Saturday, March 11, from noon until 7 p.m., the premiere sneaker convention will take over the Huntington Convention Center on Lakeside.
Sneaker Con, which calls itself the greatest sneaker show on earth, is a gathering of vendors selling any and all sneakers imaginable. The event started as a small gathering of a few hundred people buying, selling and trading shoes in Times Square in New York City in 2009. Now the event travels the world — stops this year include London and the Bay Area, and of course Cleveland. Expect more than 70,000 pairs of sneakers and thousands of visitors.
The sneaker market is close to a $32 billion dollar yearly industry. The re-sell/ secondary market is about a billion dollar per year industry on its own, which is what Sneaker Con falls under. Sneaker collecting has been popular ever since the debut of the Air Jordans in 1984 and really took off with the release of the Air Jordan III in 1988. While Nike still dominates the overall market, when it comes to sneakerheads, adidas, with the release of their Boost technology in 2013, has caught up and in many instances surpassed Nike when it comes to the “hottest release” on the market.
What makes sneakers popular is their design and feel, naturally, but also the limited nature of some of their most popular releases. Kanye West’s adidas sneakers retail for around $220, if you’re lucky enough to pick up a pair for that price. But if you want a pair after they sell out at retailers, the price tag jumps — $500 and $2,500 on the secondary market, depending on which version of the collaboration you want. Other rare sneakers that will surely be available for purchase at Sneaker Con include Pharrell Williams’ adidas NMD, which re-sell between $500 and $1,500. As far as Air Jordans go, the collaboration between apparel company Carharrt and rapper Eminem is one of the most rare; they only released 400 pairs and the sneaker sells for over $12,000 if they’ve never been worn (known as deadstock in the sneaker community).
But don’t be turned off by these crazy prices; you can also find unique sneakers for $100 or less.
Tickets are $25 and can be purchased here.
Did you miss out on getting your hands on the latest Kyrie 3 sneakers? Looking to buy your first pair of Yeezys (or just window shop)? Whether you're in the market for your 20th pair of Jordans or your first Ultra Boosts, Sneaker Con is where you should be heading this weekend.