Sneakers
From the ground up

#GramGen is a series profiling the most radical characters in youth culture, who continue to shape trend behavior and spark controversy through their avant fashion sense and candid social media personalities.

With exclusive drops and limited collabhorations hitting shelves each and every weekend, sneakerheads are often competitive, and even adversarial by nature. If the viral “what are those” phenomenon didn’t enforce this enough, sneakerheads seem to love roasting eachother over their different tastes, and somewhere between the Michael Jordan crying meme and Fendi working with Instagram account @hey_reilly, fashion and sneaker memes became a big part of the conversation.

The footwear pundit behind @crimesagainstshoemanity understands this landscape all too well, and the Vogue-approved Instagram account has made a name for calling out and roasting the most questionable and even grotesque sneakers imaginable.

We slid in the DMS to find out more about one of our favorite Instagram handles. Check out our interview below.

First off, are you a sneakerhead yourself?

I’m a big fan of shoes (as you may have noticed) but I don’t know if “sneakerhead” would be the best title for me. I don’t think I own enough to claim that. I’m very partial to a pair of adidas kicks though…

What gave you the idea to start your IG account?

I have a fairly strong reaction when I see an ugly shoe, it’s physical. It seems I’m not alone in this. The account is basically footwear’s best of the worst, and worst of the best all together.

Do you think sneakerheads take themselves too seriously?

I think they’re passionate, which isn’t a bad thing. You can be serious about your passion but I wouldn’t line up over night to spend 600 quid on trainers, lets just say that…

Your account features a ton of outlandish and downright offensive designs. But can a shoe be so boring and bland that it also becomes offensive?

Yes! This is also a criminal act. When I see people paying through the nose for a brand name and the shoe is so basic… why? At least if it’s “ugly,” it’s a talking point.

You have to rock one pair of shoes for the rest of your life, what do you pick?

Probably these. Just joking, I’d rather be dead than choose only one pair.

YEEZYS; stylish or a crime against shoemanity?

I’d say more on the stylish slide of the scale. It wouldn’t be my first choice but I like how they look a bit like a hovercraft.

Can I get your thoughts on Supreme’s recent Doc Martens x Undercover x Public Enemy collab? Did they pull off the very rare four-way collab?

As for concept, I’m totally on board for this. One of Supreme’s better collaborations for sure. Ultimately it is an image printed on a classic pair of Docs, with Supreme stamped on the insole, so it’s not exactly a cutting edge design, but they’re still a statement piece.

I did some research and I think I have a pretty strong submission for your page, can you let me know what you think?

Haha! First I thought that maybe they were a costume from that ’90s live action puppet show Dinosaurs, but sadly they weren’t. One character on the show was wearing Converse though, so I was close. Who the hell made these, and why? I love them.

Some high fashion brands are arguably committing some grievous crimes against shoemanity lately. On a scale of 1-10, 10 being criminal, can you rate these?

Louis Vuitton Archlight sneaker

These are a 7.5/10. They remind me of those special split-sole trainers that professional dancers sometimes wear. Both are ugly as hell, but at least the dancing ones have a function.

Balenciaga Triple S

These are fairly inoffensive, considering what Balenciaga has been doing with footwear lately, so 6/10. Retired-dad-semi-formal vibes.

Gucci

I really, really love these. I think it probably helps that this whole runway show was so incredible, that I’m now biased towards anything from that show. All sneakers need to be draped in jewelled straps now. In this case a 0. The jury has found the defendant not guilty.

Lastly, what can the average sneakerhead to do fight these crimes against shoemanity?

Report these crimes to @crimesagainstshoemanity: seeking justice against ugliness and mediocrity since 2016.

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  • Main & Featured Image: @rushemybotter / Instagram

Vancouver-born, Berlin-based writer with a steady hand on the keyboard.

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