A trainer-mad dad who has put his heart and sole into his sneaker collection is facing a tricky decision after his wife told him: “It’s them or me.”
Jason Oxlee, 44, from Leeds, has a staggering 150 pairs of classic Adidas trainers – with 50 pairs under the bed and around 80 pairs stashed in the loft. The other 20 are stuffed in nooks and crannies around his house.
He spends about £100 a month on his hobby and always bases the rest of what he wears around his beloved brand with three stripes.
Now, his patient wife of eight years, Faye, 36, has told him he has to stop the sports shoe spending or she will call it quits.
The long-suffering call handler said: “I’ve always known he loves trainers and over the years I’ve seen his collection grow and grow but now there isn’t the room for them.
“He even keeps the boxes. It can’t keep going on.”
But Leeds United fan Jason, from New Farnley, doesn’t know if he can rein in his habit.
He even wants two of the couple’s three children to share a room so his footwear can have their own space.
The site manager is always on the lookout for new releases and limited editions and reckons the re-sale value of his collection will be around £15,000.
Faye said: “Jason spends a lot of money on his trainers and I don’t mind because I know he loves them and it’s his hobby.
“But it’s the space – we don’t have room for him to keep adding to his collection.
“I’ve told him that if he continues there will be more than enough room in this house for his shoes – because I’ll be gone.
“I do put a stop on it now and again, if he’s had a bit of a splurge I will put a ban on him for a couple of months but when he’s allowed to buy them again he can end up buying two or three pairs.
“He did calm down a little bit when the kids came along but he has so many trainers that others don’t think it’s normal.”
Jason, who takes a size nine shoe, said: “I wasn’t happy when I had to start putting them in the loft, it means I can’t get to them as easy.
“I’m thinking that if we get our two girls to share a bedroom, I can use one of their rooms.”
Looking back to how it all started, he said: “Trainer obsession exploded in the 1980s, it was all about the fashion and Leeds United and the music we were listening to.”
When Jason has worn a pair he will clean them with sugar soap and return them to their designated place in the house.
He said: “I find sugar soap works best. You can buy proper cleaner but it’s quite expensive and when you clean your trainers like I do I go through it quite quickly.
“I do Faye’s head in when we’re out because I don’t like getting them dirty, I’ll avoid a puddle and mud and I’m not impressed if someone stands on my foot or I get beer dripped on them.”
Jason added: “Some may think I’m crazy but I actually see my collection as an investment.
“I will pass these trainers down to my son and if he is a size nine he will be alright.
“He can do what he wants with them, if he wishes to sell them I won’t mind because he will only inherit them when I’m dead.
“And as for Faye, I just have to keep appealing to her to understand because she knew what she was getting into.
“I love my Adidas classics. They are part of me and who I am.”