What happened at the recent sneakerhead convention: Sole Superior

Chaotic. Dense. Expensive.

Three words to sum up the whole event. In the midst of Clark Quay, at the famous Zouk, was the day dreams of every HypeBeasts and HypeBaes in Singapore. Without even stepping in, just looking at the queue, you could tell that there would be a crazy collection of sneakers. A few noticeable labels included OFF-WHITE, YEEZYs, SUPREME, BAPE, Fear of God, Anti Social Social club, to name a few. It brought out every kind of collector you could imagine.

After getting past the queue, shoes that I only ever saw on Instagram or a Complex Magazine video were all in front of me. All unused and brand new, although the price tags would make you think twice before picking one up.

The first thing that greets you is the Nike VaporMax, one of the brand’s more controversial releases to date (for its choice in using the exposed Air Max cushion). Sold at the SneakersClinic booth, one pair was $301, and this was one of the lower end prices I would see at the event. There was a pair of Vans X Fear of God selling for $600!

A few local businesses tried to have their own take on street culture. One was W.rds, a young company with the tagline “ALL YOU NEED IS LESS”. Drawing inspiration from  SUPREME, their tshirts are either in black or white with a simple box text which you can choose from their selection.

One of the more interesting booths was Happy Socks who were there to show off their recent collaboration with Sabotage Surplus and Co., a company known for their edgy apparel, custom sneakers and art. The typically cutesy high socks now had cross bones and the signature sabotage emblem. At $30 for 3 pairs, I was more than happy to splurge.

Not all booths were here to sell apparel; one specific booth was there to commemorate 15 years of the Nike SB dunks which are known for being comfortable and versatile, allowing Nike to gain a foothold in the skating footwear scene. That booth was run by Portray which encompasses sneaker culture into their artwork and products, with plushies, pins, apparel and posters based on sneaker culture.

Local company Bystanders, the exclusive reseller for Jason Markk, retails cleaning kits and sprays to help make shoes water-resistant. In order to prove their title as “the world’s most trusted”, their booth’s “Singapore cleaning crew” provided a cleaning service. I was wearing my beat up, 1-year old Nike Air Max 1, and the difference was pretty clear.

Jason Markk and Bystanders also partnered with Soles4Souls and Sole Superior to hold a charity drive to collect sneakers. They had a giant container for donated sneakers, and by about 12pm, it was almost half full.

Also present was the Freshly Pressed booth which had a lucky draw going on where you could win a pack with a pair of Nike Air Max 97 sneakers, a pair of sock and custom shirt.

Then there were Converse and PONY. Converse was promoting their ONE STAR line of shoes – their most recent release with a premium suede upper and a nice, thick sole. It’s been heavily promoted by Converse and has been on some hypebeasts’ radars, especially after the Golf le Fleur x Converse One Star release.

Meanwhile at PONY, the New York-based company flaunted their history with basketball players and rap, featuring Snoop Dogg and his choice of PONY of sneakers.

Also covering the event was Quick Strike Asia, a local media that focuses on everything sneaker in Singapore. Check out their coverage of the event on their Instagram @quickstrikeasia or their website.

With the amazing choice of music and more sneakers than I could ever dream of, this event truly exposed me to the growing sneaker culture and street fashion in Singapore. Though I really think the event could do with a much larger venue and a wider price range, I can’t wait to see it return next year. Hopefully by then, I would have deep enough pockets and stacks of cash ready to buy myself a few pairs.

by Eshwaran