A worldwide phenomenon, sneaker reselling is a great way to get started on your entrepreneurial journey as a young person.
Although many people, including teenagers, around the world are building six figure businesses from this venture, there are some that have a geographical advantage.
We’ll begin with what many consider the greatest city in the world (NYC), and go throughout two more cities in the US before listing some of the best shops in European cities to cop cream of the crop kicks like Yeezys, Jordans, Off-White Nikes and more. In total, our list comprises of 3 cities in each respective continent.
World travelers and wanna be jetsetters, take notes!
Living in a big city may be expensive, but building a shoe company can easily offset the costs. It’s not a coincidence that the best shoes drop in the more expensive cities in the US: it’s there that “business is booming”, like Benjamin Kickz says (who, by the way, is based in Miami, one of the cities on our list.) Big sneaker retailers are aware of this market trend, so you’ll see that on release locator’s like Foot Locker’s , these three cities listed will always be included in the very few across the nation that have the most limited releases like the highly profitable Off-White Jordans.
New York City
First on the list is of course the city that many people consider the capital of the world, the city where I made the biggest moves with my shoe business (my story is here): New York, New York.
The spirit of the hustler is tangible here, when you walk the streets of Manhattan you can almost literally feel it buzzing in the air, with cars blasting old school Jay-Z as seemingly everyone who walks by on Fifth Avenue is in $5000+ outfits , many of whom finish up the fit with a pair of J’s.
It’s no surprise then that Flight Club was born in New York in 2005. Less than 15 years later, the industry leader in rare and collectible (and expensive) shoes, has posted multi-million dollar revenues regularly and has now expand its locations to Los Angeles and Miami.
Flagship Nike Stores
Another reason the big apple is such a great place for shoe fans is that Nike has established a solid and exclusive presence in it.
The “Just Do It” brand chose New York as its home for the super hyped NikeLab21M, located on 21 Mercer Street, which pumps out some of the brand’s most genius creations.
You’ll also find Nike town in Manhattan, where you might be shocked to see that the shoes that are sold out all throughout your home town and surrounding areas are sitting in stock and immediately resellable online for a higher price to those who don’t have access to the store.
Throughout Manhattan, you’ll find many other stores, including Nike SoHo and of course its flagship store known as Nike NYC, House of Innovation 000, make it perhaps the best place worldwide to buy Nikes.
Out in Brooklyn, KITH is also a fairly young brand (est. 2011) that was born in New York that is a chosen retailer for profitable drops, including the creator Ronnie Fieg’s own creations that sometimes end up as a big part of a $14,000 streetwear resale month.
Further down the East Coast, another port for immigrants with wishes to fulfill the American dream of capitalist success to the fullest, Miami is one of the best cities in the world to find profitable sneakers. The self-made immigrant a-la Tony Montana vibe is strong, so there’s tons of disposable income for sneakers.
One boutique store in particular, Alchemist, is a major presence for luxury streetwear and hype footwear. Its beautiful architectural presence, a “jewel box in the sky” as one Yelp review stated, is a must visit if you want the goods. You’ll find designer everything from all the best names worldwide across the shelves, which is why brands have chosen this storefront in the past as one of the very few in the world to stock the most limited and profitable drops.
Perhaps the purest mecca of shoes in the entire southern half of the United States, Shoe Gallery is a beacon of light to sneakerheads worldwide who want to ogle the finest kicks made by Nike, Adidas, Balenciaga and more. Located in Miami’s Wynwood art district, this shop, founded back in 1979 by Abram Waserstein, is cemented in Miami’s culture.
Miami is known by many for its vibrant, art-deco 80’s style art in Caribbean hues. It’s this vibe that has brought Art Basel, a worldwide collective that draws cream of the crop artists, to the city.
Along with traditional works of art, including stunning paintings and sculptures, Art Basel is also a location of the releases of some of the most valuable Jordans in history that go for thousands of dollars at a time.
One of the many examples to release at Art Basel in the past years is the Jordan 1 Retro SoleFly “Art Basel”, which released in multiple colors, each going for on average $3,000 higher than the $160 retail price.
La la land, with its legit and wanna be celebrities, is full of flexers who want to rock the best fits from head to toe. Just a stroll around the streets will expose you to some of the freshest outfits to be seen in person, from DTLA all the way up the coast past Santa Monica to Calabasas, where you might spot Yeezy himself with his Kardashian clan.
It’s a little known fact that Union was actually born in NYC in 1989. The brand’s owner was drawn to the golden coasts of Cali and set up shop permanently in Los Angeles. The original NYC location was closed in 2009.
Located in the heart of LA on La Brea in the trendy Fairfax District, this store is home to some of the most desired releases.
One of many examples happened in November 2018, the Union LA x Air Jordan 1 went for over $1000 in profit at its peak. Future hyped collaborations are expected, so keep posted with these guys.
Another store that is predominant in Los Angeles but with ties to NYC is Opening Ceremony. Like Union, OC’s first store was in NYC, but the owners are west coasters, so many consider their flagship location to be the one on their home turf.
Nike and OC released a highly collectible and rare collab with a metallic iteration of the Air Max 1 in both gold and silver, which are both sold out pretty much everywhere even on aftermarkets like Flight Club and Stadium Goods.
Not to be confused with Off-White’s Jerry Lorenzo, but with the same level of hype within LA, H Lorenzo shelves designer goods from Maison Margiela to Raf Simmons and Yeezy. There are now four locations of this store in its home town. The newest location is located on the historic Sunset Boulevard, but all of the four are worth visiting if you happen to be in town for a sneaker release.
Complex Con is held annually in LA. It’s more than just an event: It’s a way to “look in to the future”; from their website, they’re “a catalyst for creative collaboration between the most influential people and hottest brands that move our culture forward”. Perhaps more notable than any store in LA (due to the concentration of its valuable drops), the ‘Con is packed with exclusive collaborations like the Adidas x Pharrell Williams Human Race in Blue and Red that was only available to those who attended.
Across the pond from the states is the other English speaking city in the world that wishes it was New York: London. Jokes aside, London has its own hip vibe of world class education, creativity, drive and commerce. The Big Smoke is worth the visit for its history and its enthusiastic embrace of the hypebeast and sneaker culture.
Dover Street Market
In the posh-hip West End of London lies Dover Street, an iconic presence known for its clubs and swanky storefronts.
Dover Street Market, often known as DSM, was debuted in 2004 in Mayfair, London on Dover Street by Rei Kawakubo (the mind behind Comme Des Garçons).
With its roots in high end fashion, DSM is known to be a purveyor of the finest wear you can name: Vetements, Rick Owens, Raf Simons and Valentino, to name a few. Limited sneaker drops like the now historic 2015 and 2016 Yeezy Boost were found on DSM’s shelves.
It’s hard to talk about rare streetwear and footwear stores in the UK without mentioning END.
Originally from Newcastle, END just made its flagship store debut in 2018 in Soho, London. Visiting this store in person will make almost anyone who’s hip with current fashion feel poor, especially if you see the curated collection of kicks including some of the best Nikes you can get your hands on.
It seems like all of the best stores to buy limited sneakers in London are in the West End.
Also in Soho, UK based retailer a location on iconic Carnaby street, which is considered by many to be the UK based retailer’s Flagship location.
The store has more of an industrial vibe and a less pretentious feel, making young people feel a bit more welcome within its walls.
Arguably the most romantic city in Europe, Paris is also one of the few great fashion capitals of the world. Its annual fashion week draws the best minds in crafting clothing and shoes.
Here’s a list of the stores in Paris where you’re likely to find resellable sneakers.
The Japanese name might confuse some as to where the store’s origin is, but this store has its roots in la Ville des Lumières aka Paris.
If you happen upon one of their storefronts, you’ll have an incredibly hard time missing its other locations: All six of its locations are within walking distance of each other on Rue
Chosen as the first city to host the Jordan brand’s European presence, Jordan Bastille looks more like an art gallery than a shop, but don’t be fooled. You will find some of the most exclusive Nike Jordan clothing and footwear, many of which are insanely valuable on the aftermarket.
Adidas No. 42 Paris
For a more low-key shopping experience, No42 in Paris is a great place to walk in wanting and to walk out broke with bags full of their hype merch. This store is one of the few places in the world where you can find the most collectible items from Adidas, which means you can find Yeezys there more often than in other stores. Its opening happened after London’s associated No. 6 and No. 74 in Berlin (which is Adidas original home turf).
Born through immense struggle, violence and conflict, a recent renaissance has now made Berlin one of the coolest cities to visit in Europe. It’s also home to some of the hippest dressers on the globe.
The archenemy of Nike, Adidas, is a German based retailer, so those who are looking for the hottest models, Berlin is perhaps the best city worldwide to buy Adidas shoes. Although the brand has only been known as the brand with three stripes since 1952, its origin is in a brother owned and run shoe factory which opened its doors in 1924, making it roughly 50 years older than Nike.
Adidas No. 74
The first Adidas high end concept store is the No. 74, located on the streets of Berlin.
A recent refresh in 2016 makes the No. 74 shopping experience heaven on earth for three stripes fans. Keep your eyes peeled for shoes on their shelves that might be sold out everywhere else.
With direct ties to graffiti, Overkill Berlin might be the most street-hip sneaker store in the world. You’ll find spray equipment throughout their stores, but in the same spirit of rebellious art are some of the flyest sneakers and trainers to be bought.
Collaborations with Overkill have happened with Adidas and Asics, the latter brand holding one of the most valuable shoes to be seen on the aftermarket, the 2015 Gel-Sight “Overkill x Desert Rose”.
If you want to find a fan poll voted shoe paradise in Berlin that is home to a plethora of brands and models including Reebok, Puma, Nike, Filling Pieces and more, Solebox is your best bet.
You can also snag releases on their website, where you might have better luck than on others for rare drops. For the casual, you’ll find the most budget friendly options compared to the others in this list.
As Nike CEO and co founder Phil Knight waxes poetic about in his memoir “Shoe Dog”, Nike has deep roots in Japan. The nation undeniably gave Knight and his brand the success it has today by lending him chances when others wouldn’t.
The capital of Japan, Tokyo, is a fountainhead of pop culture worldwide, from anime to Nintendo to fashion.
Some of the hottest brands that collaborate with both Nike and Adidas are from Tokyo or Japan, and people fail to recognize this because of the Western names and influences.
Even Comme Des Garçons, which almost everyone thinks is from France because of its name, is Japanese. BAPE is also proud to call Japan its home.
Founded in 2000, Atmos might be the most well known name in Nike collaborations, period. Its shoes, known for their signature prints, including the Nike x ATMOS Air Max 1 and Air Jordan 3 are considered grails by many and are priced at hundreds of dollars above their original retail price.
Its only international location can be found in NYC.
The oldest store front on this list is Neighborhood. The intention of the founder was to fully embrace counter-culture, starting with motorcycles but now expanding into streetwear including the most talked about sneakers.
Like every other Tokyo presence on this list, this store’s name can be found in association with many different collabs like the recent Neighborhood x Bape x Adidas POD S3.1, which still go for up to $100+ over retail .
Jun Takahashi reps the conglomerate Undercover which has more than a dozen locations in Japan alone, including many in Tokyo.
Its 1993 origin was born from a fusion of all of the coolest parts of American, British and Japanese underground cultures.
Desirable Nike x Undercover collabs include 2018’s React Element 87 “Undercover” which sold out super quickly and still goes for $300-$400+ on the aftermarket.
In Tokyo’s must-see Kichijoji district, you’ll find what many consider to be a better version of Flight Club, a sneaker store named SKIT, also known as K-Skit (the K being from Kichijoji). It may be the best place in Japan to snag historic collectible sneakers for fairly reasonable prices.
One of the least expected cities to make it on this list is the up and coming Singapore, which experienced a meteoric rise to wealth and subsequently, tons of crazy rich Asians ready to drop dough on fly sh*t.
A Singapore exclusive, Seek Official really loves Jordans–so much so that the relationship is mutual, which is cause for the hasthag #SeekSaturJays in which the storefront receives rare Nike Jordan drops.
Like the city itself as we know it today, the Seek store is basically brand new. It was brought to Singapore in 2015.
Just a stones throw away from Seek Official, also on Singapore’s swanky Orchard Street lies Surrender.
Many consider this store’s founder, 23 year old fashion influencer Mae Tan, to be the one to bring “real fashion” to Lion City.
There’s also a Dover Street Market here, and since less people are aware of this fact, your chances of successfully buying a rare pair of sneakers at DSM in Singapore is quite high on the release day. Tan’s family is actually behind this enterprise that DSM and also the Off-White locations in the city.
People think of hip cities in Asia, and they’ll instantly think of Tokyo, but an overlooked and underrated fashion presence in Asia is in Seoul, South Korea.
Its annual fashion show brings some of the most original fits, so with such a large population of hip young people in the market for Jordans and rare Adidas, it makes sense that a sneakerhead could fulfill his dreams on getting the rarest shoes in this city.
Notable sneaker collabs like the all-time grail Air Jordan 3 Retro “Seoul” came straight from the city along with many other Seoul exclusive drops that leave sneakerheads worldwide full of envy.
Gangnam in Seoul was made famous as a wealthy area in Seoul by Psy’s “Gangnam Style”. The streets are packed with upscale retail facades where WORKSOUT stands out.
This high end streetwear boutique draws the city’s richest to its three locations to walk out with bags of the finest goods.
On The Spot
With two locations in Seoul, one in hip young Hongdae and the more upscale Myoungdong, On The Spot is a curated sneaker store worth visiting. In the past they’ve stocked everything from the rare Dragon Ball Z x Adidas collaborations to Yeezy statics. On any regular day you’ll find stock on the shelves that may be sold out elsewhere.
Not even one year ago, in late 2018, Off-White, which many consider the hottest brand in streetwear right now, opened not just one but two physical storefronts simultaneously in Seoul.
This move is a huge bet on the future of hype releases for Seoul. To put this move into perspective, there are only two Off White stores in the entire North American continent, with just one in New York City and the other in Canada.
That all said, Seoul might be the city with the brightest future in streetwear and hype releases.
This ends our list!
Clearly there are many other stores and cities worldwide worthy of mentioning (e.g. Toronto, Houston and Hong Kong), so if you have a favorite store or city please comment !
There’s a benefit beyond the storefronts in each of these cities. For the high end sneaker reseller, tons of potential customers live in these locations. Business is primarily about customers and relationships, and in these 9 cities listed you will find some of the best. Check out our Hypemaster Playbook if all of this is new to you, and get a chance to be invited to our private community of hype resellers.
Thanks & take care