Now, one woman's quest to bring the taboo topic further into the light has manifested the coolest pop culture mashup to date: Nike's new AirMax 270 React "In My Feels" shoe.
Liz Beecroft, the shoe's designer, is the ultimate millennial multi-hyphenate. She's a psychotherapist, a sneakerhead, and an influencer who is raising awareness around mental health issues not just because of her profession but also because of her own personal experiences with anxiety and depression.
In a personal piece penned for Teen Vogue, Beecroft describes how her love of sports—basketball, specifically—dovetailed into her first experience with anxiety. While at sleepover basketball camp, she had a panic attack, which was the first of many she would have over the years. Later, in her 20s, she experienced depression after a breakup, which led her back to therapy and, eventually, to her career as a psychotherapist. Even once credentialed to help others, however, depression and anxiety followed Beecroft as she struggled with the pressures of her second career as a streetwear social media influencer.
Hence, the sneakers were born. “My goal with all of this is to let everyone know that understanding our feelings are valid and we don’t have to suffer alone. It’s okay to feel the feels," Beecroft said in a statement, per Hypebae.
The shoes' green accents are purposeful, chosen because the hue serves as the official color of mental health awareness. Its iconic swoosh has been given a discombobulated feel, its tail waved to symbolize the ups and downs inherent in life that make healing from mental illness a non-linear process. The best part, however—aside from the fact that a portion of the shoe's proceeds will go to benefit the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention—are the text details. The shoe's tongue says, "Have a nice day," while its heel says "In My Feelings."
Beecroft took to Instagram on launch day, sharing some of her thoughts about releasing a shoe that's not only meaningful to her, but also to the mental health community as a whole. "Feeling ALL of the feels today. overwhelmed with the amount of support over my 'IN MY FEELS' air max 270 react ?? it means the world to me to have people backing a sneaker with a mental health initiative ?✨," she wrote. "For everyone purchasing the sneaker, reposting, supporting in any way shape or form, I APPRECIATE YOU. this is how we create a conversation, this is how we raise awareness. it takes people who believe in it to do it TOGETHER. so thank you thank you thank you. ?."
The shoes are available now through September 3rd for $180 on Nike.com.
Not sure if you can justify a new pair of kicks? These 3 signs will tell you if it's time to trade up. Or, make your old sneaks brand new again with this genius dish soap hack.
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