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International Red Sneakers Day, celebrated on May 20, sparks a vibrant wave of red across communities worldwide. It’s a day to wear red sneakers and support those impacted by food allergies.

This celebration is not just about making a fashion statement. It’s vital to increase awareness and educate the public about the severity and prevalence of food allergies.

This special day is inspired by the heartfelt story of a young boy named Oakley Debbs. His tragic death from an allergic reaction propelled his family to start the Red Sneakers for Oakley organization, which aims to prevent similar losses by raising awareness.

On this day, everyone should wear red footwear, the favorite color of Oakley’s sneakers. It is a symbol of solidarity and support for food allergy education.

Food allergies affect millions, and the risks can be life-threatening. International Red Sneakers Day plays a crucial role in educating people about these dangers and the importance of quick response actions like the use of epinephrine.

Communities, schools, and individuals around the globe participate by sharing stories, spreading knowledge, and fostering an environment of understanding and safety for those with food allergies​.

History of International Red Sneakers Day

International Red Sneakers Day was established to honor Oakley Debbs, a young boy who tragically lost his life due to an allergic reaction to nuts.

His favorite shoes were red sneakers, which became a symbol for raising awareness about food allergies. The date was chosen because May is also Food Allergy Awareness Month, and 20 was Oakley’s football jersey number.

The day was founded by the Debbs family, who started the Red Sneakers for Oakley organization shortly after Oakley died in 2016. Their goal was to educate the public on the severity of food allergies and the importance of quick response to allergic reactions.

The organization emphasizes that education about food allergies is crucial for everyone, including allergists, hospitals, schools, and the general public.

The day has grown into a global movement. Participants around the world engage in activities and use social media to share their stories and promote awareness.

Schools, communities, and individuals participate by wearing red sneakers or red clothing and sharing vital information about food allergies. This initiative has helped spread knowledge and potentially save lives by highlighting the dangers of food allergies and the necessary precautions to take​.

How to Celebrate International Red Sneakers Day

Lace Up Those Reds!

Start the day by slipping into your brightest red sneakers. They’re not just stylish; they’re a statement! Everyone can join the fun, painting the town red from their feet up. It’s a simple yet powerful way to kick off the festivities.

Snap and Share

Capture the moment with a photo or video showcasing those snazzy red sneakers. Then, take to social media to spread the word.

Use hashtags like #InternationalRedSneakersDay and tag friends to encourage a wave of awareness across feeds and stories.

Educate to Advocate

Organize a mini-seminar or a fun quiz at your workplace, school, or community center. Focus on food allergy facts—nothing too heavy, just light and enlightening! It’s all about spreading knowledge with a smile.

Host a Reddish Gathering

Throw a red-themed party or a picnic where guests can wear red or sport their red sneakers. Offer allergy-friendly snacks to keep it safe and inclusive. It’s a great way for friends and family to show solidarity and learn more about food allergies.

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