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Sneakerdom is a vast and highly cultural landscape. There are different people, from all walks of life that contribute their talents, skills, and money to furthering this sneakerdom idea. But some of you may ask your self, “Where can I get these rare and exclusive sneakers”.
Well, lets define a few thing so we can understand how and why these sneakers are so hard to get.
Rare: Most of the time, these are defined as samples, 1 of 1, or so exclusive that only a few people have the sneakers. Sometimes sneaker companies will create special editions of sneakers for certain people, or for certain events. These are sometimes valued as priceless or so expensive only affluent people can buy them. Sometimes rare could also mean that a sneaker is no longer made and there are only a few left in existence. Whatever the case, a rare sneaker is the holy grail for some collectors.
Exclusive or heat: These are sneakers that are made in limited supply. They could be connected to an event or person, or are only available in certain colorways or made with a special material. These sneaker are a bit easier to find than rares, but are still hard to obtain. Sneaker companies will limit the distribution channels for the release of the sneaker, making it hard to find, thus having a guaranteed sell out, and ultimately driving up the value of the sneaker and brand. This also helps with the overall bottom line in a lot of companies books and company share price.
Now that we understand what it means to be rare or exclusive, these are a few places where you can find the gems.
There are traveling shows that cater to the sneakerheads. Some of these shows are local and ideally suited for their communities. Then there are large, over the top traveling shows that can draw hundreds, if not thousands, of sneakerheads. Each show can have hundreds of vendors that not only sell sneakers, but clothing, art, sneaker cleaning supplies–you name it, they sell it. Here are a few of the larger national and international shows anyone interested in sneakerdom should check out.
Sneaker Con: The 2015 show will be held at the Ft. Lauderdale Convention Center with an expected 100+ vendors and over 30,000 pairs of sneakers.
DUNKXCHANGE: Since its inception in 2005, the DXC has evolved from just a sneaker show. The event routinely features Live Performances & Guest Appearances from Hip Hop & R&B top artist.
All-Star Sneaker Summit: In 2011 The Sneaker Summit became the first ever sneaker and fashion event to be held in a professional sports arena, the Toyota Center
Cleveland’s Got Sole Presented by Villa: Unlike most other shows, Cleveland’s Got Sole raises money for charity. In three years, they’ve donated more than $20,000 to nonprofit organizations, giving $11,000 away last year alone.
Baltimore Sneaker Show: A fairly small show, but growing fast!
Crepe City | Facebook: By Sneakerheads For Sneakerheads Crepe City is Londons premiere Sneaker Festival.
Sneaker Pimps: Founded in 2002 in Sydney, Australia by Peter Fahey, Sneaker Pimps has visited over 62 major cities executing over 300 events globally. It’s featured the works of famous artists and well known musicians.
SNEAKERNESS: Shows in Amsterdam, Zurich, Paris, and more
You don’t have to go to a show to find exclusive sneakers. You can find them online or check your local directory and see if there are stores in your area. If you can’t find someone local, I’ve listed a few of my favorite online and sneaker boutiques that you can find rare and exclusive sneakers. Many of stores don’t have all of their inventory on their website, so calling them will be the best bet.
Suplex Philadelphia: A group of guys that love sneakers decided to create a marketplace that the sneaker community can be proud of.
Soletezboutique Boutique: North Carolina sneaker consignment boutique. Open Mon-Wed 12pm-6pm Thu-Sat 11am-7pm 4400 N. Roxboro Rd. Durham, NC Paypal and phone orders available!
Sole Konnect: You can buy or sell at this store in North Carolina: Sole Konnect 3919 High Point Rd Greensboro, NC Phone (336) 763-5351 Phone orders accepted and they do ship Store Hours Mon-Sat 10am-8pm & Sun 12pm-6pm
Kosmic Kickz: Buy online or in store, plus the store also has local music events. 3612-A Spring Garden St. Greensboro, NC 27407 336-299-9972
Concepts: Concepts is one of the most respected cult stores worldwide, retailing rare and emergent products from around the world.
Major: Aims to educate and grow the style community, and continue to advance the creativity they embody as a brand and the store.
Walter’s Clothing: Established 62 years ago, Walter’s Clothing has become an Atlanta landmark.
Villa: Not just a sneaker retailer. VILLA partners with schools, local governments, community groups, and individuals to improve our community through community service, educational initiatives, anti-violence programs, and economic investment.
Here are a few of the more well known online stores I frequently visit: Nike.com (NDC) Footlocker.com, Finishline.com, jimmyjazz.com, citygear.com, eastbay.com, footaction.com. Unfortunately, hese sites can be very hard for a person to grab a pair on release day. In fact, some stores like footlocker, have raffles or sweepstakes and give out tickets. Some sneakerheads even camp out over night or for day to get a new release, so plan accordingly.