Haute 100 Update: LeBron James Brings Sneaker Culture and Sneaker Con (TOMORROW) to Miami

Haute 100 Miami member LeBron James has been celebrated for his stellar sense of style. Part of this is his impeccably fresh collection of sneakers. While a sense of ‘sneaker culture‘ has always existed in niche groups, it’s King James’s arrival in our sizzling city we have to thank for bringing sneaker culture – and premier footwear event Sneaker Con – to Miami.

As Sneaker Con gears up to happen tomorrow at the BankUnited Center in Coral Gables, kicks enthusiasts are preparing for the world’s premier exhibition and buying event for fans and collectors. If you’re not familiar with the event, imagine the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, but instead of stocks, sneaker aficionados are hollering prices and paying up for pairs of sneakers. It’s a live marketplace, and prime hunting ground for “sneakerheads.”

Sneaker Con founder and voracious sneaker eminence Alan Vinogradov explains that the live market setting “allows sneakerheads to open up new trading networks and leave Sneaker Con with a few bucks in their pocket.”

Obviously, Sneaker Con is no joke, but rather a nursery for a niche culture to flourish. Vinogradov became hooked after a trip to Tokyo in 2003, where sneaker culture is rampant. It took hold in the U.S. in cities like New York and Los Angeles, but Miami was never really considered to harbor the same passion for sneaks – that is, until LeBron arrived.

Vinogradov explained in an interview, “Miami wasn’t known for its sneaker game as much as New York and L.A. But since LeBron James landed in Miami it has transcended the culture in many places in the country. Miami is now a go-to location for the sneaker culture. In 2010, Nike introduced the Nike LeBron Zoom 8 South Beach edition. This shoe was first introduced in select stores in Miami. It featured a teal colorway, which sneakerheads across the country embraced, and the shoe now fetches anywhere from $600 to $800 at Sneaker Con. Its original retail price was $160.”

Miami is also on the forefront of brick-and-mortar sneaker stores. Last year, we were introduced to Sole Fly, which is the latest hub for limited edition sneaker releases,” he adds. “Miami is on the come-up, and we recognize the passion of the culture in South Florida and plan on providing an amazing platform which will expose sneakerheads to new worlds of footwear culture.”

Sneaker Con will take place tomorrow, Sat. July 30, in the BankUnited Center at 1245 Dauer Drive, Coral Gables. For more information, visit www.sneakercon.com.

Our Haute 100 list details the accomplishments of the most influential people in each of our markets. To see the entire Haute 100 Miami list, click here.

To see our recent print feature on our cover man, LeBron James, click here.