The road to sneaker glory is often rapt with disappointment for Sydney locals. Besides having a burning desire to carve out your own unique sneaker style, you’ve also got to compete with the global hypebeasts and resellers who live to spruik your favourite limited edition kicks for three times the price on eBay.
Luckily we’ve scoured the town to hunt down ten of the best sneaker stores in Sydney. No middle man. No price gouging. Just man and his favourite shoe.
3 Temperance Lane, Sydney CBD
Sneakerboy is a store for men who enjoy having a memorable customer experience as well as purchasing a pair of great sneakers. I say ‘memorable’ because Sneakerboy has a rather unique approach in retail. The store is a showroom display of their stock, where you’re free to try on as many sneakers to your heart’s (or feet’s) content. You try them on, and when you’ve found the one, you make the purchase online. With a little bit of patience, the shoes will arrive on your doorstep in the next few days. They have a huge range of brands to choose from, so you’re guaranteed to find something you like.
Brands: Common Projects, Alexander McQueen, Raf Simons, Filling Pieces, Golden Goose, Onitsuka Tiger, Asics, Undercover, Adidas Originals by Hyke, Adidas, Buscemi, Balenciaga, Puma, Off-White, Reebok, Y3, Pony, Giuseppe Zanotti, Nike
Above The Clouds
205 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst
Sitting strong in Sydney’s streetwear scene is boutique fashion and sneaker store, Above The Clouds. Don’t be deterred by its store size as their wildly extensive sneaker range more than makes up for this. In the shoe wardrobe you’ll find some of the world’s most sought after kicks in ultra rare colours and designs. The store itself is conveniently located on Sydney’s main fashion strip to make sure you won’t be short of street style inspiration. When you’re done shoe shopping, take a good squizz at their premium threads sourced from some of the world’s best labels as well as fresh up and comers.
Brands: New Balance, Adidas Originals, Asics, Diadora, La Coste, Le Coq Sportif, Puma, Reebok, Saucony
Shop 2/3 Palings Lane, Sydney CBD
Subtype is the brainchild of men’s streetwear label ZANEROBE. It is the go-to store for hard-core sneaker lovers as their entire range is hand selected with only a few designs making the cut. The store has a specific criteria in which their sneaker range needs to meet before they sell – exclusivity, creativity, innovation and how well they complement various looks are some of the benchmarks Subtype look at. But the best bit about Subtype? If you’re based in Sydney and order the sneakers online before closing time, the item will be delivered to your address in two hours. Very efficient. Very sneaky.
Brands: Adidas, Casbia, ETQ Amsterdam, Filling Pieces, Nike, Puma, Reebok, Vans
6 Hunt Street, Surry Hills
Wait, what? Why is there fried chicken getting in the way of a good pair of kicks? Settle, child. Butter is the latest Sydney fusion retail concept which rolls a sneaker store, a fried chicken joint and a fun place all into one. Besides selling some of the latest kicks and attracting international attention for its audacious fit out (mural of chicks in sneakers and bikinis eating fried chicken on the ceiling), the place has also been attracting some of the most serious players in the local sneaker scene. Even the Wu-Tang Clan turned up to their joint recently for some kicks and fried chicks. There’s also endless flowing beer and champers for when you’re trying on your next pair of Jordans.
Shop 2/22-26 Goulburn Street, Sydney CBD
Espionage has been in Sydney for more than a decade, and for good reason too. In addition to stocking common brands like Nike and Adidas, Espionage travels around the globe to discover ‘up and coming’ talent, giving these new designers an outlet to sell their products. If you’re the type to prefers to stand out from the mainstream and loves to support emerging labels, Espionage is the way to go. They even offer a consignment service to ensure your best kicks never go to waste.
Brands: Adidas, Adidas Consortium, Jason Markk, Jeremy Scott, Jordan, New Balance, Opening Ceremony, Pharell Williams, Puma, Raf Simons, Rick Owens, Y-3
Shop 16B/501 George Street, Town Hall
Sole Mate is a store for all of the avid sneaker collectors out there. They’re often one of the first to get stock of any new collections since Sole Mate is also a consignment store as well. Offering consumers a rare marketplace where they can buy limited editions and one off collectable sneakers you wouldn’t be able to buy anywhere else is the ace card up this store’s sleeve.
Brands: Diadora, Le Coq Sportiff, Lacoste, K-Swiss, Pony, Timberland, Nike, Nike Air
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420 George Street, Sydney CBD
Similar to Sneakerboy (and literally around the corner), shopping at Culture Kings is an experience like no other. It’s your general hub for everything streetwear from snapback hats, fitted caps, crewnecks, jackets and of course, sneakers. The store itself is certainly a feast for the eyes along with the experience of purchasing items. They even have barbers on stand to spruce up your next fade or pompadour hairstyle. To top it all off, Culture Kings bring in the best DJs to play in store so that you’ll be dropping to the beat as drop some dough on your next pair of kicks.
Brands: Adidas Originals, Jordan, Nike, Palladium, Supra, Vans, Converse, New Balance, Nike SB, Reebok, Timberland
455 George Street, Sydney CBD
Hype DC is a safe haven for men who want a no-fuss shoe store. While other shoe retailers work within only one or two stores, Hype DC has several locations scattered across Sydney and in major shopping centres. Their reach is far and wide, so regardless of where you live you’re bound to find a store near you. They’re quite generous too, offering an online shopping service if you’re too lazy to leave the comfort of your home. There’s also free shipping to your humble abode or workplace if need be.
Brands: Nike, Adidas, New Balance, Converse, Nike SB, Lacoste, Asics, Reebok, Puma, Shubar, Onisuka Tiger, Supra, Converse CONS
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Level 3, 188 Pitt Street, Westfield Sydney
For the discerning gentleman whose feet deserve nothing but pure unadulterated luxury, Harrolds is your go-to sneaker location. The Sydney luxury department store stocks some of the most extensive sneaker ranges from designer labels such as John Lobb, Giuseppe Zanotti, Comme Des Garcons, Rick Owens and more. The store’s immaculately chic fit out is also a sight to behold as it also stocks some of the world’s most distinguished labels like Tom Ford alongside men’s shoes. This is where to sneaker shop when you’ve made it.
Brands: John Lobb, Giuseppe Zanotti, Comme Des Garcons, Rick Owens, Valentino, Saint Laurent
World Square Shopping Centre, Shop 10.18, 644 George St, Newtown NSW 2000
‘Quality over quantity’ could well be the motto of this elite CBD outlet. Sneaker Exchange offers some minimalist relief from the urban jungle of Sydney’s World Square, stocking premium footwear from a small but select pool of brands. This is the first port of call for sneaker geeks, a museum of the latest and the coolest new releases from the likes of Yeezy and Air Jordan. Also stocking a range of hoodies and outerwear, Sneaker Exchange is a guaranteed goldmine for the hype hoarder and footwear fanatic.
Brands: Nike, Air Jordan, Adidas, Yeezy, Supreme, Revenge
SSS Westfield Sydney
Shop 1001A Pitt St, Sydney NSW 2000
Hypebeasts and sneakerheads unite in their praise of Westfield’s SSS, also known as the Secret Sneaker Store. An icon of Australia’s sneaker community, this is the one-stop-shop for all of your sneaker and collectable clothing needs. Its reputation speaks for itself- the futuristic, monochrome aesthetic and the elite quality of the customer service makes SSS a legend for footwear junkies nation-wide. SSS is also a consignment store and ensures to keep their social media updated with the latest consignment drops, so you can get your hustle on whilst indulging your sneaker addiction.
Brands: Yeezy, Nike, Air Jordan, Adidas, Revenge, Converse, Vans, Balenciaga
Shop 10.09 World Square Shopping Centre, 644 George St, Sydney NSW 2000
Turning its back on the blaring culture of the mass market, REPUBLiC BOUTIQUE dares to blaze its own monochrome trail on Sydney’s apparel scene. With a sleek interior and an atmosphere overflowing with sophistication, it’s no secret that this luxurious outlet prioritises craftsmanship over everything. With an absence of crazy trends but an abundance of style, neutral black, white and grey tones dominate the shoe collection. These sneakers are designed for the non-conforming.
Brands: Rick Owens, Rick Owens DRKSHDW
Shop 7/157 Curlewis St, Bondi Beach NSW 2026
With a name that literally translates to ‘on a journey’, Von-Röutte is far more than just a sneaker store. This independent label was founded in Sydney by Brazilian couple Gus and Marina, who design and sell their creations from the artistic hub of Bondi Beach. Backgrounds in graphic design and natural sciences have enabled the couple to seamlessly blend their travel experiences of nature, architecture and landscapes into their sneaker designs. Bringing an experimental flair to minimalist styles, Von-Röutte products effortlessly fuse the luxurious with the casual. With an emphasis on ethical and sustainable production, the product range is a tour of the globe with every design named after the city that inspired it.
Von-Röutte only stocks their own brand.
20 Burton St, Darlinghurst NSW 2010
Eco-warriors assemble! Founded by Australian brothers Tull and Josh, FEIT is the world’s first neoluxury footwear label. The brothers use only biological materials to create products sewn by hand with a fierce commitment to maximum quality with minimal ecological impact. Individually tailored to perfection, each box of shoes bears the stamp of their maker and a signed and dated certificate of authenticity. FEIT are a breath of fresh air in a market dominated by fast fashion, prioritising sustainability in both production and consumer use. All flagship stores offer complimentary post-purchase cleaning, conditioning, and restoration services to ensure a lifetime of wear. Popular amongst architects, advertisers and others in the creative sphere, FEIT prove that in the 21st-century ethical consumerism and style can be one and the same.
FEIT only stock their own brand.