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Make Sneaker Conventions Great Again (Safely).

With covid and it’s subsequent restrictions shutting down travel as well as large events it has me in my feelings about all the things I’m missing out on, especially all the sneaker related events. One event that I’ve been following for awhile but never had the opportunity to go to (kind of) while in university was sneaker conventions. I’ve seen all the YouTube videos and pictures that have come from big events such as Complexcon and Sneakercon but I’ve never been and that was something I was really looking forward to now that I had a job and wasn’t living on the east coast.


These events always looked amazing, at Complexcon for example they always have special event exclusive drops like Jerry Lorenzo and Travis Scott releasing Complexcon exclusive colourways which are always hyped. Events like Sneakercon are more so centered around reselling opposed to Complexcon that’s more brand and commercial leaning. I’ve always wanted to wander around and try to spot people selling grails that I’ve been searching for for years and barter/trade, I’ve always wanted that experience because lots of the resellers have lots of low key heat rather than the normal Travis 1’s and off-white AF1’s that are all over the internet resale market, lots of come ups to be had. Complex had a virtual event this year (Complex Land) in place of their in person event and it’s just didn’t have the same flare that it typically has and the drops were few and far between.


I had the opportunity to attend a sneaker convention type event once before, out east in Halifax while I was in school and it was an experience for sure. So for my birthday one year my girlfriend at the time had gotten me a pair of tickets to a sneaker convention happening in Halifax just two hours away from our school in NB. I cant exactly recall the name of the event, I am thinking it was "Sole Con" or something else along those lines. Shout out to the people running that because Atlantic Canada is not the sneaker hot spot that larger cities like Toronto, Vancouver or even Edmonton are but still deserving to host sneaker related events because there are sneaker heads out east that really miss out.

Sneakercon


So we plan this whole big day, we are going to borrow a friends car, leave nice and early, Make sure we both have our best outfits on and the sneakers are clean. Another huge shout out, this time for Blake for the generosity with his vehicle whenever I had some weird plan like this, its always appreciated I just want him to know that. So back to the story, we hit the road bright and early plan to get there so we are waiting and ready when they open the doors. At this point all I've seen are Instagram posts from their account and some stuff from the internet, it seems like a pretty dope event although I had only seen pictures of their events in Toronto and Montreal. I know its not going to be as big as Sneakercon or their events in bigger cities but the hopes were still sky high. As we arrive at the venue we make our way down to the basement of this convention center and in all honesty, other than parents we may have been the oldest people there... Ive never been so intimidated by a group of 14 year olds more in my entire life, BAPE hoodies, fire sneakers and that look in their eye like they are going to yell at their mom if the bagel bites aren't heated all the way through (how hard is it to follow the instructions on the box Karen, like honestly get it together).

Complexcon


The doors open and there is this giant room with maximum 5 tables of vendors, so I'm already at a loss because it wasn't what I was expecting but super cool nonetheless. We're milling around trying to look like weirdos by being the only adults there and I see this table with a guy standing there with nothing really on his table except a sign and a big box of absolute heater dunks, OG's from the early 2000's and I mean this guy had everything. Only issue with this vendor is every single pair of shoes he had was COOKED, not like "oh its used 9/10 condition" but closer to "don't walk to fast or your toes will pop out the front". This was a few years before the massive re-emergence of dunks so I could have picked up 50 grails at like $10 a pair, gave them some TLC and tried to flip them for like $50 a piece today but wasn't totally worth it because these bad boys were on their last legs. We hop over to the next table and finally something worth seeing, a table filled to the brim with grail after grail and my jaw hit the floor when I saw one specific silhouette, the Acronym Presto (The three OG colourways, none of that second release stuff). I start to drool as I approach the table to breakout the master negotiation skills, this man with Malice in his eyes looks me dead into my soul and says "Not. For. Sale." This guy paid for a table at the event, filled it with heat and then was only selling maybe five pairs of shoes total; he must have had 30 pairs on this table and was selling almost none of them and the ones that were up for sale were just GR sneakers at like $20 mark up in grade school sizing. I'm not 100% sure the price of a table at this event but I cannot imagine it was a lot, or this guy just wanted to flex on the people going, if I ever see that guy in public it's on sight; realistically its not but I'll definitely give him my dirtiest look I have. After that we had basically checked out the entire event and it was maximum 45 minutes of our time but we had an awesome time, beautiful weather and good company so I think back about those memories very fondly even if the event itself wasn't all it was cracked up to be.

Nike X Acronym Presto "Olive"




P.S

Looking back and finding pictures was weird for this one. I see all these pictures with huge groups of people and I get both anxiety and f.o.m.o at the same time... I need the world to go back to normal.

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