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Everyone has that one item that immediately gives them a ready-to-take-on-the-world attitude the second they put it on. It may be a pair of perfect-fitting jeans or a chic statement accessory or even a specific lipstick shade. For Beija Velez, basketball player turned model turned L.A. cool girl, it has always been a pair of fresh sneakers. The self-declared sneakerhead owns—wait for it—over 300 pairs of kicks and counting.

I was 0% surprised to discover that her current favorite pair is none other than Balmain’s BBold sneakers. The name is fitting, as the elevated, chunky-sole shoes really do inspire whoever is wearing them to be bold and use fashion for self-expression, something that Velez has been promoting for years. I can’t think of a better time to invest in a pair of footwear that elevates not only your looks but your confidence, too. And if you’re going to buy luxury shoes, a pair of sneakers you can wear every single day is a guilt-free choice.

Velez’s love of basketball, and subsequently sneakers, all started at a very young age. She began playing the game at just 4 years old and was competing across the country by the age of 8. “My brother would be hooping in the cul-de-sac with the neighborhood boys, so I started tagging along and fell in love with the game,” she says. “Basketball is art to me. It’s like poetry in motion. I’m in love with the upbeat pace of the game, the swag, and the overall energy that comes with it.”

For Velez, sports and fashion go hand in hand. “Sneakers are built in my DNA, and I love the storytelling that comes with different pairs of kicks,” she explains. When selecting a new pair, the athlete in her will tell you that even off-the-court comfort is key, making the BBold an obvious choice.

Her favorite aspect of the shoes? “I love the elevated sole and dramatic silhouette of the Balmain BBold sneakers. I also love the colors that contrast the white to really make the overall design pop. The shoes are fly.” I couldn’t agree more, and my fashion-editor brain can’t help but call out the styling versatility of the sneakers too.

For an off duty look, Velez expertly pairs her BBold kicks with an elevated denim-on-denim ‘fit but notes she’d also style the sneakers with a tracksuit for a more casual vibe. “I feel like getting dressed is a form of expression and displays the energy I’m feeling inside,” she explains. If a pair of sneakers can spark the type of confident, powerful energy she’s currently exuding, then count me in.

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