ESPN+ is loaded with context that looks beyond the final scores of your favorite sports and into all of the details that bring the full product together. SneakerCenter focuses on all of those “sneakerheads” in and around the world of sports, as well as the history of sneakers in sports.
The latest episode features UFC Featherweight champion Max Holloway discussing where he grew up and what sneakers mean to him. We also hear from NBA legend Walt “Clyde” Frazier, take a closer look at sneaker boxes and more.
After opening with a tease of Holloway being this episodes featured guest, we jump right into a segment called “OG” with a look at Frazier’s original Pumas and how his shoe deal has progressed over the years. After having watched several episodes of SneakerCenter, it’s interesting seeing a line of sneakers that really haven’t changed over the years. It’s also fun to look at how the style and culture really got started back then, but if you’ve seen previous segments of this series, you’ve already seen all of that before.
Next, “Live @ Da BBQ” takes us to a popup shoebox museum in New York City. It seems like a silly topic for a museum to cover if you’re not into the sneaker culture, but the museum’s creative director explains how much of an impact the boxes in which your favorite sneakers come have had. This short segment really just further shows off how passionate people can be about their sneakers.
And speaking of passion, “Sole Purpose” introduces us to Cesar Perez, a Brooklyn-based sneaker designer who showcased his Dominican heritage in his wildly popular design. Perez exudes passion for his work and it’s honestly a bit touching to see. Whether you’re a sneakerhead or not, it’s always nice to see someone who cares so much about his work and his people.
We then get another segment with Holloway, which allows the show to share some beautiful visuals of Hawaii, Holloway’s home. These are the segments I always enjoy the most because they take time with a single athlete and give us a look into their lives before coming in with the sneaker angle. I would always like to see more of this in SneakerCenter.
The next segment is “1 of 1,” where two sneaker customizers get to work on creating some new sneakers for Holloway. These are always fun segments too because they allow us to see some incredibly talented people create something truly amazing. In this particular episode, I would have liked to see some more of their work, but it’s still one of the better segments.
We then get a look at a woman who started her own shoelace company in a segment called “Insoles” and a sneaker culture college course at Johnson C. Smith University in “You Must Learn.” Aside from seeing how much work actually goes into making customized shoelaces, neither of these segments have much entertainment value. “You Must Learn” continues to present a topic without actually teaching us anything about it. Perhaps it would benefit from getting more time to expand on the topic, but for now it just doesn’t do much for me.
Finally, we get back to Holloway and finish up our look at the UFC standout and his relationship with sneakers. As always, the interview wraps up with him receiving his customized sneakers we saw being worked on earlier in “1 of 1.” For what it’s worth, these are probably my favorite sneakers I’ve seen presented to the special guest. Plus, UFC fighters tend to be pretty interesting people, so the entire talk with Holloway throughout this episode proved to be entertaining.
Overall, this fourth episode of SneakerCenter is more of the same from what we’ve seen in past episodes. Some segments are entertaining and others are not so much. Your interest level will likely vary depending on how much you really care about sneakers, which is fair given that the name of the show is SneakerCenter. Still, it’s always worth watching just for the talk with each episode’s special guest.
SneakerCenter is available now on ESPN+. Fans can subscribe to ESPN+ for just $4.99 a month (or $49.99 per year) and can cancel at any time.
Mike is a writer that has covered comic cons, theme park events, video game showcases and other fun events. He is a fan of theme parks, sports, movies, Marvel Comics and is a self-proclaimed “nerd.”