Here's how a 'shoetuber' with over 500,000 subscribers earns thousands of dollars a month making YouTube videos about how to resell sneakers


Michael Mitchell Sneakerheadd

  • Michael Mitchell makes thousands of dollars a month on YouTube from posting videos about sneakers.
  • Mitchell is part of a growing movement of “shoetubers,” or YouTube influencers who make money from videos about reselling sneakers.
  • He’s had brand partnerships with companies like Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Foot Locker, and Champs and also makes money through Google’s AdSense program.
  • Sign up for Business Insider’s retail newsletter, The Drive-Thru.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Reselling sneakers can be profitable on its own. But there’s a whole wave of sneakerheads who have figured out how to use YouTube to make even more.

Michael Mitchell is one of these so-called “shoetubers.” The 25-year-old says he earns between $1,200 and $10,000 a month from his videos, which largely focus on sneaker culture and the art of reselling. He is one of many influencers capitalizing on a platform that rewards content creators monetarily for amassing views on their videos. 

Mitchell didn’t plan to be a shoetuber. He used to resell sneakers through his business, called A Sneaker Life, which involved him buying sneakers early, reviewing them for his audience on Instagram, and reselling them. At the same time, Mitchell was reselling sneakers to be able to afford the collection of shoes that he was amassing himself.

In his first year of college at Johnson & Wales University in 2014, Mitchell says he pulled in around $150,000 in sales from reselling shoes. 

“The whole YouTube aspect of it was just on the side,” said Mitchell, who initially used the platform to promote his business. “And then YouTube just kind of took off.”

As Mitchell grew his business, the rise in the sneaker resale market, which a Cowen & Co. analysis estimated could be worth $6 billion by 2025, became fodder for its growth. Eventually the sneakerhead’s YouTube career skyrocketed when he made a video in 2015 that outlined how to afford being a sneakerhead. The video went viral and brought in a wave of new subscribers, fans, and customers.

Mitchell currently has 513,000 subscribers on his “A Sneaker Life” channel and 154,000 subscribers on his personal YouTube channel about his life.

Here’s how Mitchell went from a sneaker reseller to a shoetuber making thousands of dollars a month.

SEE ALSO: A sneakerhead who made nearly $7 million in sales last year reveals his secrets to tapping into the exploding multibillion-dollar resale market

Mitchell says he started at the right time

When Mitchell first started shoetubing in 2013, he said there were maybe 100 sneaker videos posted on YouTube a month. He said that having 10,000 subscribers was considered an accomplishment back then.

“And now you have typically like 20,000 to 100,000 videos every month because everybody wants to do it,” Mitchell said, explaining how much the shoetuber world has changed through the years.

His subscriber count skyrocketed after he posted a video about how to become a sneakerhead in 2015

“It just got big where I was making enough YouTube revenue where I kind of just stopped reselling sneakers and became more of just a collector,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell currently has 513,000 subscribers on his “A Sneaker Life” channel and 154,000 subscribers on his personal YouTube channel about his life.

Now he makes thousands of dollars a month through YouTube

Google’s AdSense program is responsible for part of how YouTubers make money. The amount that a YouTube creator earns per 1,000 views is called the clicks per minute (CPM) rate, which Mitchell says determines a lot of his revenue and tends to fluctuate video to video.

Mitchell says he now makes between $1,200 and $10,000 a month through YouTube thanks to a partnership with Complex Media and Google’s AdSense program.

Most of his money comes from brand deals

“Brand deals are huge for, I would say, shoetubers and just YouTubers in general,” said Mitchell, who estimated that 80% of his income comes from brand deals with companies like Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Foot Locker, Champs, and resale marketplaces like StockX and Goat. 

Mitchell says brands essentially buy an ad placement through a deal with a YouTuber. These deals put Mitchell in the position of having part of his content determined for him by his sponsors and were a part of the reason Mitchell decided to transition from reseller to shoetuber.

Additionally, he said, “I didn’t really want to be known as a sneaker reseller, more so just, I guess — as cringey as it is to say — an influencer.”

For budding shoetubers and resellers, Mitchell offers words of wisdom

“My biggest advice would be to really study the market and know what you’re doing before thinking, ‘Oh, this is just a great idea and anyone can do it,'” he said, suggesting that would-be resellers get in the habit of reading sneaker blogs and reguarly checking websites like StockX. 

“It takes a lot more work than people think,” he added.