Foot Locker is celebrating Black History Month with its inaugural “Sole List,” which honors the next generation of Black innovators shaping sneaker culture.
To celebrate the first class, Foot Locker will work with each honoree’s social media platforms and provide them with content to highlight where they came from, who influenced them, and what their next moves are. That includes their favorite sneakers, athletes, and influencers.
“We recognize that Black culture plays a pivotal role in shaping sneaker culture—the foundation of our business at Foot Locker,” Jason Brown, vice president of Marketing for Foot Locker North America said in a statement. “We aim to continue driving meaningful and lasting change across our company and within the communities we serve.”
The Inaugural Sole List honorees include:
- Ari Chambers, Founder of Highlight Her
- Che’Keita Jones, Founder of Kicks 4 Kids Foundation
- Dex Robinson, Celebrity/Athlete Stylist and Brand Manager
- Dion Walcott, VP of Brand Partnerships at Yellowbrick and Founder of Martk’d
- Grey Skye Evans, Multi-Talented Child Influencer
- Jeff Harris, Founder of #JeffsShoeChallenge
- Justin Johnson, Founder of Kicks 4 the City
- Channing Beumer, Founder of CNK Daily Nikki Boutte,
- Photographer Tausha Sanders, Founder of Her Grails
The sneaker and retail giant committed $200 million over the next five years toward helping the lives of its team members and customers through education and economic development. Economic development initiatives include investing in Black-owned businesses, diversifying global suppliers and agency investments, and donating to organizations. Education initiatives include extending the Foot Locker Scholar Athletes program and implementing and investing in internship, mentorship, and community outreach programs for team members and their communities.
Last year, Foot Locker turned more than 2,000 of its locations including Kids Foot Locker, Lady Foot Locker, Champs Sports, and Footaction into voter registration sites. The initiative was part of a pledge the retail brand made during the height of the Black Lives Matter movement.
The athletic sneaker industry has skyrocketed since its first days in the late 1980s. In 2020, Nike generated more than $24 billion in the U.S. alone, more than Adidas and Puma combined according to Statista.