Former college track star, April Holmes had the talent and drive to rise above any challenge placed before her, but when a train accident in 2001 resulted in the loss of her leg, Holmes had a choice to make and she chose to not let her disability define who she was, but rather to take this second chance at life to pursue her dreams of being a gold medal athlete for Team USA at the Paralympic Games. Throughout her track & field career, Holmes set records like no other from 2002-2016 at the Athens, Beijing and London Paralympic Games competing and winning medals in the 100, 200- and 400-meter races and long jump events.

via getty images

Holmes’ passion, tenacity and true athletic grit, doesn’t only shine on the track field. In 2002 she founded the April Holmes Foundation Inc., a non-profit organization that assists and provides scholarships and medical equipment for people with physical and learning disabilities in order to continue to pursue their goals like April did. She is also a motivational speaker, author, life coach, and the inspiration behind the Air Jordan 2009 sneaker.

 As the Jordan brand’s first female, first disabled and first track and field athlete, April Holmes inspired new technology in basketball footwear called Articulated Propulsion Technology, or APT. This technology mimics the carbon fiber prosthetic running technology used by Paralympics that propels athletes forward. It is this cutting edge technology coupled with a luxurious, futuristic aesthetic that makes the Air Jordan 2009 a unique and exclusively designed shoe. Holmes is no stranger to exclusive shoes as a sneaker collector, Jordan brand athlete and Another Lane member. 

We sat down with Holmes to discuss what sneaks mean to her. Make sure to cop from her Another Lane store, proceeds will go towards the April Holmes Foundation foundation

Another Lane: How would you describe your sneaker collection?
April Holmes: I am a footwear person! It sounds weird to judge people by their shoes, but quite often I find myself in public just observing footwear. So my sneaker collection began when I was a young kid who wanted hard bottom shoes so I could practice tap dancing on my bathroom floor. Then I graduated to earning shoe money from chores so I could buy the latest drops, since my mom couldn’t afford the kind I wanted. To the ultimate collection in being a professional athlete and being given the latest. So I have plenty of heat but I have also given plenty away. 

AL: Why did you choose to do business with Another Lane?
AH: When my friends tell me about their dreams, goals or business ideas I try my best to support them in any way I can. As a startup founder and sneakerhead myself, I knew the best way to support Another Lane was thru product and resources. I’ve know for many years that Adena was a sneakerhead so we often talked about our kicks and the latest drops. So to hear that Adena & Chad developed a sneaker platform was not surprising! I am excited to see the growth of Another Lane and the impact that it has on the sneaker market.

AL: Favorite pairs you would never let go of?
AH: The four pair that come to mind that I would never get rid of are all PEs. I have a pink pair of 11s that memorialize my Aunt, who transitioned due to complications with breast cancer. I have another pair of 11s that were embossed with my life tapestry on them. I have a golf pair of 11s that are too sick to ever see a course! Then I have a pair of 1s that are very limited edition that were never released to the public.

AL:Favorite memory attached to a pair of kicks? 
AH: In 2008 the Jordan Brand gifted me with a pair of Gold spikes to wear for my 100m final in Beijing. They came in a special case and I ended up winning the gold medal while wearing them. It was a special moment for my family to be in attendance while I wore the USA uniform with a pair of gold J’s on my feet.

45,129 Summer Paralympic Games Photos and Premium High Res Pictures - Getty  Images

AL:Why did you start your foundation? 
AH: I started my Foundation after losing my leg in a train accident in 2001. The mission of the April Holmes Foundation is to be able to assist those with physical and learning disabilities. We have assisted those with scholarships, medical equipment, and footwear. Prior to Covid-19 pandemic we hosted an annual Black Tie & Sneaker Ball to raise money for the foundation and its causes. Presently we are pivoting to address a greater need we have discovered. So stay tuned…