I really don't have any brand loyalty. Sure I love Uniqlo now like a son, but the possibility remains that my tastes could change or they could go the way of Eddie Bauer. But there's something about unpacking a fresh pair of Nikes that really ramp up the nostalgia factor. I don't even own any other Nike gear other than these shoes, yet they still feel like an old friend.
When I was in grade 6 I had just moved from Montreal to Burnaby (near Vancouver) and I was on the track team in school. I wanted a pair of the then new Air Max, but they were way outside my dad's budget. So he bought me a pair of nondescript Nike Doodads. Still, when I put those on my feet, I thought I was flying. In fact, I remember getting them at school and bouncing around outside in them, much to the delight and derision of the older kids. Thus my reputation for being "a total idiot" was born.
Now, even though I can pretty much afford to buy any sport shoe I want, I still can't bring myself to get the super-teched gizmo runners with gravity-defying soles. I only bought these because they were on sale, and the guy at the store, on learning I had just been to Japan, knocked off another $10. (Is there anything Japan can't do?) Putting them on, it was being 12 all over again.