Getting his kicks: Maize grad Cade McGaugh turns shoe-collecting hobby into a business

Luke Fabrizius and Cooper Kelley


Luke Fab

Cade McGaugh shows off a Jordan 4, one of his favorite shoes sold in his store.

Justice Mannie, Reporter

Cade McGaugh has been buying and selling shoes since he was a kid. He has turned his hobby into a business.
McGaugh, who graduated from Maize High in 2019, has teamed up with best friends Michael Reyes and Ernesto Hernandez to open Knockout Sneaker Boutique. Located in Towne West Square near JC Penney, the store features several styles of sneakers and local fashion brands. Customers can also sell their gently used shoes to the company for resale.
The business started by selling shoes out of McGaugh’s basement before he left for college, Reyes said.
“It became something big to where we just wanted to open up a storefront,” Reyes said. “We used to be up until 2 a.m. every once in a while in Cade’s basement doing inventory and selling shoes.”
McGaugh has been collecting shoes since he was a child. It’s something he said he loves to do. He said they get inventory by buying them from customers, purchasing them online or buying them from bigger retailers like Foot Locker and Champs.
“We’ll go to different states to buy them,” McGaugh said.
McGaugh and his partners came up with the name and logo.

“My favorite part about my job is that I open the door and every day it just feels like I’m just living my life and I’m really not even working.””

— Cade McGaugh

“Our logo is a ring with two shoes because when you come into a shoe store you decide what you want and it’s like choosing between one or two shoes and it’s just like you pick the knockout shoe.”
When McGaugh left Maize, he planned on playing basketball in college, but after his season was canceled because of the pandemic, he moved back home.
Hernandez quit his job.
“I sacrificed everything … to be able to create a successful business.” Hernandez said.
Each of them brings a unique set of skills to the table that helps them to run a successful business.
Promoting is a key part of their business. They’re constantly posting their products on their social media. They have drawings and raffles to get their old and new customers involved.
“Social media is big and when I go out I communicate and talk with them,” McGaugh said.
They have been to events in Chicago, Denver, Dallas, Oklahoma and Kansas City, McGaugh said.
“Cade has connections, he knows the market, and Michael can make money out of nothing,” Hernandez said.
Their greatest achievement is opening a store in a slower area and yet attracting a high number of customers and sales, McGaugh said.
“Still doing good in volume and sales,” McGaugh said.
The owners are satisfied with the store and with what they do every day.
“My favorite part about my job is that I open the door and every day it just feels like I’m just living

my life and I’m really not even working,” McGaugh said. “I just do what I love.”

Infographic by Tatum Steinhoff