Complex today will launch the Sole Collector app, a sneaker shopping and content tool named after its web site devoted to sneaker news and culture.
The app gives users the ability to compare prices of up to 40,000 new and existing sneakers through brands, retailers and resale platforms including Adidas, Converse, StockX, Goat and Flight Club. Like the Sole Collector web site, users can search for release dates in the app’s calendar, and browse content from the web site and video series like Full Size Run, as well as the Sneaker Shopping series on Complex, among others. Users can also shop directly from the video content they watch.
In addition, users can share the collection of sneakers they own, create a collection of sneakers they want and browse other collections, as well as set parameters for age, gender and sizes. There are also plans to hold exclusive sneaker launches on the app, and a campaign, sweepstakes and special programming will support the app launch.
“We’ve been ideating this app for quite awhile now,” said Aleksey Baksheyev, chief technology officer of Complex Networks. “We first started talking about it in 2015 to 2016. Last summer, we finally had the green light to start executing and researching.”
The app also revives the Sole Collector marketplace that was originally called ISS and later The Forum, which was sold in 2010.
“Sole Collector was one of the first places online where people bought and traded sneakers,” said Brendan Dunne, general manager of Sole Collector. The company was founded in 2003 as a print magazine and added a blog after its rebrand. Complex acquired Sole Collector in 2013.
Dunne added, “The early version of the marketplace existed in tandem with The Forum as a place for people to trade ideas, opinions and sneakers. Before there were these platforms, it was more peer-to-peer. The marketplace aspect is reviving in this app.”
The Sole Collector app launches as sneaker culture continues to rise to prominence. The sneaker market was threatened by COVID-19, but it powered through, with Nike, Jordan, Adidas and the top sneaker companies launching new styles during the pandemic. Resale also thrived with more activity due to the coronavirus, as well as the ESPN and Netflix documentary The Last Dance that featured Michael Jordan sneakers as much as the man that made them covetable.
Dunne explained that The Last Dance and the content on the Sole Collector app is important so the sneaker community can understand the context behind the sneakers they buy, focusing on “truly rare things and not hype.”
“I think part of the value Sole Collector and Complex bring is to show you the whole world around sneakers,” he said. “You look at the Nike x Sacai Waffle sneakers and a lot of people can tell it’s a cool shoe, but we want to explain why it’s cool. The brand has a history of cutting shoes and putting them back together. I really believe in this idea of context.”