This startup lets you rent new sneakers every month

Los Angeles (KTLA) – Limited-edition sneakers are often expensive and hard to come by. But a new startup is giving fans access to the coolest kicks — thanks to a sneaker subscription plan.

“It makes it so…$1,000 shoes can be worn by different people, many, many times,” KYX (pronounced “kicks”) CEO Brian Mupo began.

I met Mupo at their Los Angeles headquarters, which was filled with boxes of sneakers.

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Mupo tells me that the site, which has been around for about a year now, has “thousands” of paying customers and about 300 high-end sneaker styles to choose from, with more still being added.

Rental plans range from $79 per month to $349 per month.

“We send the shoes to you…you enjoy them…you have experiences with them…you take pictures with them…then at the end of each month you choose to keep the shoes for another months, to exchange them for new ones or to choose to buy the shoes if you really like them,” Mupo explained.

Some sneakers are hard to find, and if you can, you’ll need to be prepared to pay way more than retail. Mupo sees KYX as a way to get the hottest sneakers on more feet.

Before the sneakers are sent, they go through a process to certify their authenticity. I’ve learned that the biggest giveaway from counterfeit sneakers is if they smell like too much glue.

Sneaker returns are thoroughly cleaned using a variety of methods. Most of the sneakers I saw looked brand new. They also receive a UV light bath to banish germs.

These are not sneakers to wear on a hike or to play basketball. Think Instagram photos, hanging out with your friends, and creating content. KYX deliberately keeps its wear policies too vague, so renters feel comfortable in their own shoes, at least until it’s time to return them.

Like any rental company, KYX has credit card information, so if there is intentional damage, they can always do something about it.

“The majority of the shoes we receive are in great condition,” Mapo said.

Once a shoe has survived its trading cycle, retired souls are photographed and listed for sale on market sites.

KYX represents a new way to put your best foot forward. It’s still expensive, but cheaper than building up a collection of those expensive shoes yourself.

“In the world of limited-release sneakers…most things can be had, but the price is often…downright offensive,” Mapo concluded.

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