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The best sneaker stores in NYC

Whether you’re looking for sturdy kicks or trendy styles, head to the best sneaker stores NYC has to offer

Kith

Want to know the easiest way to freshen up your look? A new pair of shoes at one of the best sneaker stores NYC has to offer will do the trick. And since the latest kicks throw it back to the simpler days, when it all it took to master cool style was an old-school pair of sneaks, you won’t have any trouble finding a style that’s understated but still looks cool-as-hell. Guys (ladies, too!) check out pairs that cost less than a C-note from these budget-friendly shoe stores, including a few that specialize in vintage and consignment.

RECOMMENDED: Best shops in NYC

Sneaker stores NYC

Alife Rivington Club

It’s easy to miss this small but well-appointed unmarked shop, which has been dishing out street-inspired menswear since 2001. Immediately next door with a separate entrance is Alife’s footwear shop, which is modeled after a retro gentlemen’s club and carries Alife-brand kicks, alongside other labels like Nike and Adidas. The main attraction is various Alife collabo shoes (past collaborations include all-white leather Nike Air Force 1s from 2009 for $225).

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Lower East Side

Alumni

Owner Gene Han transformed the former Rugged Sole shop into a sneakerhead’s dream—walls are lined with hundreds of kicks from brands such as Nike, Adidas, Vans and Converse. Although you’ll find a small assortment of guys’ streetwear staples from G-Star, Only NY and Play Cloths, sneakers for men ($50–$300) and women ($45–$250) are the store’s specialty.

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Crown Heights

Blades

Don’t judge this ollie-centric chainlet by its Fall Out Boy–heavy soundtrack and teen-favorite skater brands: For everyone in need of goggles or a mountain-ready parka, Blades dishes up sporty, dependable lines such as Vans and Salomon for all your alternative needs. The shop is bursting with cool kicks like Nike SB Sefan Janoski Max Leather styles ($110) and Lakai MJ shoes ($65).

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Upper West Side

Converse

Since 1908, Converse has shelled out its iconic sneakers to the masses in more than 160 countries. Hit up this giant Soho emporium to ogle the vast variety of limited-edition kicks, the brand’s latest collections of women’s and men’s apparel and accessories and a full customization center. But if nothing strikes your fancy, you can create your own pair of shoes, tops or totes in the colors and graphics of your choice with the help of a Converse customization specialist.

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Soho

Flight Club

Sneaker fiends flock to this footwear utopia to buy and sell every type of kicks imaginable, all on consignment (with 80 percent of the profit going to the seller and 20 percent to the store). Around 10,000 pairs of never-worn, plastic-wrapped shoes are stacked in 15 rows that run the entire length of the mammoth store. Though the inventory changes daily, it is so abundant that even vintage styles usually come in multiple sizes (including some for women, though it’s very hit or miss). All of the typical brands are represented: converse, Vans, Adidas, Puma, New Balance, Reebok and, of course, Nike, which dominates about two thirds of the wall.

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Downtown

Goliath

This 1,200-square-foot former barroom is now Harlem’s hottest sneaker emporium; it’s consistently packed with shoe collectors getting their fix of sought-after limited edition and rare kicks, such as the Android Homme, which are displayed alongside standard model Nikes and Reeboks on the shelves. Browse the assortment of colorful T-shirts, jackets and hoodies by streetwear lines like Primitive, 10Deep and Flip the Bird to complete your look.

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East Harlem

House of Hoops by Foot Locker

Providing an assist to ballers, this glass-and-steel joint is the first in the nation dedicated to just Nike, Converse and Jordan kicks and clothing. Modernist glass displays of court-friendly sneakers surround photos of stars such as LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Carmelo Anthony, and if you feel like stepping into their shoes, you can pick up the NBA players’ personalized models. Splashy T-shirts, hoodies and warm-up jackets will keep you looking like a pro even if you’re a mere benchwarmer; and superfans can snag limited-edition shoes.

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Harlem

Kith

The revamped space at this sneaker and streetwear emporium feels like a brand-new store. It now has an additional 3,000 square feet and includes glassed-in mannequins and a long entranceway boasting white plaster sneakers hanging from the ceiling. As for the merch, look for new lines like the Kith Academy Collection, but if you’re just in the market for footwear, we recommend Puma X Stampd Trinomic sock-off-white sneaks ($135) or a pair of timeless Nike Air Force 1s ($100).

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Downtown

Premium Goods

With three portraits of Biggie Smalls, artwork by Takashi Murakami and two racks holding more than 70 styles of collectible kicks, Premium Goods is aptly named. Owner Clarence Nathan caters to local (hip) dads and urban teenagers with a selection of Vans, Nike, Adidas and New Balance sneakers ranging from $45 to $200. As for the more serious merch, Nathan utilizes a display case, “’cause you don’t want just regular dreamers comin’ in and touchin’ ’em.”

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Park Slope

Rime

After spending 30 years as a retail buyer in New York (culminating in a stint as head buyer at Michael K.), Susan Boyle decided to branch out on her own, opening Rime in 2007. On the racks, you’ll find gear by labels like Obey, 10 Deep, Stüssy, Penfield, Huf and Undefeated, but Rime’s real draw is its extensive collection of footwear gems. The stock is primarily geared toward men, but there are a few solid items for the ladies, like Jack Purcell slip-ons and lightweight slim-fit graphic tees from Obey.

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Boerum Hill
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