There’s a wealth of sneaker-related content on YouTube. From unboxing videos to vlogs to product reviews, there’s truly something for every sneakerhead, as there are hundreds of channels you can watch.
However, we’ve gotta admit … it used to be better. Nowadays Qias Omar’s dorky vlogs (we like the guy but you’re lying to yourself if you say he’s not a bit of a herb) and Blake Linder’s rich-kid douchiness (will someone please catch him slipping at Heat Club one of these days?) seem to overpower what used to be a haven for a small community of real sneakerheads. The game has certainly evolved and changed, and not all of it is for the better.
You see, back from about 2011-2013, sneaker YouTube was quite a bit different. Sure, there wasn’t as big a variety of videos, but there was a completely different vibe and aesthetic. Dubstepslap415 (pictured above) would have crazy pick up videos every Saturday. A younger T Blake was much more enthusiastic. Even Jacob Keller (back when he was AlwaysFreshApparel and hadn’t gone high fashion yet) threw out a few sneaker videos.
It was light-hearted. It was fun. It wasn’t all about who could flex the most. It was about sharing something that you were passionate about and talking about it. The videos were a lot more like home videos, and it almost seemed like you were just listening to one of your homies talk about sneakers.
Nowadays on YouTube original content is at a premium. Major companies like Champs and Finish Line figured out that they could seed product to these “influencers”, and although that was cool at first, now all you get is the same style of product review/shoutout video from 5 different people, with a healthy dose of corporate promotion thrown in for good measure. We understand that anytime something cool comes along, corporate America will get their hooks in it sooner or later … but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating.
So watch some old-school sneaker YouTube videos, and take a trip down memory lane. It’ll be a fun, nostalgic ride, and you’ll be glad that you did.
What was your favorite thing about sneaker YouTube back in its glory days? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter, check our Facebook page for daily updates, and, as always, be sure to follow us on Instagram for all the fire sneaker photos you can handle.