words + photos by @MrsTeriyaki
Everything in life started off small at one point, and that’s no different with sneaker events. Imagine Sneaker Con, Solefest or Crepe City and they all at some point would have been held in a small venue somewhere with a fraction of the attendants and a fraction of the extra entertainment.
From experience, larger events struggle to bring that real community feel and tend to market themselves towards a younger more fashion-conscience audience, who tend to remain on the outskirts of the sneaker community. There is a huge mass of people, and normally a strong presence of sponsored brands. Sure, the choice of the kicks for sale may be vast but the diversity, not necessarily.
Just like different countries have different styles, different cities do too. And that is something you can really experience when venturing out of the normal, more ‘commercial’ sneaker events and looking more locally.
This weekend I attended SneakerBox in Bristol, a more local event just over an hour from home. I have attended smaller events before, but this was my first time here. Last year it was held in a pub (public house) and has grown since last year into a small music venue which is really great to see the demand for it to grow.
The unique aspect of sneaker conventions of this caliber is the personality that local attendants bring to it. There is a real flavor of the city that comes through the doors and is reciprocated by what’s worn on foot. I found the taste and variation so much wider compared to the big conventions. With the strong community vibe comes enjoyable conversations and even new friendships, which is the part I love the most about the community.
It’s important we as sneakerheads attend and show love to the smaller projects taking shape in the culture because they are doing a great job at bringing opportunities to people who maybe can’t make the bigger, more national conventions. And one day they won’t be so small.
Do you have any local sneaker events near you?
If you’re wanting to get more involved in the sneaker community, it’s a great place to start and be a part of. I think it’s important as members of a community we support one another’s growing pillars, especially locally.