- Nort 235
235 Eldridge Street, 212-777-6102
If you’re a Nike fetishist Nort often gets exclusive new Nike releases—like the Laser and Artist series—that no other store carries. Every couple of months, you’ll find 200 sneaker freaks lined up overnight, waiting for the latest shipment. Yet there’s no cooler-than-thou attitude.
- Nom De Guerre
640 Broadway, at Bleecker Street, 212-253-2891
If you’re styling the next Jay-Z video For only the very hardest-to-find vintage Nikes, head here. Perfect for building that sneaker museum—as long as you have $400 to spare for those red-and-white Supreme Dunks with faux-croc detailing and gold stars.
- Classic Kicks
298 Elizabeth Street, 212-979-9514
If you’re not tied down to one brand The place to be when you want to choose from a wide range of retro styles but don’t have time to comb the city. Stock goes from woven slip-on Vans (to match your Bottega bag) to classic (or argyle-print) Reeboks, Le Coq Sportif, Puma, and, of course, Nike.
665 Broadway, at Bond Street, 212-358-8726
- Active Wearhouse
514 Broadway, near Spring Street, 212-965-2284
If you’re on an assistant’s salary Where to go if you’re desperate for those new New Balances but can’t even think about spending $80 on them. They have the best (and most frequent) sales—sometimes 40 to 60 percent off the entire store. Active reopens April 1.
- Adidas Original Store
136 Wooster Street, 212-777-2001
If you’re old old-school The largest selection of original Adidas styles in the city, with an eighties hip-hop soundtrack to match. Look for classic running shoes from the 1956 Melbourne Olympics or the ultra-retro Boston Super ($120).
Best Sneaker Stores
From the 2004 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine
So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).