Meet Australia’s First Sneaker Label

Categories Fashion


Behind the homegrown Athletikan sneaker brand, started in Melbourne by two guys who met at university.

Australia has turned into a “Sneakertopia”, according to Melbourne entrepreneur Joe Tamburrino. UK sneaker giants JD Sports are launching a store on Australian soil, retailers like Culture Kings and Sneakerboy go from strength to strength, and sneaker-heads are scouring online stores and ballots trying to get their hands on the latest international releases.

But despite the thirst for great trainers, Australia hasn’t had it’s own sneaker label . . . until now.

Joe has teamed up with Robbie Ball — founder of Uncle Jack, Australia’s fastest growing watch brand — to establish Athletikan Footwear, and tap into our obsession with athleisure and sneakers.

“Australia is fashion forward on a global scale and sneakers are so intertwined now into the fashion culture — Australians have really taken to and adopted sneakers into their daily style,” Joe tells Men’s Style.

“With athleisure an increasingly growing trend in Australia and the sneaker craze at an all time high, we recognised a gap. Something with a boutique feel and in turn, out came Athletikan.”


Joe and Robbie met as interns during their university days and teamed up last year on this latest project. They’ve built hype by gathering tens of thousands of social media followers as well as a VIP waiting list of more than 3000 people anticipating this month’s long-awaited launch, with a limited release of 500 pairs available to the public.

“People want what they can’t have. As we know with the sneaker market and as we’ve seen from the big brands, limited releases help drive demand and hype for products,” Joe explains.

“The Australian sneaker fan is looking for something new, fresh and on trend. Something that not everyone else has but something everyone wants. They sneaker-heads want to stand out with the freshest sneaker on the market and we feel we have a product that is created for our desired market.

“We feel for too long, too few have dominated the sneaker industry and now is the time for a new and fresh entrant to enter the sneaker game.”

Athletikan’s first sneaker is the Triple Black, a sleek sneaker inspired by Melbourne’s athleisure culture. The signature colourway features a lightweight woven knit upper, embossed with bold logos on the heel, and striking shades of black.

“Our shared love of minimal fashion, which is probably inspired by the Melbourne culture, definitely spreads to our choice of sneakers,” Joe says.

“We wanted to create a sneaker that can be taken from the street to the gym, looking just as good with your tracksuit as with your weekend denim.”

Athletikan has more colourways in the pipeline, and plans to hit retailers before Christmas.


Check out their Instagram for more info.