Sneaker Con kicks off in Vancouver for the first time
Shelley Moore, CTV Vancouver
Published Friday, February 8, 2019 4:36PM PST
Last Updated Saturday, February 9, 2019 7:07PM PST
Sneaker aficionados may think they’ve died and gone to heaven as thousands of pairs of sought-after kicks are sold, swapped and coveted at the Vancouver Convention Centre.
Sneaker Con bills itself as “the greatest sneaker show on earth” for sneakerheads: like-minded lovers of soft, rubbery runners meant to get you from here to there.
The event has been popping up all over the U.S. for a decade, as well as twice in Toronto and once in Montreal. But it’s new to the Pacific Northwest and it’s the first time Vancouver has hosted the event, where organizers are expecting thousands will make the pilgrimage on Saturday.
“It has a vibrant sneaker culture that’s been established there with different retail shops that have popped up all over the city,” Sneaker Con co-founder Alan Vinogradov says of Vancouver.
The seven-hour event sees vendors, sellers, collectors and buyers all focused down-low on brands, labels, rare finds and what Vinogradov says are “the grails” - an individual sneakerhead’s ultimate find.
“You really don’t know what’s going to come in the building. It’s always kind of a surprise, even for us,” Vinogradov says. “We know there’s going to be good stuff there. We really just don’t what it’ll be though.”
A big part of the surprise factor is the opportunity for attendees to bring their own pairs of Jordans or Yeezys, or any other brand, to sell or swap. It’s the Antiques Roadshow of footware: one man’s old runner is another man’s glass slipper.
And you might just walk away with a profit. Vinogradov says shoes can often go for much more than you paid for them originally.
“Some shoes you can wear a few times and over the six-, seven-month period of you owning them, they end up appreciating in value,” he claims. “Really, it depends on the model, really depends on the shoe.”
But a shoe’s wow factor really depends on the marketing magic of star-power. Athletes like Michael Jordan catapulted the trend, with musicians and other entertainers running with it.
One of the latest pairs to leap into the sneakerhead collective conscience was debuted by Adam Levine at this year’s Super Bowl half-time show performance. The Maroon 5 frontman sported the hotly anticipated Travis Scott Air Jordan 1.
“That moment really creates a lot of energy for that shoe and people get awareness around that specific sneaker, so these types of moments help create communities, through social media and a lot of the outlets for the sneaker community help drive this whole culture,” Vinogradov says.
Levine’s Super Bowl sneakers likely won’t be available for purchase until April, unless, of course, you spot an elusive pair kicking around at the Vancouver event.