Melissa Chanel is aware of the power of numbers and how they can affect a situation. As a result, when the content creator began to build the Female Sneakerheads, she knew she didn’t have to do it all on her own.
“I was raised in a small town where the community was everything,” Chanel said. “So I set out to build a community of women who share my love of sneakers and let them know they’re not alone in their obsession. People who are obsessed with sneakers enjoy learning about them, educating themselves about them, and creating sneakers. Everywhere from Foot Locker to Nike, women are in the workforce.”
When she was younger, her family would separate “This is for girls” and “This is for boys,” and she believes that this “bled over into sneaker culture,” she said. Basketball sneakers like Jordans and Scottie Pippens were not worn by many young girls.” There was nothing dainty about them at all.
Chanel is aware of the difficulties women and non-cis males face when it comes to sneaker culture because of these deeply held beliefs about who is allowed to wear certain shoes. It is Kicks & Fros’ mission to empower women to embrace their love of sneakers and encourage them to learn about and style them in a way that reflects their own personal style and identity.
Chanel chuckles at the irony of sneaker culture’s gatekeeping and elitism because sneakers are designed for comfort.
Chanel remarked, “Sneakers bring comfort.” “This is the place to be if you want to relax in style. I always tell people to dress however they want to look their best. It doesn’t need to be the most recent Jordans. Do not worry about the proper names or ‘Is this shoe cool?’ — you are the one who makes it cool. The sneaker gets a boost in coolness thanks to you.”
According to Thick Laces founder Essie Golden, making sneaker culture more accessible also means giving people of color the rightful center stage and credit for their creative work. When you see sneakers on runways and in celebrities’ closets, it’s important to keep in mind their roots.
Streetwear and sneaker culture was founded by black and brown individuals, but it’s been lost in the shuffle, according to Golden in an interview with Huffington Post. That we can inspire, but not always be a part of the overall culture, irks me.
Golden also stressed the significance of being able to buy shoes of any size. There are a lot more options for men and women in sneakers than there are for heels and flats, which typically don’t go beyond a women’s size 11.
“I’ve always been a plus-size person. ‘It’s like it’s life-changing when you finally find something in your size,’ she said.
Content creator, sneaker fan, and Thick Laces member Alysse Dalessandro said that fatphobia can still be found in footwear. It’s easy to feel like you don’t belong when the newest sneaker style’s width is so narrow.
And just because you have good feet or a great body doesn’t mean anything, says Dalessandro. Just because some styles work better than others doesn’t mean they’re all bad.
Dalessandro said that seeing other plus-sized people style streetwear has been both inspiring and helpful. She encourages people to reach out to their style icons via social media or email to learn more about their creative process. Send a message to Chanel and Golden. It is possible to see women from all over the world wearing sneakers by following the hashtag #thicklaces and the #kicksandfros groups on Instagram.
There are plenty of new spring shoes out there, so the three of them shared some of their favorites.
Purchases made through this page’s links may result in a commission being paid to HuffPost. The Huffington Post Shopping team selects every item. Prices and availability can change at any time.
1. Nike Air Max Month 2022 Drops
“Air Max Month is in full swing right now, and I’m always eager to see what the brand has in store for us. I saw their upcoming Air Max 1s, and I’m really excited about them. On balance, that’s what I have in mind.” — Chanel
Many different colors and sizes are available, from women’s 5-12 to men’s 6-15. You can pre-order the Concepts x Air Max 1 Mellow for $170 in the Nike Snkrs app starting March 12th.
2. Salomon X-Mission 3
“I adore Salomon’s work to the point of obsession. And it’s great that a company like Salomon can exist. If it wasn’t Nike or this particular brand a few years ago, a sneakerhead would have said, ‘If it isn’t working, it’s not working.’ Anyone can come in and change the game at any time.” — Golden
These shoes for men are available in six colors and sizes ranging from 4 to 13. The Nimbus Cloud is depicted in this image.
3. Reebok’s Cardi B Collection
Cardi B’s Reebok campaign has me completely smitten. The inside of them is so cozy. They’re almost scuba-like on the inside. They’re a breeze to get on and off of.
“I don’t want to wear it if I have to sit there and put it on for 15 minutes.” Furthermore, I understand that some collectors could care less about this, and I respect that. To be honest, putting on my shoes isn’t something I want to take that long. There is nothing cool or collectible about them to me. That’s time that I don’t have. It is like finding the “golden ticket” if I can find ones that look cool, fit well, and are easy to put on. — Dalessandro
These are available in women’s sizes 5-11. Fluid Blue can be seen in the photo.
4. Converse Chuck Taylor Platforms
In order to fit in with this community, you don’t need to spend a lot of money. Among other things, I’m a huge fan of Converse sneakers. Nobody can make me change my mind.
It’s been a great year for Converse. While I don’t know if you’re into high-tops with thick platforms, they’re available. I’ve witnessed both men and women excel in this area. What’s going on now? “I’m all in,” he says. — Golden
These are available in sizes 5-11.
5. Nike Air Force 1s
“Air Force 1s are having a moment right now, and honestly, they’re one of Nike’s best wide-foot speakers. A wide variety of colors are available. They’re almost holographic in my collection. A simple white is a great place to begin. The laces can be embellished with a few charms. The Air Force 1 is a good place to start for people with wider feet. Plus-size women with wide feet will be able to wear this, as well as those with smaller feet. Air Force 1 is an excellent place to begin. Nothing could go wrong.
“At the moment, they’re very in.” About four or five years ago, this was not the case at all. Even though I still liked them, this was not the time for them. However, they are now! You can take advantage of this and ride the wave of wide-footed speakers being trendy. Use that to your advantage.” Theodore — Dalessandro
Women’s sizes 5-12 can get Air Force 1s in a plethora of hues and patterns. A Sail/Green Strike Fontanka ($110) is shown here for your consideration.
6. Reebok Classic Leather Legacy AZ Shoes
“Reeboks are one of my favorite brands. This should be a breeze, too. A timeless white pair is a must-have for the upcoming season.” — A gold-plated ring
In addition to 16 colors, these shoes are available in women’s sizes 5-16. Ftwr White is shown here.
7. Fila Disruptors
“I adore the Disruptors. They’re available in a variety of fun hues. They come in polka-dots, too. I’ve got them in both zebra and cheetah prints on the same shoe. There are a plethora of appealing fashion trends. Then again, I’m confident in my choice. In other words, it’s fine, and the majority of sneakerheads have the same shoe in a variety of colorways and styles. Buy it in a different color if you find one you love!” — Dalessandro
Colors and patterns are available in women’s sizes 5-11. The “Animal” print, which costs $75, is depicted.