdrinkRedBull.

BreakDance Decoded: Definitive Sneaker Guide for Bboys & Bgirls

Awallofwonderfulkicks(geddit).

FunFact:
FamousdesignerRichardNicollsentallhismodels

downtherunway
inAdidas
Gazelles

WhoWoreIt:
Jamiroquai,NoelGallagher(Oasis),Madonna

Aesthetics:
Varietyofcolourwaysandmaterial(see

here
)+minimalisticdesign

Weighingscale:
Lightasafeather

Durability:
Surprisinglyhardy
.Almost
likeacockroach,iftheywerentdisgusting(andmadeof
suedeandrubber).

Goodfor:
Freshcolourways(
entirecolourrangecanbefoundintheircustomizerhere
)
Packingintoluggagesoryourbagbecauseitscompactasfuck
Footworkexecutionbecauseitsjust
that
light!
Fastfootworkespeciallyifyourfootworkhasrapid,jerkymotionsorifyourebreaking
tohighBPM/fastbreakbeats
Thosewholoveminimalisticdesign

Badfor:
Dailywear(ifyouwearitforpracticeANDwork/walking/goingondates,youprobably
havetoinvestinanewpairsoon)
Trainingnewpowers(ifyousmackyourfeetonthegroundespeciallyfromahighdive
bepreparedtofeelpain)
Maintenance(becausesuedesdirtyeasily,andyknow,rain)
Solesdontretaingripafterawhilebecausetheywearoutfast
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BreakDance Decoded: Definitive Sneaker Guide for Bboys & Bgirls

ReebokClassic

Notmanybboysrockthispairofshoes,whichissurprisinggiventhatitsagoodbalanceof
weightandprotection.

JayPark,fromArtofMovement,previouslyfromKoreanboyband2PM.
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BreakDance Decoded: Definitive Sneaker Guide for Bboys & Bgirls

FunFact:
ReebokisAfrikaansforthe

greyrhebok
,atypeofantelope.Thenamewaschosen
becausethefounderswantedtodepictspeed,styleandgrace.(OddlyGazellesarealsoatype
ofantelope.WonderwhatswiththeloveforAfricanhoofedanimals?)

WhoWoreIt:
Notmanybboys(sotakeadvantageofthisfactifyourelookingtostandoutata
jam)

Aesthetics:
Decentrangeofcolourways(notasmuchasthePumaSuedesthough).Multitude
ofmaterialsotheresachoiceofhowyouwantyourshoestofeellike.

Weighingscale:
Average/
Mehhh

Durability:
Handlewithcare

Goodfor:
Protectingyourfeetsoles
Protectionweightratio
Easymaintenance

Badfor:
Displayingthecrocodilejawsthatswhenthefrontoftherubbersolessplitfromthe
frontofyourshoes(i.e.theweltdoesntholdwell).Thistypicallyhappenswhenyouslide
withthetipofyourtoesoften.
Sliding(seeabovepoint)

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BreakDance Decoded: Definitive Sneaker Guide for Bboys & Bgirls

SauconyJazz

Oneofthenewcomersinrecentyears,morebboysarewearingtheSauconyJazzasithas
somereallyfunkycolourstochoosefrom.Also,itoffersafreshlooktowardsthetypicallooking
sneakers.

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BreakDance Decoded: Definitive Sneaker Guide for Bboys & Bgirls

RoguImeanAnnaPaquinoftheXMenfranchise,sportingthesekicks.

FunFact:
TheoutsoleoftheJazzhasbecomethebrandsignatureofmostSauconyshoes.

WhoWoreIt:
RodDixon,winnerof1983NewYorkMarathonandanOlympian.

Aesthetics:
Decentcolourrange.

Weighingscale:
Cantfeelathing

Durability:
Sturdyandoffersgoodgriponthetoebox

Goodfor:
AcceptableProtection
Varietyofmaterial
Goodgrip
Slideseasily
Threading(goodgrip)

Badfor:
Grip(AFTERwearandtear)

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BreakDance Decoded: Definitive Sneaker Guide for Bboys & Bgirls

NikeAirMax

ImagineTiggerfromWinniethePoohinshoeform.ThatstheAirMax.Fullofbounce,withits
visibleaircapsuleembeddedinthesoles.

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BreakDance Decoded: Definitive Sneaker Guide for Bboys & Bgirls

MoreRihanna.Anditsnotthelasttimeyoullseeher.

FunFact:
TherewasaperiodinJapanwheretheJapanesestartedtomugeachotherforAir
Maxes.

WhoWoreIt:
OrlandoBloom,JaredLeto,RitaOra,ChrisEvans,Macklemore,ZaynMalik
PresidentObama
?!

Aesthetics:
Looksdifferentfromothersneakersbecauseofitsvisibleaircapsulecushioning.

Weighingscale:
Barelyweighsanything(butchunky)

Durability:
Decent

Goodfor:
Protectingyourfeetespeciallyaroundyourheels
Colourrange(andcombinations)usuallylookgood

Badfor:
Youdontfeellikeyoullcrashinthispairbutyouactuallydo.Probablybecauseittakes
timetogetusedtothechunkysoles
Wontgetawaywiththesloppinessofyourpowermoves(itwillbeobvious,ifanything)
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BreakDance Decoded: Definitive Sneaker Guide for Bboys & Bgirls

AdidasDragon

AvariantoftheGazellethattypicallycomesinsuede/nylonmaterialcombinations.Also,ithasa
verydistinctridgedsole.

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BreakDance Decoded: Definitive Sneaker Guide for Bboys & Bgirls

WhatsthethingRoyOrbisonsaid?Ohright,Prettywoman,walkingdownthestreet

FunFact:
AlthoughnotaspopularastheotherAdidassneakers,theAdidasDragonhas
actually
beenaroundsincethe1970s.

WhoWoreIt:

CloseEnough

Aesthetics:
SimilartotheGazelleexceptthecolourrangeisslightlymoremundane(ordullerif
youdontlikedarkershades).Signaturesolesarejaggedandridged.

Weighingscale:
Lightenoughyoubarelyfeelathing

Durability:
ThetoughercousinoftheGazelle

Goodfor:
Peoplewholikearoughersurfaceforstabilityinmovement
Griponthefloor

Badfor:

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BreakDance Decoded: Definitive Sneaker Guide for Bboys & Bgirls

Peoplelikemewhodisliketheroughfeelingofthesolee.g.whendoingbboythreads,
youtypicallyuseyourhandtograbtheshoes(feelslikethespineofadragonyouseein
gamesandmoviesHmm.)
Limitedcolours

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BreakDance Decoded: Definitive Sneaker Guide for Bboys & Bgirls

SauconyShadow

Anotheroneoftheupandcomingsneakersthatbboyswouldweartopractice.Youcouldsay
thisisthebiggerbrotheroftheSauconyJazz.Protectsmostofyourfeetexceptthetoebox
areawhichis(ironically)itsAchillesheel.There,Ivesaidit.

FunFact:

YoucanbuyaSauconyShadowthatisinspiredbyburgers.

WhoWoreIt:
Ihaveabsolutelynoidea.

Aesthetics:
LikealessdistinctNikeAirMax

Weighingscale:
ClosetotheAirMax

Durability:
Good

Goodfor:
Lowmaintenance
Overallprotection,especiallyaroundtheheel
Sliding
Lightweightfeeling

Badfor:
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BreakDance Decoded: Definitive Sneaker Guide for Bboys & Bgirls

Chunkiness
Lowprotectionaroundthetoebox(Ivegottenmorestubbedtoesfromwearingthispair
thantheothers)
Crocodilejawssyndrome(oncetherubberbeginstowearoffatthefront!)
Waterresistanceisbelowmediocre

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BreakDance Decoded: Definitive Sneaker Guide for Bboys & Bgirls

ConverseChuckTaylors

Anotherdefinitesightatbboyjams.Alsocommonlyseenatpunkrockfestivalsandhigh
schools.

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BreakDance Decoded: Definitive Sneaker Guide for Bboys & Bgirls

Toldya.

FunFact:
ConversesolditsrightstoNikeafterfilingforbankruptcyin2003.AlsotheChuck
Taylorsarenamedafterthebasketballplayerandshoeevangelist

ChuckTaylor
.

WhoWoreIt:
MileyCyrus,EmmaWatson,Rihanna,DanielRadcliffe,DwayneWade,Hugh
Jackman,GiseleBundchen,WillSmith,BrunoMars,Usher,Drake,

awholelonglistof
celebrities
ANDalmosteverybboyintheworld.

Aesthetics:
Highlyversatilenotjusthavingoneofthewidestrangeofcolourways,theChuck
TaylorsistypicallymadeofcanvasmaterialwhichallowsyoutoWell,paintoncanvas.Feel
freetogowildwithyourimaginationandartistryhereifyoureequippedwithfabricpaint.

Weighingscale:
Probablytheheliumofsneakers

Durability:
Goodforthefirst3to6monthsAfterthat,youreprobablybetteroffgetting
anotherpair.

Goodfor:
Throwingintoyourluggage(crumpleitasyoulike)
HighcutversionoftheChuckTaylorsisstilllightasfuck
Colourandvisualversatility

Badfor:

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BreakDance Decoded: Definitive Sneaker Guide for Bboys & Bgirls

Nilprotection(yourheelswillfeelthewrathoffloorforsteppingsohardonit,yourtoes
getsmashedwhendivingintothegroundANDyoursidesjustgettoseethecanvas
materialsplitthreadbythreadasyouslidemore)
Metalrings(aroundthelaceholes)willcrumpleandsawthematerialofyourlaces
Splittingopenonthesides(becausetheweltisntgluedonstrongenoughtotakeallthe
footworkbboysdo)
WaterproofingsucksButhey,itsthekindofsneakerswherethemoreruggeditisthe
betteritlooks.
Rubbersidesalsochipawaythemoreyoubreakinthispair.

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BreakDance Decoded: Definitive Sneaker Guide for Bboys & Bgirls

NikeCortez

TheAdidasDragonofNike.Comesinacoupleofmaterialspureleather,ornylonsuede
combination.

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BreakDance Decoded: Definitive Sneaker Guide for Bboys & Bgirls

CypressHillwithDickieskhakisandCortezesSothatswherewegotthatlook,huh.

FunFact:
TheCortezisthefirsttrackshoecreatedbyNike,andwasthoughttobesignificant
to
thesuccessoftheNikebrand

WhoWoreIt:
KendrickLamar,ForrestGump(noway!?),

ShiaLaBeouf
(hejustdidit),Fergie

Aesthetics:
Colourcombinationsaredecentsomecomplementwell,mostaredecentlooking
basiccolours(e.g.maroonandwhitetick)

Weighingscale:
Nylonsuedeversionissolightyoudthinkyouwerentwearingshoes.Leather
versionisslightlyheavybutfeelssolidwhenyoufootworkinit.

Durability:
Fasttowearout,thesidescanholdupthough

Goodfor:
Speed(fornylonversion)
Versatileincolourmatchingwithyourfullattire
Solecushioningspongymaterialabsorbsimpactwellespeciallyattheheels

Badfor:
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BreakDance Decoded: Definitive Sneaker Guide for Bboys & Bgirls

Durabilityofthesoleisreallylow(thisshoesuffersthecrocodilejawsyndromefromthe
frontandbackendsofthefeetarea)
Protectionofthetoes

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BreakDance Decoded: Definitive Sneaker Guide for Bboys & Bgirls

AdidasZX750

VisuallysimilartoNikeAirMaxattheheelcounter.Itspartofthewholerunningsneakerslook
thatsportsbrandsarecreatingnowadays.

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BreakDance Decoded: Definitive Sneaker Guide for Bboys & Bgirls

HongKongsinger+actor(andumm,playboy)EdisonChenwiththeZX750s.Nottheonlything
hesbeeninside.

FunFact:
TheresapairofZX750thatcomesinhandcraftedmud.Distressedfashiontheycall
it.(Iamdistressedaboutittoo.)

WhoWoreIt:
NobodyelsethatIknowof(well,besidesme)

Aesthetics:
Complementarycoloursarewellpicked,combinationofmaterials(suede,mesh,
rubber)goeswelltogether

Weighingscale:
Theequivalentofplussizedmodelsforsneakers

Durability:
Sturdyandlonglasting

Goodfor:
Itsresilience
Breaksthevisualplainnessbecauseofcontrasting,complementarycolours
Lotsofcushionaroundthewholefoot,noworriesaboutslammingtoohardonyour
solesorstubbingyourtoes.

Badfor:
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BreakDance Decoded: Definitive Sneaker Guide for Bboys & Bgirls

Weight(butnotasheavyasyouthinkitis)
Meshedareaiseasilytorn
Meshedareaabsorbswatereasily

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BreakDance Decoded: Definitive Sneaker Guide for Bboys & Bgirls

NikeHuarache

Lightweightandchunkierattheback.Observation:Iknowahandfulofpeople(myselfincluded)
whoseemreluctanttobreakinHuaracheafterbuyingit.5millionMonopolydollarstoanyone
whocantellmewhy.

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BreakDance Decoded: Definitive Sneaker Guide for Bboys & Bgirls

KobewithhisLakerscolours.

FunFact:
HuaracheisactuallyakindofMexicansandalmadeofleather.Iactuallyhadto
Wikipediathistofactcheck.

WhoWoreIt:
Kobe!Kobe!Kobe!Wait,youmeanthesandal?

Aesthetics:
Sleekdesignwithsomefreshcolourways.Lookskindastructurallyfragilethough.

Weighingscale:
lightasafeather,ifthefeatherwasmadeofheliumsomehow.

Durability:
Overallitsdecentsofar,butyoumightwanttotakenoteofthefront.Because
crocodilejaws.

Goodfor:
Heelprotection
Flying.Imeanfootwork.
Slidingonthefront
Floorgrip

Badfor:
Slidingonthesides(rubberytexture)
Toeboxprotection

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BreakDance Decoded: Definitive Sneaker Guide for Bboys & Bgirls

NewBalanceNB1574

Initiallyatennisandrunningshoe,itdoubledasacasualsneakerformany.Seemslikethispair
ismakingitspresenceagaininrecentyears

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BreakDance Decoded: Definitive Sneaker Guide for Bboys & Bgirls

NowwherehaveIseenthisfacebefore

FunFact:
ItstheonlyNewBalanceshoeyoucancustomizeitrighttothedetail.Also,didyou
knowthatNewBalanceshoesarenumberedandnevernamed?

WhoWoreIt:
Rihanna,AdamLevine,WillFerrell,ElijahWood(Yep,Frodoworesneakers)

Aesthetics:
Colourscomeingreatcomplementarycombosnotabadchoiceifyouhavea
versatilewardrobe.Eachpairismadeofsuedeandmesh.

Weighingscale:
Lighterthantheaverageshoeinthislist(basedonwhatIwore)

Durability:
Decentbutitofferslittletonoprotectiononthetopsideofyourfeet

Goodfor:
Sliding
Spinning(alot)
Lightweight
Unmatchedcomfortandcushionyfeeling(Itsreallysoft)

Badfor:
Gripping(soledoesntstickthatwelltothefloor)
Toeboxareaprotection(frontofshoeis
reaaally
softandmaterialisthin)

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BreakDance Decoded: Definitive Sneaker Guide for Bboys & Bgirls

NikeBlazers

PartoftheNikeSkateboardingbrand,theBlazersarehighcutsuedeshoes.Looksheavy,but
notasheavyasyouwouldthink.Ithinkitlooksgreatwithlongpants.

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BreakDance Decoded: Definitive Sneaker Guide for Bboys & Bgirls

I*mighttt*beoverdoingthis.

FunFact:
MadepopularbyIceman.(Kidding,theIcemanwasafamousbasketballercalled
GeorgeGervin)

WhoWoreIt:
LilWayne
,

ChrisBrown
,

JohnMayer
,

ZacEfron

Aesthetics:
UsuallyasinglesuedecolourfollowedbyawhiteNiketick,theBlazerdoesntoffer
muchintermsofuniquecolourcombinations.However,itshighcutprofilelooksgreatand
breaksthestandardmoldofothersneakers(evenascomparedtoChuckTaylors).

Weighingscale:
NotChuckTaylorslight,butstillsurprisinglylightforitslook.

Durability:
Greatdurability,lastedmeforaprettylongwhile.However,thesuedecolourdoes
wearoffandlooksduller.

Goodfor:
Lookingfreshwithlongpants/jeans
Protectingyoursolesofyourfeet
Lookingdifferentfromotherdancers

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BreakDance Decoded: Definitive Sneaker Guide for Bboys & Bgirls

Badfor:
Fastfootwork

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BreakDance Decoded: Definitive Sneaker Guide for Bboys & Bgirls

Sothereyouhaveit.
Aratherelaborateanswertothequestion,whichpairofsneakers
shouldyoubuy?

Bynowyouremoreconfidentindecidingwhatyoullweartofuturepractices.

Peace,
Erin

P.S.Ifyouveothershoesyoudliketoreviewandfeature,hitmeupat
breakdancedecoded@gmail.com
!

P.P.S.Youmighthavefoundacoupleofshoestoyourliking.IalsomakesurethateverypostI
publishisofquality.Ifyoulikedthisoryouthinkyourfriendswouldlovethisshoeguidetoo,
then
sharethiswiththem!
Justasimpleemailforward,oraFacebooksharewoulddothe
trick!:)

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