December 11, 2018 at 11:48AM
New York City is both an incubator of streetwear and an institution that houses some of the most serious and diverse sneaker stores in the country (if not the world).
Do a Google search for sneaker stores in the Big Apple and prepare to very quickly be overwhelmed with your options. Every brand has a behemoth of a flagship and then there are the boutiques, which are the ones I’ve chosen to focus on (because you can find an Adidas store pretty much anywhere).
These are both the most-hyped and the under-the-radar sneaker stores that NYC streetwear fanatics and gym rats alike have on their radar (or should).
1. Flight Club
Flight Club is one of the OGs on New York’s sneaker scene. They used to have two locations but now just have one mega-sneaker heaven. At Flight Club, you’ll be able to find those rare styles or drops that sold out so quickly. But part of the reason they’ve become so renowned is that they brought the idea of high fashion consignment to the luxury sneaker market—you can both buy and sell a pair of covetable kicks here.
Flight Club, 812 Broadway, New York, New York, 10003; (888) 937-8020
If you’re interested in stepping up your sneaker game but don’t know where to start, Rime is a great place to start. The staff is known for having an intimate and in-depth knowledge of sneakers. They also carry everything from your run-of-the-mill trainer to exclusive, limited edition drops.
Rime, 296 Atlantic Ave. Brooklyn, New York, 11201; (718) 246-8464
Rime East, 167 East 87th St., New York, New York, 10128; (212) 837-2375
3. Rare Pair
Rare Pair is best left for the very serious sneakerheads. They’ve been open since 2013 and are your best hope for nabbing that pair of sneakers that are so limited they seem to almost not exist.
Rare Pair, 288 Mulberry St., New York, New York, 10012; (646) 912-9444
The idea of sifting through a bunch of very rare and expensive sneakers is not for everyone. For something that’s not just a Stan Smith but won’t cost you a small fortune either, streetwear staple Kith is a great place to look. They carry their own label, other popular footwear brands (Adidas, Puma, etc.)—plus, they frequently collaborate with the brands they sell for affordable, but fashion-forward, shoes.
Kith, 233 Flatbush Ave., Brooklyn, New York, 11217; (347) 889-6114
Kith, 337 Lafayette St., New York, New York, 10012; (646) 648-6285
5. Extra Butter
Sneakerhead culture is changing to be inclusive of women, but Extra Butter has pretty much always been there. The small, Lower East Side boutique sells a range of clothing, shoes, and accessories. It might be best known, however, for its buzzy collaborations. Their most recent one is with gorpcore fave North Face, but they’ve also rolled out shoe collabs with brands including Reebok, Urban Outfitters, Asics, Puma, and more.
Extra Butter, 125 Orchard St., New York, New York, 10002; (917) 965-2500
At Stadium Goods you’ll find the best of both worlds—rare sneakers that are worth a small fortune and your regular (affordable) selection of kicks from all of the usual suspects.
Stadium Goods, 47 Howard St., New York, New York, 10013; (646) 779-8410
When the London’s Dover Street Market decided to set up shop in New York City, they brought the same shopping-as-a-multisensory-experience attitude to their new location across the pond. Spread over seven floors, you’ll find a selection high fashion from brands you’ve never heard of, as well as cult-classic items like Comme Des Garcons sneakers.
160 Lexington Ave., New York, New York 10016; (646) 837-7750
8. West NYC
For all of the special and hard-to-get sneaker stores you can find the city, sometimes you just want somewhere to pick up a pair of shoes you can wear during your outdoor runs or HIIT classes. West NYC is a quiet and easy to shop haven where you’ll definitely find the everyday staple you’re looking for.
147 W 72nd St. New York, New York, 10023; (212) 787-8595
9. NIKELAB 21M
You can find a pair of Nike sneakers pretty much anywhere these days but stopping by a NikeLab is a completely different experience. At the store you’ll interact with the iconic brand in new ways and find a selection of products, shoes included, that you won’t see at other retailers.
21 Mercer St., New York, New York 10013; (212) 226-5433
As a stalwart of the activewear scene, Bandier is the go-to for many people when it comes to the latest and most innovative in workout wear. Obviously, they also have a killer selection of shoes. The kicks selection at Bandier is, in a word, well-curated and has sneakers that are fashion forward—plus shoes that have been engineered for your best athletic performance.
108 5th Ave., New York, New York, 10011; (646) 360-3345
If you want to do your sneaker shopping online, here are a winter-must pair of Vans and all of the unbelievably chic, yet ethical, options currently on the market.