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Gotta Be Da Shoes: Your Free Book to Understand the Impact of Sneaker Culture
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Gotta Be Da Shoes: Your Free Book to Understand the Impact of Sneaker Culture

In the ever-evolving realm of sneaker culture, a seasoned but still fresh voice has emerged, challenging fashion and culture enthusiasts to take a closer look at the soul behind the sole. ‘Gotta Be Da Shoes’, authored by the Tommy (Urban D) Kyllonen, is not your average book – it’s a cultural manifesto that pushes boundaries of fashion and dives into the heart of obsession, spirituality, and authenticity, Tommy’s widely adopted book kicks off with a candid profession: “The fuller my closet got, the emptier my heart got.” As readers walk into the pages, they are taken on a journey through personal evolution, marked by a relentless pursuit of the oldest and latest sneaker trends. ‘Gotta Be Da Shoes’ isn’t just a celebration of kicks; it’s a reckoning with the emptiness that material excess can breed.

In the short time since Urban D’s first publication was released and available on on November 6, 2023 it has already become a cultural phenomenon with the help of his publishing partner, Publify Press. The immediate impact has led to invites from premier sneaker communities like ‘SneakerCon’.

Beyond the understanding of the emptiness that follows trends lies a spiritual awakening. Tommy recounts a period where he turned to theft to feed his insatiable appetite for the latest fashion, only to realize the profound truth. “ You can’t put the created over the creator’. This read, along with masterclasses,  is only part of the challenge for readers to ponder the eternal amidst the temporary, urging us to find value in more than just designer labels. ‘Gotta Be Da Shoes’ takes an intriguing turn with the chapter ‘Gospel Shoes’, where Tommy draws parallels between the iconic Air Jordan 1’s and the biblical importance of the shoes of peace. Suddenly, sneakers become more than a fashion statement; they are elevated to an analogy of cultural and spiritual significance. My personal favorite chapter was titled ‘Reps’ where the story dissects the challenge of living authentically in a world where distinguishing genuine from replica has become not only a challenge, but even a career in sneaker culture.

What sets Tommy ( Urban D ) Kyllonen’s book and project apart is not just the narrative, but the packaging which is presented in a custom-designed shoe box. It’s an immersive that blurs the lines between literature and fashion. Beyond the confines of the book, Tommy’s impact has been widely adopted through his masterclasses. During these masterclasses the author tailored and invited the arts, creatives, and sneaker enthusiasts to live an authentic life and not a bootleg reality.

Tommy (Urban D) Kyllonen’s ‘Gotta Be Da Shoes’ is a cultural odyssey that not only traces the author’s personal journey through the realms of fashion, spirituality, and self-discovery but also serves as a mirror for society’s obsession with materialism. With each chapter, the book delves deeper into the symbolic meanings behind our footwear choices, challenging readers to reflect on their own values and the impact of consumerism on their lives. 

This reflective journey is punctuated by anecdotes from the sneaker community, insights into the psychological allure of sneakers, and the search for authenticity in a world dominated by brand hype. Kyllonen’s work is a clarion call for a more conscious and spiritually grounded approach to fashion, inviting readers to consider how their external choices reflect their inner truths. As ‘Gotta Be Da Shoes’ garners acclaim and fosters discussions in various forums, it’s clear that its message resonates far beyond the sneaker community, touching on universal themes of identity, purpose, and the quest for genuine connection in a material world.

The journey doesn’t conclude with the final page! It actually begins at This is far from just a read, it’s an invitation to explore the temperature of sneaker culture and the soul of the one wearing the shoes. Tommy is a new author, but has always been a cultural guide so step into a world where every chapter is a statement, just like a new pair of kicks.

Published by: Aly Cinco


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