We’re taking you all the way to Singapore for this installment of Week in the Feet, where we meet Danial Mok, a sports television broadcasting executive who’s been in the shoe game since he was 16 years old. He’s been collecting since he was in college and worked at Singaporean shoe giant Leftfoot before landing his current gig. His current collection is mostly made up of Nike pairs (you’ll see him give the Swoosh plenty of love below), and his favorites include anything from the Nike Alpha Project. A week’s worth of Danial’s shoes isn’t gonna be enough, so follow him on Instagram to keep up with what he’s wearing.
Mariana Mandanas: Working in sports broadcasting, are you free to wear sneakers to work? What kind of shoes can we find you in?
Danial Mok: The great thing about working [in sports broadcasting] is that you’re allowed to wear sneakers to the office. Most of my colleagues are in sneakers including the ladies. Normally I’ll be in my Nike Mayflys, Nike Roshe Runs, Nike Flyknits and my Vans Authentics or Eras. But on days that I have meetings, I’ll be in my Cole Haan’s or Clarks.
MM: What draws you to the Nike Alpha Project? How did your interest start and how has it grown?
DM: Apart from the 5 dots that represent the Nike Alpha Project, the shoes were groundbreaking and unique in their own way. I’m specifically attracted to Air Prestos, Air Zoom Seismic and Air Zoom Haven because of their sock feel like technology and design during that time. They were insanely comfortable and looked pretty good on feet. My interest in sneakers started at an early age. Honestly, I really have to thank my parents for introducing sneakers to me when I was young. My sister and I had the luxury of wearing Nikes and Adidas when we were young. I started collecting and buying my own sneakers when I was 16, and as my obsession grew, I started to look for more exclusive pairs like the Nike Concept Japan models.
MM: Favorite pair of all time?
DM: I used to like Jordan Brand a lot but I stopped buying them after the 2001 retros. If I had to choose one favourite pair of all time, it would have to be my Nike Air Jordan 1 ’94 Chicago.
MM: Shoes in your current rotation? What qualities do you look for in a shoe?
DM: My current shoe rotations are the Nike Woven Mayflys, Nike Air Prestos and Nike Flyknit Racers/Trainers. I’m really picky about the shoes that I’ve been purchasing recently. Usually, I look out for colorways that will match my wardrobe. I’m definitely not one of those people who buy for comfort, but it will be an added bonus if the aesthetics of the shoes are nice and comfortable to wear. I love non-visible Nike swoosh on a shoe, which is why most of the swoosh on my iDs are of the same color as the canvas/leather.
MM: You’ve got so many exclusives in your collection, but what shoes are you still on the hunt for?
DM: Nike Air Spiridon ’97 (Blue Colorway), Nike Air Zoom Haven ’00 (Ultraman Colorway), Nike Air Max 1 Atmos ’12 (Tiger Camo/Snake), Nike Lunar Flyknit HTM ’12 (Black/Black). I wear a 9.5, so all of those shoes in that size would be great [laughs].
MM: What were some of the most memorable releases you’ve witnessed?
DM: I’ve been through a couple of releases back in the days when I was working for a local shoe store Leftfoot. The most exciting ones are the Adidas 35th anniversary release and the Nike Diamond Dunk Low SB release. There was so much hype about it and the campouts were pretty crazy. Sneakerheads queued for almost 26-27 hours for the Diamond SB over at Limited Edition.
MM: One fun fact about you and your shoes?
DM: [Laughs] I don’t know whether to call it fun or weird but I’m very particular about the lacing on my shoes. No out of the box and factory lacing [allowed] on my shoes.
MM: The year’s almost up. What was your favorite purchase of 2013?
DM: Definitely the Nike Woven Mayflys that I got in September when I was on holiday in Barcelona. I was actually looking for Huaraches at the Nike store when I saw the Mayflys at the bottom shelf. Bought both colorways (navy and tan brown) without any hesitation just to add up to the black ones I have back home. They are super nice and comfy as well.
MM: You seem really fascinated with shoes featuring unique technology–what is your favorite shoe-related technology?
DM: I think the Puma Disc system and the Nike Hyperfuse technology are two of my favourite shoe-related technology. With the Puma Disc system, you get a different style from the classic shoe laces on your shoes. Instead of having shoelaces to tighten up the shoes, Puma had the disc system. It was super cool back then [when it first released]. As for the Nike Hyperfuse technology, it creates a durable material composed of three layers by using heat and pressure, which makes the shoe more breathable and minimizes seams that can wear on the foot. Hyperfuse shoes really look good on feet.
Photos courtesy of Marc Tan.