Food and footwear are more similar than you might believe. One artist bending the gaps of both worlds is chef and sneakerhead, Bobby Martin. Martin is the genius behind the Instagram account Shoe Your Food, where he fuses his love for food and footwear together.
Martin's late night idea of merging Shoes and Food was driven from a longing to be more innovative and creative during his day job as a chef. It also gives him a reason to cop more kicks.
Shot by co-founder Rosa Clarke, the photo series pairs popular sneakers including the OFF-WHITE x Nike Jordan 1's, Yeezy 350 V2 Zebra's, Air Jordan 4 Retro Ls "Oreo's with a color matching delicious dish.
Who would ever think to match the Kobe XI with a delicious serving of rainbow sorbet, the Air Safari QS "Jungle Flashback" with coconut-chia seed ice cream pops and butterscotch Sauce, or the Air Jordan 11 "Concord" with scallops & lobster crudo in red cabbage-infused oil, squid ink risotto, and pickled black radishes.
Most recently, Martin paired his "favorite PUMA," the California Ribbon "Red/White", with a sweet strawberry shortcake recalling childhood memories of falling in love with both.
To dive deeper into the creation of Shoe Your Food, we've sat down with Bobby Martin to discuss his inspiration, his favorite sneakers of the year, and what we cant expect from the future of the company. Read below.
What inspired you to fuse food and footwear?
My role in the food industry as a director requires me to where suits and some of the freshest shoes, although they're not sneakers. I'm not using my culinary creativity as often as I used to. To feed my passion for creativity in the kitchen and find a way put my sneaker collection to use, I came up with the idea to pair the two together. Originally, I couldn't come up with a name. I repeated shoe and food numerous times on my way to work one day. "Chew your food" slipped out and "Shoe Your Food" was born.
Would you consider yourself a sneakerhead?
Definitely! I'm pushing 30 years. The newspaper clipping from '95 says it all - that's me at 17 years old. I always stayed on top of upcoming releases and what's trending but I have to be selective. I inherited really flat feet from my dad and always struggled trying to wear narrower shoes or anything with a high arch. But I don't let that keep me from having a sick collection.
What's your favorite sneaker of the year so far?
As of today, the Black Levi Jordan IV. They remind me of charred marshmallows. My favorite of all time is the Concord Jordan VI. I can't wait for the re-release at the end of the year.
Recently, you matched Air Max 1 and curry sauce, what is the significance behind the paring?
Outside of the name, each colorway resembles the sauce I paired them with. I’ve used the trio of chillies, herbs and spices in many cooking applications. I couldn’t wait to put it all together.
How long have you been a chef?
Ten years as a Chef and 17 years in the food industry. A lifetime of devouring food!
Would you ever considering opening a sneaker/food store?
This is a first. I’ve done restaurants and closed that chapter of my life. I’m more of a collector and not a seller. Something that I can’t wait to do is an interactive food-art gallery. The vision is to highlight a prolific sneakerhead and their collection. The food served at the event will be paired with the collection and displayed the only way Shoe Your Food knows how to.
Off the dome, what food would you pair with the Travis Scott x Air Jordan 4 “Cactus Jack”?
Blue can be hard, but since the first time I saw the shoe, I just kept thinking Cookie Monster ice cream. To account for the red top line and Jordan emblem, I’d add some sort of candied drizzle. Swedish fish drizzle. Who doesn’t like Swedish fish?!
What can we expect from shoeyourfood in the future?
I get a ton of requests for prints so I’m launching a website that will feature a print shop where all the pairings will be available for purchase. I’m most excited to continue growing my reach and connecting with other sneakerheads, foodies, artists and tastemakers around the world. With many sneakerheads being young people, I’d love to be the source of exposing them to new, exciting and even healthier food options. Also, maintaining a sneaker collection cost money. There are plenty of jobs in the food business that can make for a decent paying career. Lastly, I’d love to collaborate as part of a sneaker launch and do a food pairing that highlights the release. #EatGoodStayFresh
Check out the 'Shoe Your Food' website for more information and to cop available prints.