Until his retirement last fall, Derek Jeter was baseball’s one true crossover athlete. He was endorsed by Jordan, he played for the Yankees, and he was a winner who exuded class and cool factor.
With Jeter gone, the logical successor is young Angels superstar Mike Trout. But then, Trout presents a very different scenario. Though Jeter kept to himself, his private life was the subject of endless mystique. Trout, on the other hand, famously heads back to live in his parents’ basement in New Jersey in the offseason – not quite the stuff of breathless gossip columns.
Trout is a truly transcendent baseball player with Hall of Fame talent, and he’s already got his own Nike shoe line. Jeter left the door wide open for someone to bust it down both on and off the field. The opportunity is there for Trout to become the face of an entire major sport. Let’s see what he does with it.
image via Erik Drost/Flickr Creative Commons
9 of 10
I realize I’m being a bit hypocritical considering I bought sneakers because Kanye wore them, but for the most part, I really do try to buy what I like and what I think looks good.
Much like your vote for political office, it doesn’t always seem like you wield power with your own wallet, but you do. No matter what people tell you that you “need,” you are ultimately the best arbiter of your own tastes. Believe me, I realize it’s easy to get caught up in a wave of hype, but nobody forces you to buy or not to buy anything. If you keep that in mind, your ultimate influencer is none other than yourself – and there’s no better feeling than that.
10 of 10
I still remember the feeling of lacing up my first Air Jordans, the OG Cardinal VIIs when I was in eighth grade. I wasn’t even a Michael Jordan guy back then – no self-respecting Knicks fan in North Jersey would cop to that – but I had to admit the guy was pretty dang cool. Wearing what Jordan himself would wear, I truly felt on top of the world. I even felt like I was instantly better at basketball. (I wasn’t.)
All these years later, M.J. still holds major sway over people’s wallets and sensibilities, but he’s far from alone, thanks to the advent of social media and the proliferation of blogs. Between athletes, entertainers, and people who simply take great Instagram photos, our roster of potential influencers has grown exponentially. In this day and age, it’s never enough to have a great collection. It’s never enough to cop that new pair or kicks on Saturday morning. After the hard work is done, you’re going home and showing it off by going hard on ‘the gram. That extends from the average high school cat to some of the world’s most mesmerizing athletes.
Of course, there are a few who rise above the rest, people who have earned the right to have a legitimate voice in sneaker culture. The following is our best attempt at characterizing the Most Influential Sneaker Personalities in Sports, in no particular order. That is, except for the last entry, which we consider far and away the most important influencer there is.
BUY NOW: ChampsSports.com
Follow Bryan on Twitter at @sportsangle
image via Nike Basketball