What does a Footwear Authentication Specialist do?
Footwear Authentication Specialists or Sneaker Authenticators verify the authenticity of sneakers across major sneaker brands. They must keep up with footwear industry trends, sneaker releases, and collaborations. They also hold knowledge of the world’s best retailers — from streetwear to high fashion. Part quality assurance experts, these sneaker authenticators spot manufacturer defects, assess wear and inspect SKU and size. In general, they ensure that each buyer has the retail experience they’ve come to expect.
How much does a Footwear Authentication Specialist make?
According to Glassdoor, Authenticators maintain an hourly wage between $16-20 in 2021. Annually, this hourly wage amounts to $33,280-$41,600, with the range widely depending on factors including skill and seniority level.
What impact does this career have towards the sneaker industry?
These footwear specialists possess a solid knowledge of not only sneakers but of the footwear consignment industry. They understand the sneaker lines of Nike, Jordan, Adidas, New Balance, etc. Because of their knowledge, they help ensure fake sneakers are not allowed into the post-secondary or reseller market. Their role helps ensure a resale of a sneaker meets full customer satisfaction by upholding the accuracy of a site’s brand messaging, photography, and pricing.
What is the job outlook for a Footwear Authentication Specialist?
By 2022, there is a projected volume growth of 4.0% in the footwear market. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job growth in the fashion design industry (including Footwear Authentication Specialists) is projected to grow one percent during the 2018-2028 decade (www.bls.gov).
Sneaker Essentials contributor,
Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America
President & CEO