The Kicks You Wear, Vol. 48 — Small businesses matter

Nike, Adidas and all the big wigs don't need your money

Good morning friends! Welcome back to The Kicks You Wear. Thank you for spending a bit of time with me on this wonderful Friday. Hope you had a fantastic Air Max Day.

Shoutout to Fanatics who, all at one time, created a mask and gown that I’m turning into a fit as soon as this pandemic is over. Multitudes, people. Multitudes.

By the way, got that survey ready for y’all! Click this link to fill it out! It’ll just be a few minutes if you’ve got the time! Thank you in advance.

Y’all bout ready? Let’s get in to it.

Don’t let them sales get you

(Photo by Jeroen den Otter on Unsplash)

I’m sure you’ve noticed all of the big sales going on.

Nike, Adidas, Foot Locker and every other major sneaker company is marking things down trying to get you to spend money at their spots.

It’s basically the holiday season again. The only difference is people can’t go outside right now and physical stores are literally closed.

  • What they’re losing in foot traffic because of closed stores they’re trying to regain through online sales.

  • Sure, maybe their items are marked down a bit. But markdowns with this boost in online traffic probably breaks even. What folks can’t step into the store and get they’ll absolutely buy online.

Once the coronavirus stricken dust settles down, those companies are going to be alright relatively speaking. Some of them will even emerge from this in positions of strength, believe it or not.

  • Just look at Nike. They just had a $10.1 billion third quarter and digital sales rose by 36% on a currency-neutral basis. They’re good.

  • We’re going to see other companies have similar online boosts to offset brick and mortar losses for the most part.

But let’s keep it a buck. Coronavirus is shaking up every facet of life for, pretty much, every individual on this planet right now. Whether it’s loss of work, loss of good health or even loss of the ability to get a good haircut, people are hurting.

All of the small businesses you love are in that — that includes the local sneaker boutiques and consignment shops that you hit up looking for goodies, collabs and discounts? They’re hurting.

Local joints like Lapstone & Hammer or Ubiq or Extra Butter need that support right now. And there are operations smaller than that in even deeper trouble — think about the skate shops you went to for the Travis Dunks or the consignment shops with those folks you know that will slide you a solid discount or at least let you negotiate a price.

Their budgets are way smaller and folks can’t come into work right now for very good reason. Their business is hurting. They don’t have the same global consumer base to fall back on that all of the big boys have.

Look, money is tight right now for everybody. If you don’t have it, don’t spend it. There’s no shame in that. And definitely do not go outside looking to buy shoes. That’s dumb. Just do not do it, folks. It isn’t worth it.

But if you do see a good sneaker online? Try finding it at a local spot. You’ll feel much better about it, even if you’re spending a bit more.


The Olympics are done

(Photo by Bryan Turner on Unsplash)

So the 2020 Olympics are officially postponed until 2021 (even though they’ll still be called the 2020 Olympics).

It took the International Olympic Committee a while to arrive at this decision, but it’s the right one. It’s an unprecedented move — the Olympics have only ever been postponed for war. With the way the world has come to a standstill, though, this was the right move.

This is big sports news, obviously. First of all, there’s not a bigger sports event on a global scale in the cultural zeitgeist.

  • To simplify it in American terms, imagine the Super Bowl being postponed for any reason at all. Now think about that on a global scale. That’s what this is.

  • The only event that could probably rival this is FIFA’s World Cup, but that doesn’t always have the same massive impact in North America.

On the flip side the Vaporfly story also just got more interesting. Obviously, the shoe avoided an Olympic ban earlier this year and that probably won’t change.

  • But, remember, other brands were developing shoes that would be able to rival it.

  • Will they be permitted in 2021? We don’t know. Nobody has asked the question yet. It would definitely even the playing field, though.

Obviously, there’s a lot more the come with this story and the Vaporfly fallout is just one of those things. It’ll be interesting to see if any of this gets revisited anytime soon.

Nike’s good ass Air Max doc

I’ve told you guys before and I’ll tell you again — Nike is probably a better marketing company than it is a sneaker company.

This new Air Max 90 to 2090 documentary speaks to that. They dropped it to go along with the Air Max Day theme we were all celebrating yesterday.

It’s very rare that you’ll ever see me lauding a company produced documentary — it’s more often than not just propaganda and something that makes company X look good.

In this case, company X would be Nike. And I’ll be honest. There’s a bunch of that sprinkled in here. But most of it is honestly educational for folks who don’t have a great grasp of the Air Max lineage.

It’s worth a watch if you have 30 minutes of free time.

This is how you do good in the world

There’s been so many awful things in the news this week and it’s really easy to just kind of get down about it all.

So here’s a positive note. All those nurses and doctors working over overtime trying to make things better? They’re getting free shoes, per Fast Company.

Crocs, Clove and Allbirds are all distributing free shoes to healthcare workers in need while they care for COVID-19 patients.

  • Crocs has a request link on the brand website and is ready to ship 10,000 pairs a day to healthcare workers.

  • Shoot Allbirds an e-mail with credentials and a mailing address and you’ll get some kicks. They’ve sent about $500,000 worth of shoes already.

  • Clove, a healthcare worker startup, is literally just popping up and dropping kicks off wherever.

It’s a tough time for everyone right now, but it’s always great to see people doing good things. This is exactly what we need in this time.

Hopefully, there’s a lot more of this to come.




I don’t even know where to start.

The homie Rachel Hopmayer popped out with her Air Max 270 Reacts and, BOY, is this an amazing picture to look at.

The better Mike brought out the Dallas Air Max 97’s. Big shouts to my Texas folk!

The homie Sumeet flexed on us with the reverse Silver Bullet 97 and Air Max 1 combo. Goodness, these are clean.

It wasn’t just all Air Max love yesterday, tho. The homie Jalen brought the 18’s back out and MAN I forgot how smooth this shoe looked.

Shoutout to the homie Adrian who popped in on the scene with the Gamma Blue 11’s. We always got love for J’s out here.

The homie Luis Torres stepped out in the LeBron x John Elliot joints and, fam, I think I want a pair.

My guy Stepfan jumped out in these gorgeous Sacai joints and, dammit, I want a pair again SMFH.

But the homie Dandin REALLY shut shit down with the Air Max 1 Animal Pack joints. With the green lace job, too? Nah. Let’s go home, family.

That’s it for Friday! Thank y’all for spending a bit of time with your boy today. Please, please, please do not forget to click the survey up top!

Be safe out here, family. Talk to you soon! As always, peace and love. Be easy. Be well. Be kind.

Signing off.

Sykes 💯