VEJA Runner Style 2 Sneakers Grau | The Viability of Reshoring Sneakers Expands and leads to a Revolutionary Sneaker Collab | COMUNITYmade x KX Lab Molino Knit


KX Lab

Reshoring: the practice of transferring a business operation that was moved overseas back to the country from which it was originally relocated

Sneaker media is weighed down by the constant releases by Nike and the larger brands. Sneaker culture is driven by Jordans and Yeezy. On this site, there are over 1300 sneaker videos. The majority of them are Nike and Jordan sneakers because I also run an e-commerce sneaker site and almost every sneaker sold since 2018, I created a video for the shoe. This doesn’t mean my personal sneaker rotation is dominated by the big brands. My sneaker rotation at this moment consists of 20 different pair. The styles range from Zen Running Club, Brandblack, and Red Ball Jets to 99Products, NOBULL and 3 different pair of COMUNITYmade sneakers.  Harden Vol 3 features one of the best iterations of it on a basketball shoe

Sneaker diversity is not a celebrated aspect of mainstream sneaker culture. If you aren’t rocking the latest pair of sneakers your Twitter or IG feed isn’t as active. Bringing up issues like sustainability in the community is like speaking to a room of people responding to a notification from the SNKRS App. I’m starting this post explaining this way because I have what could be labeled “sneaker guilt”. I am fully aware that my business requires more sneakers to be sold. I’m also aware of the carbon footprint of a company like Nike and other large brands. I realize that sneakers lead to a considerable amount of CO2 when those kicks end up in landfills. It’s one of the reasons I began working with a company like Sneaker Impact to help people recycle their kicks. I’m a big proponent of COMUNITYmade because the brand makes me feel better about my industry.

I began this post with a definition. For years I’ve looked for terms to explain my COMUNITYmade kicks when people asked about them. This hasn’t happened often. When it does, my typical response has been to show them my goldfoil stamp on my custom Tractions or Westsiders and proudly say, “These were handmade in Los Angeles by a brand named COMUNITYmade.” I would then feel like I was required to explain that the prices on the site were higher than typical sneakers.

In the video above for COMUNITYmade’s first knit sneaker, made in partnership with KX Lab, I finally have the terminology to explain why COMUNITYmade is one of the most important sneaker companies in the world. I also have the term to explain the cost, Appropriate Labor Costs (ALC). As powerful as Nike is in sneaker culture, the company is one of the reasons the majority of jobs in sneaker manufacturing exist outside of the U.S. Nike’s foundation is the foundation of offshoring sneakers and driving costs down. Inexpensive labor creates the sneakers the culture celebrates. The irony is sneakerheads will pay 200+ for hyped sneakers without blinking, but balk at sneakers built with ALC. My inability to explain quickly why this new sneaker is important to the culture has been solved with this video.


While some will watch this and click through on the links and pause, I watch this video and I feel pride. I can celebrate that innovation and manufacturing are taking place in my backyard. The COMUNITYmade Molino x KX Lab is revolutionary. The process opens the brand up to something I didn’t think would be possible for the company, expansion into performance products. Looking at the pictures here the weave on this sneaker appears to have reinforced areas and Noah, the product manager at COMUNITYmade, explains the shoe is made with handcrafted leather details. If COMUNITYmade is capable of generating an athletic outsole with this upper, this could mean a performance option might be arriving from the company soon. As of right now, I’ll celebrate and diminish my “sneaker guilt” by picking up a pair of these. Be on the lookout for an unboxing. Visit COMUNITYmade.

Harden Vol 3 features one of the best iterations of it on a basketball shoe