The Best Sneaker Shops in Toronto
The best sneaker shops in Toronto isn't an easy list to compile in a city whose shopping epicentres seem to be growing and shifting at a rapid pace. Over the last few years, the city has witnessed a surge in menswear stores for the fashion-conscious gentleman, and as such, collector items (much more common in the men's fashion oeuvre) are becoming a hot commodity. In the lexicon of cult-like apparel and accessories, sneakers, above almost all other items of collectable clothing, reigns supreme.
Sure, there are baseball caps and Japanese denim. Maybe even concert tees and beat up Levi's. But the sneaker has most certainly become an ingrained part of our cultural history since they first stepped into the spotlight in the 1980s a la Air Jordan. Whether you're a skateboarder, basketball player or simply revel in the comfort and class of a slick new pair of kicks, sneaker culture is alive and well in Toronto.
Here's a list of the best sneaker shops in Toronto.
SVP Sports specializes in athletic shoes, clothing and sports accessories. Their latest location at Queen and Augusta features a selection of seriously off-the-wall limited edition kicks, from Poodle-adorned Nike Hightops to neon-brite Vans sneakers. With a mix of utility and fashion sneakers as well as a wide array of official team hats and uniforms, SVP is a welcome addition to the Queen West neighborhood, giving a bit of a kick to the old fashion district. More »
Livestock first opened its doors in 2007, quickly making a name for itself as one of the few spots in Toronto to find exclusive, limited edition sneakers generally only available south of the border. With a wide selection of Nikes, Pumas and Adidas, what really sets Livestock apart is its wide range of lesser known brands like Acapulco Gold, The Hundreds and DBC, all favorites of serious sneaker collectors. Though grabbing a pair from Livestock may cost you a bit more than your local Foot Locker, the store's seasonal sales are well worth holding out for. More »
Carrying labels from the US, UK, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong, Capsule is a go-to spot for street wear in Toronto. With brands such as Nike, Air Jordan, Converse, Vans, and New Balance, there are more than 250 different styles of footwear in the store. Specializing in unique, if not one-of-a-kind sneakers, Capsule has officially become the go-to midtown spot for the consummate sneaker-freak. More »
I've been frequenting Get Outside at Queen and Spadina (they also have an uptown location at 3456 Yonge St.) for as long as I can remember, having stocked up on everything from Birkenstocks for sleepover camp to Sperry's for dorm life. Get Outside has been keeping up with the footwear trends for decades. With a massive collection of Red Wings, Frye's, Vans, Chucks and so much more, this ever-expanding treasure trove is a quintessential Toronto pit-stop. You don't even have to go inside, as these sneaker pimps put displays right outside on the street. More »
Though perhaps not best known for its selection of sneakers, Vancouver's latest export Gravity Pope is useful for more than just designer duds and sky-high heels. Nestled within the holy grail of shoe sections are a selection of incredible limited edition sneakers for both men and women from the likes of Puma (collaborating with Alexander McQueen) Adidas (by Stella McCartney of course), Comme des Garcons, Converse and out of this world looks from Camper, Fred Perry and more. More »
Stepping into Groovy on a recent stroll along Queen West, I'm immediately transported back to my high school days when begging my poor mother to buy me a new pair of Converse low-tops and ska-print shoe laces was an annual occurrence. The shelves at Groovy have long been stocked with every style of sneaker a guy or gal could ask for, with a focus on skate-style kicks like Converse, Vans, Adidas, Pumas and my favorite, the Onitsuka Tiger classics. More »
Adrift Skate Shop, as the name may suggest, specializes in footwear and apparel for the skateboarding set. With skate-style making a big come back on the fashion scene, this underground haven next to Livestock just south of Richmond on Spadina is filled with footwear and apparel from some of the industries hottest brands. Classic styles from the big names like Nike, Adidas, Vans, Lakais and Converse are mixed in with limited edition styles I've yet to see anywhere else in the city. More »
So Hip It Hurts skate shop near Queen and John has been around for over two decades and has long been considered one of the best skate shops in North America. Carrying a seriously heavy stock of shoes, boards and apparel, SHIH has been frequented by the likes of Vanilla Ice, Adam Sandler and Kat von D. After a slick renovation in the early aughts, So Hip it Hurts continues to be a go-to for skate boarders, surfers and sneakerheads alike. More »
Blue Tile Lounge Skate Shop transplanted from Newmarket two summers ago, after making a name for itself as a purveyor of custom decks, apparel and accessories under their eponymous label. Their Toronto shop, located near College and Bathurst, is stockpiled with BTL items, as well as a slew of great names like Nike, Converse, Herschel, Lakai, DC and Converse. More »