When it comes to meshing entertainment and quality, few can match sneaker YouTuber @MrFoamerSimpson. Foamer is a former professional basketball player whose knowledge about the game and surrounding culture makes him a definitive sneaker source for his 234,000-plus social media followers.
Think of a Clippers version of Lamar Odom…only if he was Irish and had a long red beard.
Foamer and his younger brother @Young_buckets are master sneaker storytellers. While Foamer is the voice behind the mic, Buckets is the man behind the scenes helping everything look crisp.
“We bounce ideas back and forth until we come up with something we like,” Foamer says. “We try to have fun with it, and keep things relevant to what our audience wants to see.”
Influencers with large social followings–sneakerheads like @Nightwing2303, @YoAnty, and @EddieWinKicks–all have their own traits setting them apart. For Foamer, his sneaker reviews often blend insider feedback that could only come from someone with a basketball background, as well as a lot of pop culture metaphors.
“Originality,” he explains about his approach. “I’m just myself. I think that in and of itself makes me different.”
His sneaker reviews are hilarious and full of nostalgic references to the 1990s. The Pennys. The Answer series from Reebok. And, of course, Air Jordans. It’s all here.
Though he’s currently in Florida, Foamer has lived all over New York City and originally hails from New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen. He draws the picture (literally) in his “Draw My Life” video, from growing up on 49th and 11th in New York City to living in a trailer in New Jersey that was so small his parents slept in a tent outside to his basketball playing days that took him everywhere from Kansas to Chile.
Despite not having the opportunity to afford sneakers growing up, that love for them followed Foamer on his basketball journey–at La Salle Academy in New York City, prep school in Massachusetts, junior college in Kansas, a few college stops in Georgia and Tennessee, and finally, professionally in Chile, Mexico, Germany, and a brief stop in Canada. The first sneaker that got him into the game was the Nike Air Max 120 in orange. It was his first “nice” sneaker. He says, “I felt cooler than the Fonz when I laced those up.”
It wasn’t until after knee surgery that Foamer and Buckets started a YouTube channel. They had no prior experience making videos but felt it was worth the shot during a down time.
“I remember us thinking about how cool it would be if we had 100 subscribers,” Foamer says in the “Draw My Life” video. Now? Their channel has over 134,000 subscribers.
Since starting the channel three years ago, they’ve done some pretty amazing stuff, including testing out the Air Jordan XX9s at Michael Jordan‘s crib, dunking at Dwyane Wade’s house, and shooting hoops with Stephen Curry.
Foamer doesn’t count how many sneakers he has but does admit to owning a few hundred pairs split between New York and Florida. This past year, he loved the “Purple Tape” Diadora N.9000 collaboration between Raekwon and Packer Shoes, as well as the “Island Blue” Nike Air Presto and the “Maroon” colorway for the Air Jordan VI, a sneaker that had never been retroed before. His favorite shoe of the past year, however, comes as no surprise.
“I’d say the adidas Ultra Boost is my favorite sneaker this year,” he says. “Extremely dope. That Boost technology feels like angel feathers. It’s literally like walking on clouds. Amazing.”
Moving forward, Foamer recently released an all-natural beard conditioner called Grizzly Beard Conditioner and produces on another YouTube channel called Banana Stew Productions, which he says is dedicated to everything besides sneakers that he feels is dope.
“I think the future for YouTube in general is bright–sneakers or otherwise,” Foamer says. “My plan is to just keep building. My brother and I are going to continue to make dope content. YouTube is a platform that continues to grow and it’s cool to be a part of that. As far as the sneaker game, there will continue to be an ebb and flow like most things. There seems to be a little bit of a lull lately which is good for the people who are genuinely into sneakers because stuff is sitting on shelves where it wasn’t before.”
Even as Foamer innovates, some things stay the same. In closing, we got the man to give us five of his favorite sneakers in his collection.
all images via @Mrfoamersimpson