Ever find yourself gazing at Instagram pages of famous sneakerheads and wishing all those shoes were yours? Well, were here to tell you that establishing a nifty collection of sneakers is much simpler than you thought – all it takes is the passion for it basically, and the rest is easy. But don’t believe us. We have a few words for you from Instagram sensation Yaniv Bar. We got the chance to sit down with him for a few minutes (virtually of course, with the COVID-19 and all…) that he cleared from his busy schedule to talk about his passion for the shoe. He’s got some interesting tips for all of you out there who have dreamed of being a true sneakerhead – but were afraid to try it out till now.

Meet Yaniv Bar, the man behind @yankeekicks and @snkrsden

With over 230K followers on his business Instagram accounts, it’s safe to say that in the course of only four years, Yaniv Bar has made himself a name in the sneaker business. His online store has become a go-to portal for true fans and it is rumored that some VIP’s buy their kicks there as well – though Bar himself refuses to disclose anything about that.

“I first realized that I got the sentiment for sneakers when I was visiting NYC. I remember it like it was yesterday… I saw a blue adidas NMD HU and I knew I just had to have it. From there, well, I guess one thing led to another pretty much.”

Where did the idea for YankeeKicks and SnkrsDen come up?

“The notion behind YankeeKicks and the online store that came along with it is that sneakerheads need to buy shoes from experts – not from big retail stores. I mean, stores are nice for plain and basic kicks but when you know you’re crazy about sneakers, you should buy them from someone who’s even crazier than you.

“That brought along another problem – sadly, there’s a big counterfeit market when it comes to classy and rare sneakers. They’re easy to make and sometimes hard to spot. I have a whole guide on that, on the YankeeKicks website, but I felt that it wasn’t enough. That’s how I got the idea for SnkrsDen – an online platform where buyers and sellers can interact directly without a lot of hassle.”

Oh, so that way you know who you’re buying shoes from or selling shoes to

“Exactly. Once any middleman is taken out of the equation, you can put a lot more faith in the process. It’s a win-win situation for both sides.”

You can’t buy passion

I asked Yaniv what he recommends to anyone who wants to set up a private sneaker collection but hasn’t started collecting yet. “Well, first of all I’d ask myself if I really want it and if I’m willing to put a lot of time, effort and money into it. If you’re just looking for a nice photo, save yourself the energy. On the other hand, if you’ve really got the itch – go for it with all your strength.

“Start off slowly. Find a few good kicks that you really want to own and don’t be afraid to pay a hefty price for them. If, after that, you still feel like you want more, that means that you’ve got the passion, and nothing can stand in your way.”

You raise a good point, Yaniv. What about the money?

“That’s the tricky part. Never spend more than you can afford to. A sneaker collection is something worth investing in, but I wouldn’t recommend getting into debts and taking loans for it – especially not in these shaky financial times. I say allocate some money off of your monthly income for it and go wild, but don’t pass the budget limit you set for yourself.”

Sneaker containers, available at the YankeeKicks store

Fear the fakes

One thing Yaniv constantly warns his followers and fans from are phony shoes. “It’s getting very hard to tell these days because the counterfeit industry has become professional. As a thumb rule, though, if it seems too good and cheap to be true – it probably is. Always read about the shoe you want to buy online first and check out how much it’s supposed to cost. When In doubt, leave it out, as they say.”

How can I know if a shoe is fake?

“Good question. My site has one of the most detailed guides around with important methods of spotting fakes. You can also find other guides on the web. Just make sure you do your research properly.”

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