International Red Sneakers Day | May 20
(Last Updated On: May 17, 2023)


Each year on May 20th, International Red Sneakers Day marks a growing movement with a mission to save the lives of those with food allergies while also sharing the story and memory of a boy who loved red sneakers.


Food allergies come in many forms. While one person’s body will have a deadly reaction to nuts, another’s allergy will be shellfish. The common issue is that both are life-threatening conditions. International Red Sneakers Day promotes improved awareness of all food allergies and support for those who have them.

Energetic and athletic 11-year-old Oakley Debbs inspired the observance. He had a tree nut and peanut allergy, and he loved red sneakers. Sadly, he is also a testament that allergens kill. In November of 2016, Oakley died after eating a slice of cake made with walnut extract.

If you have a food allergy and go into anaphylaxis, give yourself epinephrine immediately and call 911.

The international initiative aims to raise awareness in support of all those with food allergies. Some of the goals include:

  • Education and Awareness – Speak with your physicians about the proper administration of epinephrine when anaphylaxis occurs and carrying two auto-injectors.
  • Raise Awareness – Involve your community in campaigns and outreach. Include coaches, teachers, coworkers, and family members.
  • Advocacy – Improve access to care from diagnosis to treatment. Write to state and federal legislatures for support.
  • Allergy-conscious Cooking – Make it easier for those with allergies to identify safe foods. Support easy-to-read labels and food protocols in restaurants.

Anaphylaxis is a frightening and deadly condition. Take steps to make a difference in your life or that of a loved one.

HOW TO OBSERVE International Red Sneakers Day

Wear your #RedSneakersForOakley to show your support for those with food allergies! You’ll also be joining a growing movement that has already saved lives. It’s simple. Please take a picture of yourself wearing your red sneakers, tag @redsneakersforoakley or @oakley_red, and post it on social media. You only need to read the testimonials on the Red Sneakers for Oakley website to know how powerful the movement is and how many lives a day like this can save.

Do you have a story to share? You might save a life. Use the hashtags #RedSneakersForOakley #InternationalRedSneakersDay.

Be sure to follow:
Facebook @redsneakersforoakley
Instagram @redsneakersforoakley
Twitter @oakley_red
Pinterest @oakley_red

Visit their website at for food allergy resources, read Oakley’s entire story, and of course, wear red sneakers.


Red Sneakers_LogoRed Sneakers for Oakley™, a nonprofit 501c3, founded International Red Sneakers Day in 2018, after Oakley Debb’s November 2016 fatal reaction to nuts. Oakley’s parents, Merrill and Robert Debbs, launched Red Sneakers for Oakley to prevent other families from facing the same tragedy. Central to the organization’s theme are Oakley’s red sneakers, carrying food allergy awareness messages all over the world and in multiple languages.

The Registrar at National Day Calendar proclaimed International Red Sneakers Day to be observed annually in 2021.

Join the

Stay up to date on upcoming national days and Celebrate Every Day!