The closest some kids come to touching a new pair of sneakers is on their Instagram feed

For kids in underserved areas, the right sneakers do something that parents, teachers and even the police can’t do.

They strengthen the stance of our youth as they walk through the world. In these neighbourhoods, sneakers are more than fashion; they are a right to exist.

By the time they take an adult size, new shoes are totally unaffordable. From that point on, the closest they come to touching a pair of new sneakers is on their Instagram feed.

This is the fork
in the road

A larger shoe size often coincides with staying out later, finding their independence – and sometimes finding trouble. Without exception, every disadvantaged kid has a choice to make when they reach the cusp of adulthood.

They’re no longer under any illusions about the limited options available to them or the systemic inequality in society. Unable to afford something that feels as essential to their identity some choose to go without – and some choose to find themselves where there aren’t many positive options to choose from. There’s always a group of kids smart enough to find the low hanging fruit and take what the world is telling them they can’t have.

The sneaker is the medium

A new pair of shoes has the power to start conversations that would otherwise never happen. Gifting the right pair to the right person at the right time in their lives can help break the cycle and prevent kids from taking the wrong path.

Right now, these kids are being written off at a young age before they’ve even had a chance. For the price of a pair of sneakers, we can increase the likelihood of them finding success in uncovering themselves and the people who believe in them.