This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
It doesn't matter if you're a sneaker freak or a tennis shoe newb, shopping for sneakers can be overwhelming. There’s a rainbow spectrum of styles with a surplus of new releases every week. The sheer glorious bloat of options is driven by the ever-growing popularity and cultural significance of sneakers within fashion circles, amongst athletes, sports fans, musicians, and anyone who simply wants to loaf around in comfort.
A fresh purchase is not just about sussing out the biggest drops (although we don’t blame you if you were mad you couldn’t get your hands on another Off-White x Nike collaboration). It doesn’t matter how rare or popular your next kicks are — if you love them or the story behind them, they’re a purchase worth making.
To help you find your dream pair of the most comfortable shoes ever (sneakers!) we're sharing the places you can shop for the best deals, curated selections of releases, rare finds, and exclusive collaborations. Whether you buy new or resale, these are the sites to open in your tabs.
Stadium Goods is a consignment shop that offers a carefully curated selection of sneakers that already hit the market — from the most sought after to rare finds and more. With a shop in New York and soon-to-open in Chicago, sneaker lovers can shop in-store or online. Stadium Goods is adamant about trust and authenticates each pair of sneakers goes through a rigorous process to ensure their product is authentic and unworn. They also are willing to review any doubts, so you can feel confident that you’re purchasing the real thing.
Don’t forget to check out their “Trophy Case” online, as you may find an exceptionally rare sneaker that you’re willing to drop an obscene amount of money on.
Nike Air Max 95 QS “Plant Color Pack”, $, available at Stadium Goods
Bodega is a concept store that first opened in Boston with a fun twist — the store was hidden, giving off the vibe of a speakeasy but for sneakers and apparel. One has to find the store in a semi-functional bodega. Now, there’s a location in LA, but you can also shop their site online if you can’t make it to (or find) a store. They offer a large selection of sneakers that go beyond Nike and Adidas but also include brands such as Karhu, Hoka One One, and exclusive collaborations with Vans, Clarks, and more.
Their site is also worth exploring to learn more about their special releases and store events.
Vault by Vans x Bodega Classic Slip-On Lx, $, available at Bodega
One of the biggest players in the resale market, StockX is proud to say it’s the first stock market for things, offering a live “bid/ask” marketplace. Sellers can accept any price that a buyer bids, or buyers can purchase right away at a seller’s lowest ask. This is what makes buying on StockX fun. The best part is that StockX authenticates to make sure you receive only real products. You can buy watches, designer handbags, and various collectibles as well.
Nike Blazer Mid 77 Vintage Multi-Color, $, available at StockX
If there’s a specific pair of sneakers you’re searching for, and it feels impossible to obtain, you may consider it your grail. Hence the name of one of the biggest consignment sites, Grailed. Buyers get protection when they purchase through Grailed with PayPal, so this includes refunds if an item wasn’t shipped. Unproven sellers must provide photos of details to ensure they have the product.
You can organize your sneaker search by these categories: Hype, Core, Sartorial, and Grails.
Nike Kaws x Air Max 90 Premium Volt, $, available at Grailed
GOAT is another major player in the resale market that has a strict authentication process. This includes in-hand verification, as well as machine learning technology to inspect every detail down to the stitches, color, and texture of their sneakers. They source from boutiques and retailers, as well as their trusted network of resellers, so you can buy new or used (but they’re in good condition).
GOAT offers a pleasing digital experience on their site and app for easy purchasing. You can also browse their online editorial and bi-annual print magazine, Greatest, to learn about various creative artists with a penchant for style.
Nike Air Max LeBron 7 Retro QS 'China Moon' 2020, $, available at Goat
Like many other sneaker or streetwear retailers, Concepts provides their customers with products from exclusive collaborations — each with a story to tell. The Boston shop first opened in 1996 and is now in multiple locations that include New York, Dubai, and China. One of their latest collabs was with Brooklyn Nets’ Kyrie Irving and Nike for the Concepts x KYRIE 6 Khepri and a kids’ version, Nike x Concepts KYRIE 6 “Golden Mummy.”
New Balance New Balance ML850, $, available at Concepts
The Montreal-based luxury-meets-streetwear powerhouse has a strong voice to match (thanks to their cool, on-the-pulse storytelling). Not only does SSENSE offer some of the best in designer clothing but also in its sneaker selection. From trendy fashion house favorites to the avant-garde, unexpected silhouettes, you are sure to find a new pair to add to your cart.
Chloé Sonnie Sneakers, $, available at SSENSE
Founded in 1999, Sneakersnstuff (SNS) placed Sweden on the map in sneaker culture by offering a large range of classics by the likes of Nike, Reebok, Adidas, and more that were not easy to come across. An online shop shortly followed. With locations in London, Berlin, Paris, LA, and New York (SNS Bar included), you can find major sneaker releases as well as exclusives here.
Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Chuck 70s Hi x Batman x Chinatown Market, $, available at SNEAKERSNSTUFF
Kith only launched in 2011, but it’s now one of the most recognized lifestyle brands offering a top-notch assortment of sneakers, apparel, and more in its five flagships and shop-in-shops at Bergdorf Goodman, Hirshleifers, and Selfridges. Founder Ronnie Fieg has not only brought in premium products from other brands but formed an in-house label and Kith Treats, a cereal bar he created out of his passion for cereal.
Shop online or in-store for new releases and exclusive collaborations.
ASICS Asics x Kiko Kostadinov Gel-Korika, $, available at Kith
Before GOAT, Grailed, and other resale shops online, there was eBay. Sneakerheads could find the sneakers they couldn’t get their hands on in stores. Look hard enough and you can find rare, non-hyped kicks. The company's recent move to eliminate seller fees for sneakers sold over $100 is a sign that eBay wants its spot back at the top of the sneaker resale game. Head over to browse, and you might find something you didn’t know you needed.
Reebok Sole Fury '00, $, available at eBay
This sneaker boutique and lifestyle brand on NYC’s Lower East Side offers a special “cinematic experience” (the store’s design was inspired by movie theaters and has a marquee above the shop). Extra Butter prides itself on creating experiences for their customers. One of their recent events was a shock drop release of Air Jordan XI Playoffs, successfully fulfilling their mission to "UNITE THE COMMUNITY" by drawing in large crowds who share a love of sneakers. The site offers a specially curated selection of shoes and exclusive collabs, products from major brands, and their own private label.
Adidas Pusha T Ozweego, $, available at Extra Butter
Bait is a West Coast-based physical retailer whose parent company is Pick Your Shoes — one of the earliest sites offering rare and highly sought sneakers for people around the world who neither had easy access to premium boutiques nor wanted to risk buying fakes elsewhere. Bait also has a site for customers to shop general sneaker releases, exclusives, and their in-house label in addition to other brands, apparel, and more.
Nike Air Force 1 '07, $, available at Bait
Founded in 2002, Undefeated began as a sneaker boutique but is now another classic streetwear brand. It not only offers an expertly curated selection of sneakers but some of the most coveted exclusive collaborations. One of their biggest collabs was the Air Jordan 4, which goes for thousands of dollars in the resale market. Be on the lookout for another collaboration they do, or shop their edit.
Nike x Undefeated Nike X Undefeated Air Max 90, $, available at Undefeated
Sneaker Politics was founded in Louisiana, a sneaker boutique gem of the south. Their site also carries numerous brands that include Adidas Consortium (when premium boutiques work with Adidas for exclusive collaborations), Puma, Asics, and more.
adidas Consortium Naked Simba – 'Beauty in Nautics', $, available at Sneaker Politics
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