It was like a scene straight out of a movie. I walked onto the pier and saw a brightly-colored ball hanging from the sky, with dozens of people walking beside me who I knew were going to the same place I was- we were finally there, at Sneaker Con‘s newest location, ready to take part in one of the sneaker community’s biggest events in the entire world.
Now I’ve been to Sneaker Con before, but this one beat every other time, hands down. This year’s event was held at Pier 94– the largest spot they’ve ever had it at in New York City– and hundreds of people aligned the sidewalk, pumped to see the thousands of kicks that we’re waiting inside for them. The DJ played recent hip-hop hits as the SneakerCon staff greeted us with wristbands & flyers for their DMV event as we walked inside. Little kids as young as 10 raised Galaxy Foamposites & other rare kicks in their air, yelling the sizes they had at other traders, buyers & sellers. At one point Pia (one of The Source‘s videographers) halted with a quizzical look on her face as one of the kids counted the stack of cash in his hands after selling a pair of kicks- he had just easily made $1,000 dollars, all in hundreds & twenties. I smirked- I knew that look. If it were your first time at Sneaker Con, a child holding a band would surprise you too.
I’m no newbie- I’ve been into sneakers for years, and I was ecstatic to be at Sneaker Con NYC for the second year in a row. Air Mags and Yeezys are common & in large abundance at events like this, so if you’ve seen one pair of Red Octobers you’ve seen them all. See, this year I was looking for the rarest sneakers, the exclusives- and I definitely wasn’t let down. One guy had on a pair of Huaraches I’d never seen before- he got them from the End boutique in Europe, the only place you could purchase them. A pretty girl who worked with one of the vendors rocked the Cherry 12s, and they looked as if she had put them on for the first time that day- hard to find those in deadstock condition these days.
Along with vendors selling kicks at booths, prominent figures in the sneaker world were in attendance. Jason Markk– the owner of the best-selling sneaker cleaner in history- was seen hanging out at his booth, and I was even able to chat with Wendy Lam of Nitro:licious, a fellow female sneakerhead whose blog I’ve been reading since I was a young teen. A lot of people don’t realize just how big the sneaker culture is- it doesn’t just involve buying expensive kicks. There are loads of clothing brands, restoration services & sock brands that revolve around the shoes you wear on your feet everyday. Then you have the mothers who come with their diehard sneakerhead sons, willing to spend major paper so that their kids can get their hands on a pair of heat. As I stood around talking to some of these people in my Dennis Rodman Stance socks and Bred 1s, I was in awe at the babies being pushed by their dads rocking more expensive sneakers than mines- they’re starting them younger & younger these days.
Bikers looked on as the line outside grew longer, amazed at how many people came out for kicks- if they only knew. Adults and children alike stared at the floating Sneaker Con ball in the sky, wearing their custom Nike Roshes and an assortment of brightly-colored Asics & New Balances. I walked away from the crowd around three-o-clock, rushing to the train to assist at a music video- it had been a long and awesome day, and my Breds were starting to hurt my feet. Until next year, Sneaker Con.
All photos were taken by Pia Fergus.
Kairi knows the name of every pair of Jordans but couldn’t tell you a thing she learned in Math while in college- who uses exponents, anyway? Talk kicks with her @_findingforever.