The Women Bringing Sneakers Into The Women’s Activewear Conversation
Non-cave dwellers will have noticed that athleisure is absolutely everywhere these days. Even before the accelerating factor of the pandemic, the activewear trend has made it a staple of both the ‘going out’ and ‘staying in’ sections of our wardrobes. Numbered among today’s influencers are women who get unashamedly nerdy about sneakers. With women being a growing part of ‘sneakerhead’ culture, we’re simultaneously seeing more sneaker designs and cross-industry linkage that reflect the needs and desires of women. Here’s a sample of the women known for their strong voices in this space, not all of whom started out in fashion.
Made For The W
A couple of friends who went on to create a successful website devoted mainly to the cross-section of kicks and sports, Bria Janelle and Melani Carter enlisted Simran Kaleka in 2018 to help realize their dream. Though they tend to downplay their power, Made For the W is actually breaking out of being “just a handle,” and are partly responsible for shaping not only the scene, but also the careers particularly of some WNBA players. The trio are based out of Atlanta, and it’s especially wonderful to see darker-skinned Southern sisters with clout.
This is one content producer who takes footwear seriously. L has been a known influencer on Instagram, but she recently earned a brighter share of the spotlight by launching a podcast on the SoleSavy platform. For those who are unfamiliar with the platform, it is a community that serves as an informative, active social space for sneakerheads online, and it has recently been making a point of reaching out to women. L’s ‘Triple Stitch’ podcast feed is proof that she hasn’t squandered her decade in the industry, revelling in all dimensions of the cultural phenomenon, and with plenty of focus on women already in the industry.
Austin-based Channing Beumer is a leading light in the ‘sneakHER’ community CNK Daily. The follower count of her personal Insta handle, @callherchanlo, is even starting to catch up to the official account of the streetwear-oriented business that aims to lift up real women by illustrating how they wear sneakers.
While still not as big as some of the male sneakerhead channels on YouTube, Torres has created quite the following on the platform. Admittedly, some of the traffic has been connected to her presence as a game streamer on Twitch as well as other miscellaneous content, but it’s safe to say her passion for rubber and laces is the bread and butter of the channel. Predominantly putting out rough-and-ready vlog videos, her followers are able to share in the dopamine high of the first impressions or purchase of a shoe. It’s great to see a proud mom doing well in the space (on the other hand, the cute baby is probably a major asset vis a vis the algorithm).
LaToya Kamara Manley
Another mother of a ridiculously adorable child, Manley certainly hasn’t let motherhood stifle her ambition. Her impressive resume builds to her present position at Nike Jordan, where her current stock-in-trade is in launching women-forward collections that have empowered us to wear them as we would a pair of heels. Manley is committed to empowerment outside of her day job, too, both as a sponsor of the ‘Why I Rock’ conference aimed at inspiring teenage girls, and as an adjunct professor at Portland State University.
The next time you're looking to find out what's new in the world of sneakers, be sure to check out any of these great female sneakerheads, who are the new voices for women's sneaker fashion. Comment below your favorite new sneaker trend and don't forget to pair your new sneakers with any of our Nic Hyl X Nation Athletic Activewear pieces!