There are sneakerheads amongst us — and they’re in dire need of accessorizing.
It all started with Michael Jordan in 1984. His now legendary “Bred 1,” the OG pair of Air Jordans that the NBA banned for being too colorful, kicked off a craze that has elevated athletic footwear into prized fashion pieces for sneakerheads all over the world.
What was once a fringe group of fanatics has boomed into big mainstream business. Fans of Air Yeezys, Originals Stan Smith, Supra Skytops, DC Spartans, and Vans Authentic are fueling a $1.1 billion shoe industry that shows no sign of slowing down.
But being a sneakerhead is not just about having a crazy collection of kicks. It’s a lifestyle and a culture. It’s about connecting with a community of other people who understand the thrill of getting your hands on The_ONES you’ve always loved.
If you’re investing in the best sneakers, it’s essential to take care of your kicks and ensure you’re showing them off the best you can. Here are seven accessories every sneakerhead needs as a birthday or holiday gift — or let’s be honest, all year 'round.
Every sneakerhead should get laced. Shoe-laced, that is. There’s a huge subculture of people who use shoelaces as an additional avenue of self-expression. Flat, round, oval ... colored, metallic or no-tie. It’s a highly personal choice; just don’t forget lacing styles. According to math experts, there are more than 2 trillion different ways for you to express your individual lacing style. Crisscross, over-under, straight European, straight bar, whatever! Get creative and be original.
2. Cool socks
You clearly respect your feet, and Stance are the socks of choice for sneakerheads around the world. Known for its premium cotton, Stance is available in vibrant prints and fun designs, turning socks into an exciting accessory. And it’s not all about looking good. Quality socks protect your feet from blisters and perhaps, more importantly, absorb Public Enemy No. 1: foot sweat. Believe it or not, perspiration can cause significant damage to your kicks over time. Invest in a solid pair of socks to keep your adidas Originals and Jumpmans crispy.
The skimpy insoles that come with your shoes quickly break down. Extend their life with premium inserts. A good insole enhances the fit and comfort of your shoes while supporting and stabilizing your feet. Whether you’re running, cross-training or merely strutting your stuff, insoles provide extra protection against shock abrasion, support your arches and cradle your heels. Bonus: Some insoles include antimicrobial treatment for odor control. Protect against injury, relax in comfort and keep your feet and shoes in fighting form.
4. Travel bag
An international flight is no excuse to dirty your shirts or crush your kicks against your toiletries in your suitcase. And have you seen the way the way luggage gets thrown around? Keep your shoes organized and clean while you jetset with a shoe bag. The Eagle Creek Pack-It Shoe Cube is made with a mesh top for dirt resistance and breathability, and its quick-grab top handle allows you to get from A to B with ease.
5. Travel cleaner
We all know that bad things happen to good people. Your quick strikes are bound to get scuffed, stained, or — the horror! — stepped on. But no need to panic. Every self-respecting sneakerhead has a bottle of Jason Markk. Better yet, get yourself a travel kit so you can triage crises even while you’re on the go. Jason Markk is safe to use on leather, suede, nubuck, nylon, canvas, vinyl and rubber, and can easily remove even stubborn stains such as oil, grease, and dirt.
There’s zero excuse for your gorgeous kicks to smell anything other than stellar. Don’t wait for things to get stale; be proactive and keep your sneakers crispy with a deodorizer ball. It’s a great way to freshen up those hard to reach areas (we're talking the toes area, people!). Just put one deodorizer in each shoe every night and let the ball fight odors and de-funkifiy your shoes while you sleep tight.