IDYSM: Hey Orlando, thanks for taking the time to talk to IDYSM.  So, first up, what is Suelas De Goma?
Orlando: The blog was conceived in april 2007 as an online magazine specialized in casual footwear and premium sneakers, aimed at collectors and enthusiasts of footwear.
Nowadays our media includes information on the latest fashion, design and entertainment which represent a lifestyle.
I created suelasdegoma with the purpose of bringing fun and information to the world of retail, in which I have been working for 15 years as a sales rep for several fashion and footwear brands.
Eventually it was the customers who considered my work to be useful and attractive to them. I have managed to get my own space in the sneaker world thanks to the editorials I have created with the effort and help of brands like adidas, and of my team, Jose, Inés and Neko.
IDYSM: Have you always been interested in sneaker culture, and to what level?
Orlando: In my case, one could say that my passion for sneakers grew on me. When I was a kid I had many toys, but never had too many sneakers. It was not something I was particularly interested in until I was like 15, when I saw in the local sports shop a pair of AJ1 which only one of my classmates was able to buy, lucky guy!
Years later, when I started representing Sole Technology in Barcelona, my passion for sneakers went off the charts. Receiving dozens of boxes with samples cannot just leave you indifferent.

IDYSM: What does sneaker culture give to the world?
Orlando: Sneaker culture is part of how we understand and live our lives. Brands edit all sorts of sneakers and consummers choose them according to the way they were raised when they were kids. You can start out buying a pair of basic sneakers because you don’t have much money but eventually, as time goes by, if you are somewhat interested, you may find out that behind every sneaker there is a story, and you may feel identified with some of them and feel a lot happier. This is what makes you pay more attention to special editions, as well as to quality and sophisticated materials. The world of footwear presents many advances year after year. Not even apple can keep up the rhythm! (lol)
IDYSM: You cover all aspects of sneaker culture around the world, so how do you stay on top of what’s happening in the game globally?
Orlando: My job keeps me in close contact with professionals of fashion and footwear, and there is a long list of favorites I visit daily including more than 15 blogs and websites which are world referents in fashion, footwear, technology and motor. I select for SDG what I consider most relevant.
IDYSM: Please describe the sneaker scene where you’re based.
Orlando: Our sneaker community is a small one, and very specialized and interested in new launches. At the moment we have in Barcelona two of the most important sneaker stores in the world, 24 Kilates and LimitEDitions, which give us access to the limited editions and to Consortium. Barcelona has been a referent so far, but very soon Madrid will be internationally recognized thanks to the great job of its stores. adidas, asics, jordan, nike and new balance are part of the local sneaker-head collective, while brands like vans are a lot more expanded among young consumers.

IDYSM: Where is the sneaker game at right now?  Do you think the boom Vans and other low cost vulcanised shoes has passed, and if so, where’s it heading now?
Orlando: I suppose that, due to the economic crisis and to a change of cycle, in the last 12 months there have not been releases as powerful as those in previous years. There has been an excess of collabs and packaging has not been much taken into account. Brands must go back to getting people line up in front of the stores, and those lines must be a party! We must get the thrill and the magic of sneakers in the 80’s and 90’s back. The Ewings are back, that IS magical.

IDYSM: What makes Suelas De Gome different to sites like Hypebeast, Complex, Freshness etc?
Orlando: Suelasdegoma must stand out from the rest of websites and blogs for its originality and interesting content. As a blog with few commercial constraints, I feel free to express my opinion and explain things other webs and blogs do not talk about because it is not politically correct or just because they do not know about them. At the beginning we became known the world over because of our exclusive photo sessions. However, now this is not enough because it is a concept that has been vastly followed by brands, blogs and webs. We have had to rethink how to be different once more. And during the first trimester of this year you will see the results.
IDYSM: What are you most looking forward to in 2013?
Orlando: I honestly believe that 2013 is the end of a hard period in which nonetheless we have been able to create projects we could have not created before. It has been tough making our way to the top, but after all only those who make it get to see the awesome view. We must help those still on the way up.
IDYSM: I have to ask, what’s on your feet right now?
Orlando: Right now I am wearing adidas Torsion Allegra Collegiate/Silver/Black, very comfortable.

* Image courtesy of Hugo Urizar –