The Five Best Sneaker Boutiques in Miami

The Five Best Sneaker Boutiques in Miami
Photos by Nycole Sariol

When it comes to the latest and greatest in menswear coming off of Paris and Milan's runways, the average Miami dude just doesn't get it, nor does he give two shits. But when it comes to the very touchy subject of their kicks, however, Miami men could school the best of them -- that means you, NYC and LA; yeah, we just called you out.

It all started in 1984 when Nike and His Airness, Michael Jordan, revolted against NBA standards and splashed a bold, Chicago Bulls colorway of red and black onto what everyone knows now as the first pair of Air Jordan 1. Thirty years later, and the game has expanded exponentially with the acquisition of mega stars on and off the court, collaborating with billion dollar accounts to constantly pop out rain-makers like Yeezy's Air 2 Red Octobers (still), and the continuance of the perpetually sold-out Air Jordan dynasty (#forevershallyourule).

The sneakerhead subculture got so huge in fact that people started making a lucrative income just by collecting and selling these "wearable memorabilia."

But it seems Miami's sneak-scene in particular has violently peaked as of late, not just for the fellas, but for their equally fly boo-thangs, as well. Some say LeBron is to blame for the sudden spike of footwear flow in Miami; others concede that it's just a general desire to express individualism. But the real question, of course, lies in where to retrieve the freshest pair of kicks around town.

See also: Del Toro Shoes Takes It to the Streets with Artist Johnny Robles

Now, you could just settle for your nearest Footlocker or Famous Footwear for the latest releases of SB Dunks or "Triple Blacks," but the odds of being paired up with a sales associate who actually knows their shit is slim. That's why Cultist is pointing you in the direction of the experts of Miami; guys who serve to inform, wake up to Sneaker News, live for the illest colorway trends, and genuinely just want to make you their homie.

Here are Miami's Top Five Sneaker Boutiques in no particular order.

The Five Best Sneaker Boutiques in Miami

SoleFly

Despite it's conspicuous coordinates right off of US 1, most people zoom straight past the sneaker treasure trove known as Solefly. But little do they know, a faux mini-court stocked with some of the best -- and most exclusive -- Jordans lurks right beneath their very noses. They even did their very own exclusive collaboration with Jordan called the Solefly 3.

Sadly, the 3m, soft white leather and terry cloth interior soles aren't for sale. But besides being in good with the Jordan fam, other sneakers are bound to steal your attention. The heavy retro runner selection toward the front of the store has some of their best sellers, like the Asics Gel Lyte 3 in the all red colorway (thanks, Yeezy) and the Free Flyknit 4.0. To compliment their shoe game, the store also plays home to the most trending brands in streetwear like Publish, Ten Deep, Diamond Supply, Staple, and high-end up-and-comer, Drifter. And while the merch pretty much speaks for itself, what ties everything together at Solefly is the staff ready to bend-over-backwards for its loyal clientele, or "homies," as assistant store manager Izzi puts it. "There are no stupid questions here," he says.

The Five Best Sneaker Boutiques in Miami

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Air Traffic Control (ATC)

Doesn't sound much like a sneaker store at all, does it? But pass through the doors of the burgeoning South Beach consignment sneaker spot and all shall be revealed. You're first greeted by a rotating airport conveyor belt, displaying air-tight saran-wrapped shoes, and old-school terminal-benches imported from Madrid's Baraja's Airport.

Why the saran wrap fetish, you ask? It's to guarantee that the shoes are kept in the most pristine condition for their future owners. Not only do patrons get the chance to buy one-of-a-kind finds like the first edition of the Jordan 1 (in the original Chicago Bulls colorway) and crème-de-la-crème designer names like Balenciaga, and Giuseppe at ATC, but you can sell your kicks, too!

"We give the consumer a platform to sell their shoe," says owner Daai Lo. Even though their sport is reselling other people's pre-owned sneaks, the shoe standard is set extremely high. All sneakers must be unworn (or at least appear to be), and they must be authentic. How's that for traffic control? As far as percentages go, the store insists on giving its consignee 75 percent of the earnings, which is insanely fair by consignment standards."70 percent of our consignees are young guys and making a decent living of $10,000 to $60,000 a year, clearing the commission." Evidence enough to ditch that crappy day job and start selling those kicks.



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