Sneaker culture, a once somewhat underground motion for those who appreciated the creation and legacy of sneakers (to a fandom agree), is today a regular facet of New York City fashion. The Brooklyn Museum this past summer hosted an exhibit titled The Rise of Sneaker Culture that chronicled the footwear from the original Converses to the Puma and Stan Smith for Adidas’ of the 1980s and artiste designs of the aughts. For those that are transplants to New York, it’s only a matter of time before you yourself become immersed in the illustrious arrays of sneaker designs and labels. The Empire State remains one of the biggest and most important markets for exclusive releases. But the field has gotten more competitive with sneaker and street-wear shops like Bodega in Boston, and the many in Los Angeles like Undefeated that have gained major credibility. Celebrity-backed editions like the Rihanna for Puma Creepers also bring into the equation a different kind of sneaker lover.
Stores like Flight Club and KITH are known stops for mainstream “sneakerheads” in Manhattan and are regularly packed with customers new and loyal every day. There are also others like RIME, West NYC, and independently run shops from Staten Island to Yonkers that offer just as good and sometimes even more unique qualities of sneakers. I personally suggest stopping by Fordham Road and “the Hub” in the Bronx, and Harlem’s 125th Street.
Joining the room of sneaks is the newly opened, Soho-located Stadium Goods (great name), right on 47 Howard Street, adjacent to V Magazine and VFiles. I discovered the store by just walking in the area and it reminded me of said “Flight” but I instantly when I walked in, the environment felt a lot more welcoming. They share a similar display aesthetic in that the sneakers are rested against the wall from floor to ceiling and are wrapped in plastic. I credit something as simple as the lightning to be a factor in Stadium Goods allowing you to feel more comfortable and it just feels airy in a good way. Like you can really roam and see what they’ve got. In Flight Club, with its somber lighting, you kind of feel like you’re intruding and you’re better off out than in.
Stadium Goods started as an online shop, and in person, expands on its consignment layout. I definitely saw some great sneakers that made my wallet nervous. The prices! I saw plenty of Nikes, and Stadium Goods are another connoisseur on the brand (and ladies, I saw plenty of Sky High Dunks), for $495. There is hope however! An employee told me that it’s always best to further inquire about the shoe you want because the prices vary on availability and size. So that $395 pair could wind up being $220 instead. Still expensive, but let’s take all the discounted prices that we can get for the items we want.
I did view a pair of Hello Kitty slide-on Vans for $50!
The mandatoty Supreme merchandise was at Stadium Goods and included inside the tall glass case were the limited edition capsule collections of the still images from the 1995 film KIDS and Air Jordans (separately).
Another cool aspect of the store was the runway-type area where you can fully see how the sneakers you just might be buying will look on you! Not even Flight Club has this! It’s cool and primed for selfie-taking.
The store is under a month old as of December 4, 2015! So be sure to check it out if you’re in New York City and looking to expand your sneaker repertoire.