Women Sneakerheads Voice Issues Within The Sneaker Industry At Sole Sister Revolution Panel, Discuss What Needs To Change

From Nike, to Puma, to Adidas, when it comes to the sneaker industry, it's so apparent that the advertisements and products are geared towards a male audience. However, strong women sneakerheads voiced the issues within the sneaker industry at the Sole Sister Revolution. During the panel, the issues that were brought up ranged from the underrepresentation of female athletes in the industry to discussions about how the female sneaker consumer is often overlooked.

If you're a woman who loves her kicks, then you're probably familiar with that moment you walk into a Mainland or a Foot Locker store to find the women's section near to non-existent. To make matters worse, out of the already slim selection of sneakers, about 90% of them have tacky color combinations of pinks and purples. Ugh.

Sneaker boutique owner, Susan Boyle has also noticed and told Fashionista, "There is so much cool stuff for guys and it doesn’t come in our size. Or if it does, they’ll take something out and tweak it a little different, use cheaper material, or change the silhouette. They’re not thinking about us, who we are, and I think that’s one of the biggest problems we have." Sure, we female sneakerheads have the option to purchase any of the options from the men's section, but the issue here is the fact that we are underrepresented. In addition, female athletes are also often overlooked because most sneaker endorsements are focused on NBA athletes.

Going off of the fact that there is a lack of attention on professional female athletes, the host of the web series Obsessive Sneaker Disorder, Sean Williams makes a great point about how athletes Serena Williams and Maya Moore have stacked championship titles and yet male athletes who haven't won titles yet, such as Chris Paul and and Blake Griffin, have their own shoes. April Walker, a fashion designer and vlogger for Sole De Vida mentioned how, "Kobe [Bryant] has a story, LeBron [James] has a story, and they put the work into relay that message to consumers. There is none when it comes to a female shoe."

But all hope for female representation in sneaker culture isn't entirely at a loss. Puma's illustrator and designer, Sophia Chang mentioned that the female sneaker consumer hasn't been entirely overlooked because there have been great celebrity collaborations such as Rita Ora with Adidas and Rhianna with Puma. The sneaker industry definitely has a long ways to go, but it doesn't look entirely hopeless for the female sneakerhead.

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