See the Future of the Sneaker World With Insight From These Industry Influencers

Cid Merisier, Blogger, CidtheKicks
Cid Merisier, Blogger, CidtheKicks.
Courtesy of Cid Merisier

The sneaker issue of Footwear News (which debuted Nov. 6) shed light on what major players in the sneaker game had to say about brand quality, trends, best places to pick up kicks and signature sneakers. Join the conversation below between these four influential media personalities on the state of the shoe game for 2017.

“Hawaii” Mike Salman
Founding Partner, Agency for Hire 

Best Place to Buy Kicks:
“If you’re spending some money, Stadium Goods, because they’ve got everything. For consignment, I’m going with those guys. And Rime in Brooklyn. [Susan Boyle has] been able to compete and stay alive forever without having every limited release that supports every other store. In this marketplace, to be able to do that, I honor that. She’s off-street in a neighborhood that ain’t nobody over there, and Susan has been able to keep that thing rocking, stay respected and keep moving. And I support her because she’s right across the street from my butcher shop.”

Brands With Surprising Quality Drops:
“My closet used to be 90 percent orange boxes [Nike]. But I probably wear 80 or 90 percent Adidas at this point. For me, the comfort with the Primeknit and Boost has just been working like crazy. And the way they’ve been able to participate with culture, they don’t feel so forced. They feel more of the people right now. The product is super comfortable, super-innovative. I never wore shell toes [Superstars], but ever since they got into the tech space, I’ve been f**king with it heavy.”

Brand With the Most Promising Future:
“I have to go with Nike because they can mess up more than any other brand and still be able to push forward and still be able to compete and hold a top spot and be in the conversation. Everyone else is either looking so far up that it’s unattainable or if you’re Adidas, one wrong move and you’re like 18 steps back.”

Who Deserves a Signature Sneaker: 
“Just on some respect due, Bun B; I look at him as a godfather to this industry. I would love to see somebody like Bun have his own joints because he’s always represented the culture, he’s always been able to stay grounded, and he’s always related to our culture. Whether it’s people our age or the kids, he somehow always stays relevant.”

Cid Merisier
Blogger, Cidthekicks.com 

Cid Merisier, Blogger, CidtheKicks Cid Merisier, Blogger, CidtheKicks Courtesy Image
Best Place to Buy Kicks:
“Since I reside in Montreal, I’d have to go with Off the Hook and Exclucity. I appreciate the fact that both spots always keep an up-to-date inventory and always seem to have a special ace up their sleeves.”

Brands With Surprising Quality Drops:
“I’d have to say Converse. 2017 has seen this historic brand release out-of- the-box sneakers that definitely caught my eye. The Tyler, The Creator collaboration was great. They also brought back the Converse Fastbreak. The new collaboration with Comme Des Garçons also looks amazing.”

Brand With the Most Promising Future:
“If you look at what Adidas has done this year, sky’s the limit. They surpassed Jordan Brand as the No. 2 sneaker company in the U.S. Boost, to me, is the X-factor, the game changer, the glitch in the matrix that changed the sneaker game. But I believe the Jumpman may strike back like the evil empire in ‘Star Wars.’”

Who Deserves a Signature Sneaker:
“President [Barack] Obama should have his own sneaker. He inspires so many people. I’m sure they’ll sell out like hotcakes.”

Henry “Henrock” François
Sneaker Influencer 

Henry Henrock Francois Henry “Henrock” Francois Courtesy image
Best Place to Buy Kicks:
“I like to shop at independent retailers. When you shop at a major chain, a lot of times their employees are there just because they need a job. I feel like people who work at independent stores live and breathe the culture, and that way you’re more likely to build a connection with them, and this makes the shopping experience more pleasurable.”

Brands With Surprising Quality Drops:
“Jordan Brand’s quality on the retros has stepped up, but that came with a bigger price tag. Nike’s been pretty consistent over the years as well. Honestly, I think New Balance’s quality has been slept on. I got a pair of the 574 Sport in all-gray; they’re super-comfortable and make for a great everyday shoe.”

Brand With the Most Promising Future:
“I could be wrong, but I’d say Adidas has the most promising future. They recently passed Jordan and grabbed the No. 2 spot as the second-biggest seller in footwear in America, which people never imagined. Analysts themselves have always said it would never happen or that they never saw it coming. They seem to have their ear to the street. It’ll be interesting to see what Adidas has up their sleeve and if they can keep that momentum going. “

Who Deserves a Signature Shoe:
“Odell Beckham Jr. should definitely have his own signature line. And no, I’m not just saying this because I’m a [New York] Giants fan. From a talent standpoint, OBJ is arguably the best wide receiver in the league. He definitely ranks top 10 among all players. Between his one-handed catches and his interesting touch- down celebrations, Beckham is one the most exciting players in the NFL today. Hopefully, he can come back 100 percent from his injury and Nike can give him that signature line that he deserves.”

Mache
Founder, Mache Customs 

Best Place to Buy Kicks:
“I still cherish the nostalgia of walking into a Foot Locker and not knowing what’s in there, just kind of walking in and leaving with a pair of shoes. The online experience is very convenient, but it takes away from the personability. I’ll go on eBay if I have to, but I’ve been lucky in that I’ll usually work with the brand and they will send me the shoes. [And] I’ve dealt with StockX for base shoes for projects. Sometimes it’s just the resellers that I’ll look at if I need something, [and] guys on Instagram that I have a relationship with.”

Brands With Surprising Quality Drops:
“Under Armour. It’s taken them three years, but they’ve finally made a Curry model that is somewhat visually appealing, and I think that is a step in the right direction. [And] Nike is getting out of their comfort zone and not relying on just being Nike.”

Brand With the Most Promising Future:
“Adidas. I live in Ultra Boosts. They have been creative with the materials and everything that they’re doing.”

Who Deserves a Signature Sneaker:
“Me. One of my goals is to have a factory-made shoe. What I do is considered a luxury because it is custom- made artwork. Most people can’t afford that, so to have something where I work with a brand and sell it for $200 is a little more attainable for people that are fans of my work.”