The Art of Sneaker Cleaning and Sneaker Cleaning Products

Sneaker Freaker

I’ve veered into silliness with trainers a few times, going out of my way to find them, spending too much money on them and hoarding them badly. I’ve always known that I wasn’t a real sneakerhead though. And I had that confirmed to me when I checked this article oncleaning your kicks @ Sneaker Freaker. If you’ve got dirty old shoes that you’d like to bring back to life there’s some good tips in there.

But what really made me realise what an amateur I am in the sneaker world was the Jason Markk site. Jason apparently makes the ultimate sneaker cleaning fluid – well someone has to. And I like the fact that it’s being done by someone that’s so single minded.

From their about us page:

We make premium goods and accessories for the sneaker boutique market. Our goal is to fulfill the needs and wants of today’s sneaker consumer by offering innovative, high-quality products and accessories. Our mission is to become the most widely recognized and trusted sneaker product and accessory brand in the world.

I’d hazard a guess that anyone who loves their sneakers will love someone who has made it their mission to create the ultimate sneaker products. Would you rather buy a product from someone who really seems to get how important your shoes are? Or Unilever?

Obviously post-sale the product has to be totally excellent too. The product is being put on shoes that are worth way more than money to their owners – just one story of a pair of 1 of 20 AF1s heading south could ruin the reputation of the brand in such a small niche market.

At first I scoffed about their limited edition cleaning sets. They look great and they’re definitely embedded in trainer culture. But then I thought about the kind of people they’re aiming at – and perhaps more importantly where the product is going to get sold. It’s not going to be in a local hardware store is it? If you’re paying $20 for a plain bottle, or much more for a fancy limited edition set you’re only going to see it in boutiques and high-end trainer stores. Where the packaging and legend around the product become super important.

This kit is limited to 1 of 600.

Now all I need to do is find a UK outlet ;-)

Loon Dancing to Make You Feel OK

I rarely get angry. It’s not in my nature. But I got an email today that made me so angry that I really felt it, physically. The only way I could shake it off was by watching people dancing like loons. It made the bad feelings go away. Even if you’re feeling tip-top, I hope these make you feel even betterer about life…

(They’re kind of like UK jump-stylers…)

And here’s a face for the future. He keeps up the pace for over 4 minutes which is no mean feat. He’s incredibly in time for a 3 year old and I love the style in the middle, kind of like fencing. Looks like the back hand would be great at clutching a bottle of lager during dancing – a useful skill for later. Superb.

Fire Video Gets Honours, But Why?

The video from yesterday of the fire got a link from the Guardian’s News Blog.

Their embedding of the video in their blog meant that the clip had over 6,000 views yesterday which meant that it got the following ‘honours’ on YouTube.

YouTube Honours

I was stunned. The most viewed UK news clip of the day. And the 10th most viewed UK clip of the day.

A couple of things worth thinking about:

  • The link from the Guardian is what ‘made’ the clip
  • It’s not the best clip of the fire on YouTube (there are superior ones that have far less views)
  • I couldn’t tell you why they picked up on my clip, but I guess I was pretty quick at getting it uploaded (but it can only have been a matter of minutes)
  • I suspect that they found the YouTube clip through my blog – otherwise they’d have just linked to the clip itself. And the indexing of YouTube is generally pretty slow so it’s not a good way to find ‘up to the minute’ clips.
  • Which leads me to believe that they might have used something like Technorati to find the entry – searching for London Fire perhaps?!?

I guess it shows the power of connectedness, searchability and speed.

Which we should all know about by now ;-)

How Much For An Ad On A Bus in Google Street View?

If you’ve not seen it yet Street View in Google Maps is amazing. Lifehacker reports that it’s now in 15 US cities (and it’s coming soon to the UK judging by the fact that we saw a Google cam car driving round London the other day).


I’ve you’ve not mucked around with it, get on a map of NY or Chicago and have a play with Street View. It’s almost more impressive than Google Earth.

While I was playing I came across this:


And wondered what’s the value of a bus side inside Google maps? It’s lot more appealing to me than the Coke Zero ads in the UK ;-)

Skate – Nice Game, Nice Campaign

There’s a new game coming out called Skate. I think you should be able to guess what it’s about.

It looks absolutely stunning, not sure that this clip will do it justice.

I think they’ve also done some cool stuff with the control system by the sounds of it. And it’s got some neat replay video production stuff too so you can show off your rad skillz.

As I was checking it out I noticed a campaign that’s running alongside the game which I really liked. Basically they’ve got a bunch of Skate dudes to pick a classic piece of skate ‘furniture’ from a couple of parks in Barcelona and San Fran, then installed them in various skate parks around the UK.

Skate Ramp

On the site the pros show you how to pull a trick using this furniture (in real life and in the game). They’re then running a contest for amateurs to go to the skate parks and try to replicate the tricks. Best videos of people pulling tricks win prizes.

As a campaign it’s just got a really nice grass-roots, joined-up feel to it that seems dead right for the core target audience. And it doesn’t matter if you only see the online bit, or simply a bit of concrete in a park. Either way you take away a nice feeling about the game.

Toshio Iwai’s Tenori-On From Yamaha

Toshio Iwai has made a load of cool audio widgety things. The thing I know best is Electroplankton on the Nintendo DS. But he’s done lots of other stuff too. I’ve just come across his latest device to hit the streets, Tenori-On, it’s a bit like this:

As a piece of design I really like it, especially when you see it’s double sided!!!

There’s a UK launch party for the thing in a couple of weeks with performances and DJs and stuff. It’s at Phonica in London (and I think there’s one in Manchester too, but I can’t find the details). More info on their page:

I could get quite needy for a thing like this. But it looks like it going to be about $1000 which is a lot for a plinky plonky toy…

UPDATE: Full UK site is here: (it’s empty at the moment), a better global site is here and the Manchester night is at Mint Lounge.

Like 2ManyDJs (Only Better)

streetlife djs

I’m liking the sounds of the Streetlife DJs a lot today. They’re like a UK version of 2ManyDJs only perhaps a bit more dance-edged, but still with tons of eclecticism. From their Podcast description:

Stewart Rowell and Louis Gaston are otherwise known as the Streetlife DJs. They have over 25 years turntable experience between them, and a blatant disregard for music genres! OK let’s explain…if you think Soulwax meets Coldcut meets Sasha and Digweed you’re in the right ball park…if there is such a place?

Of course they’re on bloody MySpace:
And they’ve got their own Podcast which is really rather good (if you like that kind of thing)
And they have a website of their very own:

Sometimes Titles Just Spoil Things

I didn’t really know how to title this post, if I’d given it an obvious title it’ll spoil the film…

If you like what the film is suggesting have a look at this, it’s something that we can do in the UK.

No Smoking!

The UK is awash with No Smoking signs. If I was a conspiracy theorist I’d suspect that some government cronies had got the contract for the signage, they must be raking it in ;-)

The only good one I’ve seen so far is this one outside a ‘rainbow decored’ pub in Brighton (sorry for the blurry photo you might have to squint to read it):

no smoking but fags

I Consume Therefore I Care


Those ‘I am not a plastic bag’ bags really make me sad.

When they launched in the UK and created a consumer frenzy I was a bit upset. Now I read about their launch in the US I’m getting even more upset.

I think it’s such a shame that the only way to ‘make a point’ is to buy a designer bag. Sure it’s not made of plastic. But I’m pretty sure that the people who are queuing up to buy the bags aren’t the kind of people whose homes are void of bags.

I guess it’s making people talk about bags (plastic or otherwise). But it’s not the right thing to be doing… Is it?