Can I Kick It? Perspective on footwear in the digital age

Hai Truong By on February 8, 2017

Tyler Blake and his business partner woke up early to get to Gillette Stadium. The sun was barely up and 100 eager kids were already lined up to get into the first Sneaker Social.

Imagine SXSW panels with a curated sneaker marketplace. With grit and willingness to take a chance he put over $20K with the belief he could do something that had never been done before.

Over 3000 attended the event and made it a success. Tyler’s passion translated into business sense and was validated by the community.

A content creator, influencer, and brand specialist, Tyler creates one-of-a-kind experiences for a growing list of companies. Building relationships across the footwear industry, he has grown his YouTube channel over 100,000 subscribers and found opportunities to monetize through brand partnerships. Through Twitter and his various websites, Tyler helps both sides by bringing deals to customers and helping retailers move product.

Below, Tyler shares insights on where the footwear industry.

On The Footwear Industry Right Now

“I think the industry has leveraged emerging technology, but I see that it is is declining. However, this doesn’t mean it’s not thriving. Sneaker companies saw a boom in sales and interest, fueled by the internet, and as a result, I believe they put out too many SKUs. We’ve seen traditional store front retailers cripple under this as a result. Finish Line shut down stores. City Sports closed all their doors. Nike recently missed their target two quarters in a row. I think companies forget there is a ceiling to producing product, and it will take some time for it to normal out. This is a big reason I made as its a great time to buy shoes on sale since retailers struggle to move inventory at full price.”

Companies On The Right Track

“In terms of design, Adidas is really leaping ahead. Adidas is really innovating in their space and I’m excited to see what’s coming next. For this reason I also feel they are driving their business forward most successfully. I would say Concepts ( has done a good job continuing to tell stories with their collaborative projects. They have kept myself and others engaged for years. One of my favorite books that talks about the psychology behind marketing campaigns that work is Contagious: Why Things Catch On.”

How Technology Changed How People Buy Online

“I think the internet has really exploded exposure for sneakers and releases online. Not that there weren’t forums and other sites five years ago, but Twitter has really blossomed as well as other platforms to drive awareness and accessibility. I think a lot of younger kids are being fathered by the internet when it comes to looking for guidance on new trends and releases. All the more reason to make sure that your products are available online. You can’t deny the power that technology has with today’s consumers.  I recommend Positioning: The Battle For Your Mind. for anyone interested in learning more about how capitalizing on emerging trends.”