He has a hugely successful YouTube channel where he keeps it real with honest sneaker reviews and practical advice for his more than 1 million followers. He has his own clothing brand, aptly named after himself, Saint Michael. Oh, and he also happens to have a pretty ballin’ sneaker collection. Meet Mike the Compass of A Sneaker Life.
Hibbett | City Gear recently sat down with Mike to talk about his favorite subject — sneakers — his life in the limelight and how he developed his trademark style.
When did you become a sneakerhead?
My love for sneakers started extremely young. I had all the retros back as a toddler in the early ’90s. Throughout school, my mom always kept me in a clean pair of sneakers. It wasn’t until my sophomore year of high school when I really started to pick up on the different models and started collecting.
What made you decide to start a YouTube channel?
I started YouTube with just a passion for entertainment; I have always wanted to be a YouTuber. I got here today by just being genuine about my passion, and I think that’s what grew my following. I also wanted to help others not only see what’s up and coming but also relate to them on day-to-day struggles and talk about what I find important in life.
What’s your favorite part of having a YouTube channel?
Years from now, I can go back and watch a memory. Pictures are great, but videos really capture those moments that you forgot about, and that can really make you smile. I also love the fact that so many people can relate to some of my situations, and there is a true connection between me and the audience.
What are some of the challenges of putting your life in the public eye?
My biggest challenges come from people thinking they know everything about me and basically judging me based on only a few minutes of video. Sometimes the negative comments really get to me; there can be 1,000 positive comments, but that one negative comment is all I can see for some reason. Obviously it doesn’t bother me as much anymore, but once upon a time that was all I would focus on.
The other challenge is responding to everyone; if I spent all my time responding to everything, I wouldn’t even have time to create anything, so learning to balance that has been an ongoing struggle.
What is your all-time favorite sneaker pick?
My favorite sneaker of all time is the White Cement Jordan 4. All my life I have been a Jordan guy, and still to this day that hasn’t changed much!
How do you choose a sneaker to complement an outfit?
When I was younger, I always started from the sneakers up. Nowadays, the fit is way more vital to me! I have to look the part, too, so I definitely start with the outfit and then decide which sneakers subtly go best with it.
When putting my fits together, I tend to try and follow color blocking and depending on the season, I dress accordingly to make sure the colors compliment each other. Other then that my go-to look is for sure all black — I love wearing plain black t-shirts because everything goes with it and matching my sneakers is really easy!
For more no-holds-barred insights on all things sneakers, check out Mike the Compass’ YouTube channel, A Sneaker Life, and be sure to catch up on our styling athleisure interview with fashion blogger, Jasmine Sweet.