Another reason to go to LA, other than visiting my cousins, was to check out shoe stores there. LA, being the biggest city of the West Coast, has to have a boatload of sneaker stores each with a wide selection of never-before imagined kicks, right? Let's have a look see at what I discovered.
(Disclaimer: People who are into sneaker culture tend to also be into the accompanying hip-hop/hipster clothing scene - Stussy, Supereme, and all the other unknown labels. Those who know me well know that I care a billion times more about what's going on below my ankles than what happens with the rest of my style. Not to say that I'll rock exclusives with sweatpants, but I put much more thought into the shoes I'm going to buy than the clothes. That being said, please forgive the lack of shine clothing gets here. Go to Hypebest or whatever to get what you're looking for.)
So, armed with a hand-drawn map that I got off the Internets and my couldn't-care-less-about-shoes cousin as my trusty chauffeur (think Kato), I headed to the La Brea and Melrose area.
First stop was the shop triumvirate of Union, Stussy and Undefeated on La Brea blvd. just below Beverley.
It turns out that Union and Stussy focus mostly on clothing so my visits there were short. Undefeated, on the other hand, had a nice selection of sneakers. I think they were the first store in LA to make the second round of Yo! MTV Raps Clydes available for sale. However, they had a policy not allowing people to take pictures inside so the above is all I have of the three stores. Seriously.
The next stop was Heavy Hitters, right near Pink's Hot Dogs (which is apparently an institution in LA much like Schwartz's in Montreal. They even had the midday lineup action going on), but we couldn't find the place so we just moved on. I didn't write the addresses of the stores on my map. Why? I don't have a clue.
Whatever, we then made our way to Sportie LA. At first it looked like we wouldn't find the place, but I caught the sign across the street and we headed in.
What a jumble that place is!!! It's fantastic! Shoes crammed up on the walls. I could have spent the day there and I almost did. You have to be careful while taking a shoe off the wall to get a closer look, you may (and I did along with two other ladies) cause a shoe avalanche. It's the store I stayed in the longest, and where I took the most pictures despite their crazy photography rules (Not too many pictures, no wide shots, individual shoes only).
The staff was really friendly and pretty knowledgeable about sneakers. They also had some sweet deadstocks there.
It turns out that walked into the "other" location of Sportie LA. The main store was actually up the street from where we were.
I stayed put and shopped for some shoes. They called the main store a couple of times for sizes and had shoes brought over when they did. I ended up picking up two pairs of Stingrays which in fact came out cheaper than in Canada if you factor in the strong Loonie and low California sales tax.
We headed west and then south on Fairfax towards Supreme, Alife and Flight Club.
Supreme and Alife were very much like Union and Stussy. I managed to pick up a pair of Dunks in Supreme though then I headed over to Flight Club LA. I`m just going to let the video do explain things.
It was like a museum in there. And no photo restrictions! Despite that, I didn`t take too many pictures, mainly because I was too awestruck by the place. As you can see from the video, the walls were lined with sneakers, mostly Nikes. Another cool yet inconsequential thing they had was an exposed stockroom. The salesfoor and stockroom were separated by a grill instead of a wall so people could see piles of shoeboxes in the back . It was pretty impressive and a nice idea on the design front.
After all this it was time to go. By now my cousin was I think pretty bored with all this and wanted to get ready to play basketball. So we fought traffic back to the suburbs and shot some hoops. I know for certain there are sneaker places I missed. I saw a couple from the car on the way out of the city. I guess I`ll just have to hit em up the next time I`m in town.
Rest of the Flickr set here but what`s the point. I used up almost all the pictures I took on this post.