Proove, the Mexican sneakers stepping up the game
Proove is a 100% Mexican brand – Photo: Taken from Proove’s Facebook account

Proove, the Mexican sneakers stepping up the game

Mexico City
Danaý Martínez
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Mexican Gabriel David Valencia Ramos created Proove, a sneakers brand full of design and passion for sports

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With only 23 years of age, Gabriel David Valencia Ramos, from Puebla, arrive to Querétaro to study at Monterrey’s Technological Institute of Higher Education (ITESM) thanks to a sports scholarships, for he has been practicing volleyball for eight years. His love for sports, as well as the college degree he chose, gave him the idea to create Proove, a sports brand specialized in tennis shoes for volleyball players.

There are two tennis shoes brands specialized in volleyball, both are Japanese and few models arrive in Mexico. The problem is that sneakers are repetitive; it was not a technical issue, but of aesthetic, and that is why volleyball players use shoes for basketball instead. Gabriel noticed this situation and it was how he decided to start his own business.



Una publicación compartida de PROOVE (@proovemx) el

“It’s very common to see volleyball players wearing basketball shoes in competitions. I analyzed the brands available in Mexico and none of them offers a specialized line of volleyball tennis shoes, therefore my idea emerged,” he explained.

The youth from Puebla is already a member of the shoe industry. “I wanted to call [my brand] with a very Mexican name, but they told me the market was not ready. A Mexican name in a product of this kind is linked to bad quality. I was thinking with my designer and several [names] came up; the logo is an infinite [symbol] and we were looking for words with two letter O’s and in that search we found ‘improve’ and at the moment of designing the letters, he suggested to leave it at ‘Proove,’ so that in the future we can play with marketing matters,” he commented.


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Gabriel’s market is directly with volleyball players, but since the sneakers are made with great design and standard materials, they can be used by runners as well as people who go to the gym.

Materials start with the sole, which is of ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA), the most used material used in this kind of shoes. The shoe is made up of the rubber runner, which is what prevents you from slipping, the sports mesh to control perspiration, the insoles are made of memory foam, so that besides adapting to each kind of foot, it has better padding when stepping on them, and the rest of the components are synthetic, since there are many colors and up to six different combinations can be created.



Una publicación compartida de PROOVE (@proovemx) el

“The difference of my brand is to offer many models; you can choose the parts of the sneakers in different colors. I made a market study and discovered that it is something that calls attention and now we are the only company in Mexico that offers it” he said.

Proove has a production of 1,000 pairs a month. The work starts with the design. The first is the selection of the sole to create the idea of how the design should be, which must be coherent with a trend; a proposal is determined; it is sent to the producer in San Francisco del Rincón, Guanajuato; then, it is digitalized to create patterns and tests are driven to finally determine the scales of the numbers of each pair of sneakers.


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The Im-Proove model has a cost of MXN $999, and the Aton costs MXN $860. They are available through a digital sales platform and if the client wants to customize them it has an extra cost of MXN $300.

“The main problem to determine the price of your product is the comparison with leading brands. If it is too low a price, they can compare you with low-quality brands, but if they’re expensive, buyers will choose big brands. When the market notices your product is of good quality, you can increase your price little by little, although our objective is not being a luxury brand.

For now, a big step given by Proove is that the Mexican Commission of Volleyball Referees chose Gabriel’s brand as sponsors of their shoes, and the idea is to reach more sports and even national teams.



Una publicación compartida de PROOVE (@proovemx) el

Financial support
Gabriel received initial support from his brother David Valencia, who is also an entrepreneur, but in the jewelry industry. David gave Gabriel his first loans to start doing research on the industry. Then, Irving Miranda, creator of the brand Deloerean, from Querétaro, helped Gabriel find suppliers and producers; his volleyball teammate Mario Ruiz is in charge of quality and materials; Daniel Teres created the corporate identity, and Hugo Hernández is the production manager with over 18 years of experience.

All of them are Proove and Gabriel is the proof that, despite his young age, knowing how to create good alliances and following your dreams, entrepreneurship can be a good option for the new generations of Mexicans.



Una publicación compartida de PROOVE (@proovemx) el

Asked about why someone should choose his product, Gabriel said, “I have become a local consumer; I have noticed that there are companies that work hard; I think it says a lot of the work behind this. I would buy it to give them a chance, to see all the work behind, and honesty. We are targeting young athletes with a passion,” he concluded.


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