5 Places To Get Awesome Sneakers in Vancouver

Sneakers. Kicks. Runners. Athletic footwear. Whatever you want to call them, they are as essential to a good wardrobe as underwear and your favourite pair of jeans. In 2017, sneakers are hotter than ever, thanks in no small part to the slew of athletes and hip hop artists who have developed their own sneaker brand, from NBA stars to Kanye West to Kendrick Lamar. Forever planted on the streets, sneakers have also moved to the runway and, thankfully, into the fully stocked shelves of stores everywhere.

So whether you are searching for the newest pair of Air Jordan’s, or limited edition designer kicks, or something comfy for your feet, or maybe even something to go running in, Vancouver has an array of sneaker spots that you may not know existed. Here are 5 unique Vancouver stores where you are sure to find the kicks you need.

With two locations, one in the heart of Gastown and the other in the heart of Chinatown, Livestock is sneaker lover heaven. It’s like an ultra cool New York sneaker shop beamed itself to Vancouver. Their collection of Air Jordan’s alone is worth a visit, from retro models, to the latest releases. But that is only the beginning. Their Adidas collection is also pretty nuts, from updated classics like the Stan Smith and the Gazelle, to the latest Inaki’s and everything in between. And with a fully stocked selection of Puma, New Balance, Converse and more, your biggest problem will not be finding the right sneaker, but choosing the right sneaker.

Just down the street from Livestock’s Chinatown location, you will find El Kartel, one of Vancouver’s funkiest stores. Although known primarily for their clothing (and back room DJ stand), El Kartel has long had a reputation with those-in-the-know Vancouverites for their pretty awesome sneaker collection. Although they have a smattering of popular brands like New Balance, Puma and Vancouver-based Native, EL Kartel is all about three brands: Vans, Converse, and Asics. And they have a massive selections of styles from all three, from classic Chuck Taylors and Vans Skate, to newer models like the Vans blanc de blanc and the Asics Gel Kayano Trainer. It’s a street sneaker mecca.

Lost amid this 21st century sneaker revolution is the fact that sometimes people want a pair of runners for, well, running. Or at least something comfortable to walk in. And if you need a pair of runners for running (or walking), the Vancouver Running Co. is your destination. Whether you are running on a road or a trail, or even racing, you will find your shoe here. While their selection of Nike and Adidas runners is impressive, check out their collection of Salomon runners, each one tailor made for a specific running surface, be it wet, dry or trail. Consider it science for your feet.

Why is a small Gastown fashion boutique on a list of Vancouver sneaker destinations? Two reasons: Y-3 and Eytys. Y-3 is a partnership between Adidas and Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto. The result is a collection of high end sneakers, perfect for the streets, for the clubs, and for turning heads. Y-3’s are hard to find, but you can find them at Neighbour. Coming straight outta Sweden, Eytys designs shoes and sneakers that are made for the street, with their trademark thick, exaggerated soles and killer comfort. At Neighbour, it’s all about exclusive.

Located in the heart of Kitsilano, Gravity Pope has long been one of Vancouver’s top destinations for designer shoes, and that extends to their sneaker collection as well. While the brands they carry are mostly familiar – Vans, Converse, Adidas, New Balance, Puma – many of the styles are not. Gravity Pope also has one of Vancouver’s biggest collection of sneakers by Camper, the small Spanish company that since its inception in 1975 has become synonymous with quality, designer footwear. And at Gravity Pope, designer sneakers rule the day.

The 21st century sneaker revolution is in full gear. Whether you are walking the streets, jogging the trails, or hitting the clubs, there is a sneaker for you. And in Vancouver, visiting any of these 5 stores will help you to get your kicks on. Of course, there is only one thing each of these stores is missing: ParcelPal on-demand delivery.