Female Sneakerheads Reveal the Shoes You’ll Want to Get

For quite some time, sneaker culture and the business behind it — buying, selling, trading — have been associated with the male market. However, the industry has been directing more attention to the women’s category with female-only sneaker launches, female-driven marketing campaigns and more.

Below, some major female sneaker influencers sound off on the state of the industry:

Victoria Chiang, Sneaker Influencer

Victoria Chiang
Victoria Chiang
CREDIT: Courtesy of Victoria Chiang

What is the sneaker you’re most excited about right now?

“Without a doubt, Jordan Black Cement 3s. Those are so symbolic of my sneakerhead upbringing. I still vividly recall stalking eBay and Flight Club for a reasonable price for ages, but they were always unattainable, so it was very cathartic to finally get them for retail. I’m also looking forward to more colorways of the Yeezy 700, my personal favorite Yeezy silhouette. Lastly, I need to get my hands on the Sean Wotherspoon Air Max 1/97. Aesthetically, I love the hybrid concept, color combo and use of textures, but more importantly, I admire what Sean has contributed to streetwear culture in terms of discovery and availability.”

What is something that you’re tired of hearing as a female sneaker fan?

“I’m tired of people assuming that it’s easier for females to obtain a pair of sneakers because they think we just schmooze and bat our eyelashes or something. Sure, it helps, but we go through the same obstacles, if not more because of the limited size run. I’m also tired of people being flabbergasted when I actually understand the narrative or significance behind a sneaker. Yeah, I didn’t just buy these because they’re ‘cute’ or ‘hype.'”

Do you think that the sneaker industry is paying enough attention to the female market?

“I don’t think it’s as awful as most people claim. A lot of the negative views come from female sneaker enthusiasts who are off-put by the colors, patterns, themes of sneakers for females. But female sneakerheads only make up a small percentage of females who purchase sneakers in general. If we look at what Nike, Adidas and Puma have created for their female market, they’ve produced some pretty dope products that tailor to a lot of females, i.e. applying velour, mesh, satin, metallic, in addition to leveraging relevant female influencers.”

What changes can they make to improve themselves in that market?

“These brands have heard this over and over again: Female sneakerheads want the same shoes as men but with the same quality and in smaller sizes. Not frilly colors, sequins, florals, platforms, etc. For the female market in general, being more cognizant of trends within women’s fashion to ‘sprinkle’ on a sneaker would be an improvement. Because female fashion encompasses so many amazing aspects, it’s easy to have the urge to ‘OD’ and showcase everything on a sneaker.”

What trends do you see in the sneaker industry?

“Most obvious is the chunky-sneaker wave, but I think it will actually accelerate this year with more Yeezy 500 and 700s, Humaras, Versace Chain Reaction, Louis Vuitton Archlight, NB 990s. Other trends I’ve noticed are combining sneakers with business casual, color-blocking and the use of alternative materials.”

What do you predict are the next big sneaker trends?

“The next big sneaker trends will revolve around being bold and innovative. I envision the use of different materials, vivid colors, incorporating new technologies. On the other hand, I also think there’s going to be a huge resurgence of classics. We see this with Nike reintroducing a multitude of previous Air Maxes, so I think the other brands will follow suit.”

 

Wendy Lam, Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Nitrolicious.com 

Wendy Lam in her Brooklyn, N.Y., shoe room

What is the sneaker you’re most excited about right now?

“Nike x Sean Wotherspoon Air Max 1/97 (launched). Nike x Off-White VaporMax Black and the white pair (to be released).”

What is something that you’re tired of hearing as a female sneaker fan?

“Making shoes just for females. All we want are sized-down men’s sneakers and be included in releases for limited-edition kicks.”

Do you think that the sneaker industry is paying enough attention to the female market?

“They’re trying, but honestly, I don’t think it needs to be like, ‘This is for females only!’ Nah means? We just want to get a piece of what the men are offered.”

What trends do you see in the sneaker industry right now?

“Dad shoes ain’t going nowhere. I personally love.”

 

Jazerai Allen-Lord, Business Development & Partnership, Crush & Lovely

Jazerai Allen-Lord
Jazerai Allen-Lord
CREDIT: Courtesy image

What is the sneaker you’re most excited about right now?

“I am especially drawn to collabs and blank canvases, so when Reebok x Palace dropped the clean white version of the Workout, I was geeked. The subtle Pink & Blue trim brings me back to the ’80s, when I used to do Jazzercise and work out to Jody Watley tapes.”

What is something that you’re tired of hearing as a female sneaker fan?

“The question, ‘What is it like being a female sneakerhead?’ Every time someone asks me that, I want to respond with, ‘What does it feel like to just walk in basketball shoes?’ or some other redundant question.”

Do you think that the sneaker industry is paying enough attention to the female market?

“I think that this is a conversation that is circular and one that we have been having for more than a decade. We write editorials and tweets and record social videos to voice our concerns regarding our lack of representation, but in all honesty, has much truly changed? Sure, we have a few new collections and fresh faces on campaigns, but in order for the dial to truly turn, we have to decide as a community of women to come together and f**k s**t up.  We have to be more than the change; we have to be the movement.”

What changes can brands make to improve themselves?

“We have to be willing to grab each other’s hands and kick down doors. Create a real moment.”

What trends do you see in the sneaker industry?

“Chunky shoes. Retro remixes. Pastels and cute prints. I love the mash-up between street and high fashion, but some of these classics should be left alone. True innovation means creation, not being the master copier.”

What do you predict are the next big sneaker trends?

“Creation and customs. The market is so flooded that I feel we are drawn to the ability to create our own designs, no matter how minimal.”

Want More?

How Nike Will Better Serve Woman Sneaker Fanatics

Why the Women’s Sneaker Market Is Finally on the Cusp of a Revolution

Are Athletic Brands Doing Enough to Cultivate Female Sneaker Designers?

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content