The sneaker industry is big business, with sales in the billions for both the primary and secondary markets. The demand remains extremely high and people are consuming sneaker content more than ever before. With the popularity of sharing video across multiple social media platforms, YouTube maintains as a huge video source. The genre has become incredibly saturated as creators have monetized their content, compromising quality for quantity. The criteria used for this list was as follows: creativity, originality, camera work, editing, viewer engagement, and entertainment value. Channel size (subscription base) and quantity of views were not factors.
With that said, below you will find the 15 Best Sneaker Channels on YouTube Right Now.
At a time when there are very few women that are active in this space, Kiana Torres has carved a nice lane for herself. She’s young and some of the videos are a little raw, but you can see the evolution of the channel as it’s grown. While the unboxing videos are very standard, she does a nice job with the “What I’d Wear” series, where Kiana features a sneaker with a few outfits and shows the total hookup. As her on-camera presence and energy improves, her channel will continue to grow.
The customization and restoration videos are definitely unique and very well done, although lately, there have been less of them on his channel. Alex gives the viewers really great before and after looks at the shoes and keeps the audience’s attention with strong on-camera presence and energy. Some of his videos are a little on the long side, but if you have the time, just do as he says and “sit back, relax and eat snacks.”
This channel has come a long way from the days of reviewing and comparing fakes. Bull’s on-foot shots give you a great idea at how the shoe looks and he always pairs each sneaker with a few different fits to give you some options. The pool in the background provides a clean backdrop for his videos, although I always feel a little disappointed that he doesn’t jump in fully clothed. His on camera presence and energy is solid to keep the viewers engaged throughout the videos.
This channel has evolved over the years and it’s clear watching the videos that PTC is trying to create more original clips and diversify their content. While you will find the staples of standard “Sneaker YouTube” like unboxings, you will also find original series like “Sneaker Stories,” “Twitter Reacts,” “A Day in the Life,” among others. The camera work and editing on the channel are very good and it will be interesting to see where this underrated channel goes from here.
Sneaker Watch does all the unboxing videos and reviews that you see in other channels, but what separates them from the rest are the interviews and quick segments featuring people from different intersections of the industry. While the spots with guys like Mayor, Jeff Staple, and Soley Ghost (to name a few) are interesting and well done, it can get a bit repetitive going to the same faces over and over again. That said, the well-produced channel is solid and the content is consistent with some original concepts and ideas.
If you like runners and boutique collabs, GTFan712 gives great, clean looks both off and on foot. His reviews or “closer looks” are very thorough while not being too excessive or boring. He gives you all the particulars quickly and his camera work is excellent, narrating each video like he’s a tour guide at the Bronx Zoo’s Bengali Express.
We are going to overlook the fact that RetroSnickers once instructed his audience to put WD40 underneath the insoles in their shoes. His restoration videos are excellent as he shows how he restores classics and OGs, while giving great detail on the step-by-step process. He keeps the video moving at a great pace to keep the viewers attention without compromising any necessary information. The results are incredible as he restores old and destroyed shoes to look as good as new for his on-foot looks post restoration.
It was hard to choose a “standout video” for Nightwing2303 because there is very little variance from video to video. That dedicated consistency is what makes the channel one of the best for basketball sneaker performance reviews. Nightwing2303 wear-tests most of the key hoop shoes in the industry, gives honest, fair reviews and isn’t biased based on brand or style. He also includes lesser-known brands that other channels don’t and is incredibly knowledgeable about the product, which offsets his flat on-camera demeanor. Outside of the performance reviews, the channel features standard unboxing videos as well as the “Night wing Knows” series, which is a short Q & A section from viewer submissions.
7. Rac's Life
Despite being one of the smaller channels, Rac’s editing and camera work are nearly flawless, and he keeps the videos short and interesting. The biggest debate for this channel was “is it sneakers enough?” Although the content isn’t always centered on sneakers, it is ultimately a “sneaker channel.” Rac hasn’t always been the most popular guy on the internet, but his work is excellent and he should pump life into a struggling Kicks On Fire now, as the new Director Of Operations.
The sneaker content that Complex puts up is excellent [ed. note: the author is not a Complex employee], but the majority of its videos aren’t sneaker-related. Some people will say that with a huge budget and staff, anyone could put out great content, but this is far from the truth. The folks over there are creative, original, and execute their ideas to near perfection. Sneaker Shopping, hosted by Joe La Puma, may very well be the most popular series in the entire sneaker genre, with guests such as 50 Cent, Fat Joe, and DJ Khaled. The challenge for "Sneaker Shopping" will be to continue to expand the audience while not straying from core "sneakerhead" celebrity guests.
5. Kick Genius
In terms of performance reviews, Kick Genius is the gold standard and there is a reason that this channel has the most subscribers of any sneaker channel. The videos are incredibly consistent, and give you all of the info you would need to make an informed decision on purchasing an expensive shoe to hoop in. The camera work and editing are on point making them easy to watch, without missing any details. They aren’t afraid to be critical of the product and they keep it real, which is crucial in a performance review.
4. Brad Hall
Brad Hall stormed onto the scene with a distinct, satirical take on standard unboxing/on-foot YouTube videos that you see on so many channels. His production is high quality, creating rampant speculation about who is “behind” his videos. Either way, despite being new to the genre, his videos are popular and very entertaining.
3. Mr. Foamer Simpson
This channel is at its best when the focus is on the product and the gimmicks are minimized. More recently, Foamer has featured the standard unboxing and review videos that you'll find on other channels but his stand out when it’s a product that he is passionate about, as his energy comes across clearly on camera. When Foamer steps outside the box (no pun intended), his videos are incredible. He does a great job of connecting with his viewers and delivering them the content that they want from his channel.
2. Jacques Slade
More than any other “independent” sneaker You Tuber, Jacques is the most connected to the brands. His channel is at it’s best when he is telling stories and taking the viewer on a virtual tour, which differentiates him from the rest of the genre. Jacques is very knowledgeable, well-versed on his content, and the editing and camera skills on the channel are excellent.
1. Nice Kicks
It’s obvious that Nice Kicks has invested time and money into their YouTube channel. They have the best sneaker content from top to bottom with series like Sneak Peak, Gridiron Kicks, Throwback Thursday, Sole Access, among others. On-Air personalities Pierce Simpson and George Kiel (also Editor-In-Chief) have great presence and energy, keeping the videos interesting. It's obvious they have clear advantages over the independent guys, but the execution and the vision of the channel are what makes them the leader in the genre.