Proud Baylor alum Taylor Bettis has more than just a love for the game. She lives it. She’ll lace up her Nike Zoom Kobe VII “Cheetah,” which she swears is still the best shoe to play in, and hit the gym to splash jumpers in your grill. Don’t believe me? Scroll through her IG feed at @TayTayB1120 to see for yourself.
Bettis is a gymnast-turned-baller, a transition that happened in junior high when she was still living in Bluffs, a small town in Illinois. She admits to being a tomboy but that doesn’t mean style is lost on her. Ask her to describe her personal look and she’ll tell you: a fusion of preppy and sporty, with a love for lacy things, skirts, and dresses. However, what’ll always catch your eye is her sneaker game.
Bettis’ favorites span across Nike and Jordan–Jordans, KDs, Kobes–and for brands outside of the Swoosh, she loves the details and premium fabrics used on collaborations. Her taste is unique, too; her favorite Jordans are the “Mocha” III and favorite KDs are the “Weatherman” IV.
Her spirited and colorful Instagram feed isn’t mere coincidence, either.
“I have some all-black shoes,” she says, “but I have to either love the comfort or just love how they came out but traditionally I’ll stay away from all-black shoes.”
Sneaker rooms aren’t just reserved for celebrities and master collectors. Bettis, who stopped counting her collection after 200, thinks the phrase “sneaker lover” better applies to her than “sneaker collector.”
“If I’m not wearing it, I’m not going to have a shoe in my possession,” she says. “Maybe I’m not a sneaker collector but I am a sneaker lover. I guess there could be a difference. Collecting, I guess you’re keeping them pristine, locked up in a box. Like if someone collects coins or cards, they’re not taking them out in their pocket with them; they’re preserving them and making them last forever. Maybe we have the terming wrong in regards to that.”
In the sneaker community, Taylor is promoting a very positive message of be who you are without giving in to what everyone else is doing. Rather than following trends she puts her true self out there, which would explain how she managed to accumulate over 50,000 followers.
“I have a lot of young followers,” she says, “a lot of young girls that look up to me and realize that I’m not posting half-naked photos with sneakers on to get likes and posting what I wear on a normal basis, and I think hopefully they look up to that and want to aspire to be something more than that.”
We got up with Taylor Bettis and let her run through some of her best ‘gram fits. Take notes. She knows her stuff and owns it.
images via @TayTayB1120