9 Signs You're Trying Too Hard to Be a 'Shoelebrity'

Don't try this at home.

By , , Oli Holmes

When it comes to celebrities, there are many different tiers. The true A-Listers are known by everyone. We’re talking movie stars and platinum selling rappers. Then there’s the B-List. These are people you recognize from that “one show,” but might not be able to name. Next come those celebrities who are famous for...well, no one really knows, but we all know who they are, despite a lack of accomplishment. At the very bottom of the barrel comes a type of celebrity that’s only known to sneakerheads, and they aren’t celebrities at all—they’re shoelebrities.

Not all shoelebrities set out to be one. Some have been in the game for decades and built an organic following off of their knowledge and level of taste. These same individuals probably cringe at the thought of their notoriety. But there are others that actually aspire to be a shoelebrity and will go to great lengths to certify that status.

Maybe you’re the ex-friend of a professional athlete who sees the fame as an opportunity to launch a career as a struggle designer. Maybe you’re a blogger who wants to catch a break with a footwear brand and get on a seeding list. Or maybe you’re an actual designer that wants to be the story instead of the sneakers. Whatever your motivation, we see you. And you’re doing too much. It’s time to look in the mirror and ask yourself if you’re guilty of any of these symptoms. 

1.) You get too extreme with your sneaker photos.
As if going through extraordinary measures and spending a small fortune on sneakers isn't enough, you need to show the world that you'll go above and beyond that and risk your life just to get that perfect picture for the Instagram explore page. Jumping into a pool with Yeezys on, hanging your Jordans out of a helicopter while flying over the Grand Canyon—​it's all for the culture.

2.) You drop "exclusive" sneaker info on Twitter.
Sneaker blogs are trash. All they do is post click-bait articles and pointless, unfunny features that make fun of sneakerheads. But you have the news and know the release dates. Your info is A1, straight from the source, and you have to let everyone know—​all day, every day. Plus, you have the direct links to cop online and you have to make sure that you help your fans cop sneakers. Gotta get those RTs up.

3.) You’re overly philosophical about sneakers.
Posting a picture of a pair of sneakers and thanking the plug is far too basic; anyone can do that. Instead, your Instagram caption evokes the likes of Plato and Socrates. You dig deep down inside and let your soul do the talking. After all, it's a pair of NMDs, which really is THAT serious.

4.) You have to have them first.
If you don't have the sneakers first, then they aren't even worth having at all. No one ever remembers who came in second place. Once you've posted your picture first, every picture thereafter is irrelevant. Plus, you have to show just how good your plug is. Waiting until release date? Nah, that's for peasants. All of these people posting their pictures after yours are just biting anyway.

5.) You call yourself an “influencer” or “brand ambassador” in your social media profile.
It's not enough just to show us how influential you are, or how much product you get for free, or how many people you know—​you have to officially label yourself. You have to own your status, and that's why it says it right there in your bio: "Influencer." You shift the culture. Don’t you see it? It’s just under your avatar. They’ll believe you.


Illustration by Oli Holmes

6.) You over-share your life on social media.
Posting pictures of sneakers on social media is only part of your personal brand—you also have to share every facet of your life with the world. After all, you are a cultural icon and the people need to see all of the amazing restaurants that you dine in, all of the celebrities that you know, and all of the exclusive parties that you get invited to. You aren't just a sneakerhead. You're much, much more.

7.) You thank individuals that you may or may not actually know.
You can't just thank your man at Foot Locker or your homie at the local mom and pop spot for holding you down—you have to thank Kanye, or as you call him, "Pablo." Because you know Kanye personally, of course, and you don't even miss the old Kanye, even though you've been rocking with him since the pink Polo. Doesn't matter that Kanye has no clue who the hell you are, you know him, and you have to shout out the plug.

8.) You're a master of the "soft flex."
Relatively speaking, sneakers are cheap—​at least for you. Posting a picture of "Red Octobers" just isn't complete without the LV belt, a matching Goyard wallet, the Rolex, and of course, Supreme boxers. Because nothing says, "I got it like that" than copping your underwear from Supreme. 

9.) You post about bad products in hopes of keeping the plug alive.
We all know damn well that you wouldn't be caught dead in those Brand Black basketball sneakers. How are you going to go from flexing OVOs to some Chris Pauls? You don't even play basketball. And while you might thank your man "CP3," we all know that you got those for free. You aren't fooling anyone. At least those CP3s match the KITH jacket.