San Francisco: A Sneakerhead Mecca

I know two things to be true for the city of San Francisco: there are a lot of sneakers, and a lot of tech. If you want it, you can have it. The most ordinary people have access to all of it.

As I continue to make my foray into both, I decided to join my girlfriend and her family on a weekend trip down the street to San Francisco, where I can look into both at the same time. It should go without saying, but I’ve been to San Francisco before, plenty of times. I love the city. There is just so much culture and history that I soak up everytime I visit. It’s part of the reason why I wanted to move to Silicon Valley. First off, the city has some of the most heat when it comes to sneakers. Whether you’re going to a boutique or a brand’s official location, San Francisco is home to some of the rarest and most exclusive kicks. I knew that, of course, but what I didn’t realize is just how much of that heat is actually on foot and in the wild.

And you might think to yourself, “It’s San Francisco, J. Of course they’re gonna have grails on their feet!” Naturally, and I’ve seen my fair share of heat in the city. But this weekend, I really saw some bangers on feet. Now, with the recent summertime drops we’ve been able to cop, like the VaporMax, Air Max 97, Calabasas Powerphase, Tennis Hu, and so on, one can understand my slight surprise at the abundance of whips. Even people attending Comic-Con this weekend were laced in EQTs, Air Forces, and so forth. No matter where I looked, the city was on fire like the NBA posterboys shooting the lights out in Oracle Arena across the bridge. Older folks on the pier flexed in some NMDs with their kids. Couples matching in Gold and Silver Air Max 97s during a dinner date. Cat daddy smoking a backwood with his dunnies on Haight with the Oxford Tan Yeezys on (although they looked a little suspect). You want some sneakers, you got them. They’re everywhere.

“Okay, you came across a lot of sneakerheads, and ordinary folks with a sense of fashion. So what? It’s San Francisco. I still don’t know what your point is.” The point is, you can’t escape the sneakers, even if you wanted to, for some weird reason. On Sunday, we decided to took to Haight street, where, like Vegas, you’re guaranteed to lose money. For a reason that still escapes me, we visited a plethora of vintage and consignment shops. Even in these said stores, you could come up on a clean cop at a bargain. Seriously. At the store Crossroads, I saw a pair of Air Jordan I, X, and even some Adidas ZX Flux. I didn’t cop because bargain finds like that are hard to find in my shoe size. But even in the sneaker boutiques and chains like Nice Kicks, Shoe Palace, Sheikh, and Foot Locker had rows and shelves of shoes with sale tags and clearance tables. And by clearance tables, I mean that there was literally a foldable table or two with scores shoeboxes stacked on top of each other, none over the price of $40. There are some sneakerheads who believe that the increased availability and production of sneakers, general release or otherwise, has been bad for the culture. And while there are some cases to be made for that, it’s not so true for the city of San Francisco. Anyone and everyone can cop some dope sneakers, and at all price ranges. Even Ross has a grail or two sitting on their shoe shelves.

Seeing all the dope sneakers in the city brought me immense amount of joy. So many people in so many dope kicks. I like what San Francisco has with the sneaker culture. The stores are so saturated with sneakers, one could rock a pair of fly shoes without having known its importance or mark in the sneaker world. As I continue to make my first into sneakers and tech, I’m excited to see what the other sneaker capitals of the world have in store. I’ve seen San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York, but Tokyo, Paris, Berlin, Toronto, and others are out there. It’ll be interesting to see what sneakers I’ll come across in those cities.

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