Sneakerheads get their kicks at show
Whether it was to buy a new pair of Yeezys or sell a pair or Jordans, more than 5,000 sneaker enthusiasts showed up to Sneaker Con Saturday at NRG Center.
Sneaker Con, a convention held globally since 2009, invited Houstonians and sneaker enthusiasts worldwide to indulge in their hobby by buying, selling and trading sneakers as well as handmade artwork and clothing. Attendees could also get their purchases verified for authenticity for free at the event.
William Debord, marketing representative for Sneaker Con, said the event has not been in Houston since 2015. He said the event is a chance for “sneakerheads” to socialize and do business with each other.
“It’s really just a nice environment for people to come out, hang out, see sneakers, be around like minded people and if they want to do some commerce, that’s something they can do as well,” he said. “You have anyone from babies forced into being sneakerheads by their parents to grandmothers enjoying the show with their grandkids.
The more than 5,000 attendees had the option of browsing booths set up by vendors selling
rare shoes, including Yeezy 350s and Nike Air Off-White Prestos, as well as trading their own shoes in the designated trader pit. Trader Diego Bonfil, who traveled from California, said he has been to every Sneaker Con.
“This is just a step for me to take to opening my store,” he said. “I chop it up with people and try to create business relationships. I have my hands on pretty much everything, but I’m after a couple pairs.”
Candace Richard, vendor and owner of Sole Dynasty, said she comes to the convention for her love of shoes and the chance to promote her business.
“It’s a pretty dope experience to see all of the shoes everyone has,” she said. “I’ve always loved shoes, I’ve always collected shoes. I got into the selling aspect a few years ago. I actually went to Sneakercon in Atlanta this year.”
Vendor and sneakerhead Blanca Berlanga was selling clothing and rare shoes with her boyfriend, including brands like higher-end Adidas shoes and Supreme shirts. She said the culture of Sneaker Con fits Houston’s urban fashion scene.
“This is a brand new event for us and I think it’s going to be super important to be a part of it,” she said.
Sneaker culture politics are much a part of
“This has become an art avenue for a lot of these people in the sense that they are able to express visions that they see.” Anthony Fernandez, owner of Sole Premise
Sneaker Con, including the reselling market and shoe preference. Chance Davis, a vendor, said the market has become flooded with “hype-beasts,” or consumers who buy what is popular rather than what they like. Vendor Whitney Salahuddin said she personally got into sneakers for style reasons.
“I didn’t really grow up wearing a lot of sneakers because my mom wouldn’t let me,” she said. “I like being around the shoes I didn’t get to get. I like the silhouettes and if they fit my feet really cute and don’t make them look like boats. ”
Anthony Fernandez, owner of Sole Premise, a sneaker backpack company, said the community has gained a life of its own over the years.
“This has become an art avenue for a lot of these people in the sense that they are able to express visions that they see,” he said. “We have a guy making custom wristbands, there’s a guy that specializes in selling small kids’ shoes. Those things are invaluable in the sense that no one is doing it.”
Rodrigo Ojeda holds up a pair of Nike Safari Air Max shoes during Sneaker Con at NRG Center. The convention brought thousands of sneakerheads eager to browse booths and check out rare editions.