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Kickstroid app unboxes sneaker hype

Kickstroid // Illustration by Kate Walker

Kickstroid app unboxes sneaker hype


The Future. An app called Kickstroid is leveraging community tools and machine learning to create “the smartest sneaker app ever.” By breaking down the components of what makes sneaker-collecting so popular (both the products and the fans), Kickstroid could become the go-to destination for casual sneakerheads to engage with the community at large… creating the first bonafide social platform built around a love of shoes.

Sneak peak
Kickstroid wants to be the cultural hub of all things sneaker love.

  • The app collates curated sneaker news from the community, keeps users updated on upcoming drops, and hosts sneaker battles, where users can vote on their favorite pairs.
  • It also uses machine learning to break down the anatomy of a shoe — brand, type, size, and resale value.

In addition, the app curates a “For You” section for users that surfaces sneaker recommendations based on your interests and activity on the app.

Accessible kicks
Founders David Alston and Nicco Adams catapulted the app into the mainstream earlier this year, thanks to their stint at Apple’s inaugural Entrepreneur Camp for Black Founders and Developers. With the machine learning implementation, the duo compares their “ultimate tool for sneakerheads” to giving Ryan Reynolds the glasses from Free Guy — it breaks down the sneaker world in a whole new, easily digestible way.

That aligns with the stated ethos behind Kickstroid: access. Much has been said about how impossible it feels for normal buyers to cop a pair of hyped kicks, thanks to innovations in bots and sky-high resale prices. Kickstroid knows it can’t fix all the problems of the marketplace, but it does want to help build community.

As Alston says: “Being a sneakerhead doesn’t mean you’re just going after the Travis Scott [shoes]. It’s the love of sneakers entirely…. You just have to be part of the culture in a way you feel comfortable.”