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Children of the Swoosh

The shoe-obsessed youth of Sneaker Con are all about collecting—and cashing in.

SLIDESHOW

David Lopez

(1 of 9)

Alicia Garcia

(2 of 9)

Carolina Carreno

(3 of 9)

Gabriel Glasgow

(4 of 9)

Roy Taylor

(5 of 9)

Chance Cowens

(6 of 9)

Dahmeyon McDonald

(7 of 9)

Ayah Nawabi

(8 of 9)

Vanessa Padilla

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"You know what they say: Women take a look at two things when they see you—your shoes and your watch,” says Roy Taylor. “So you gotta make sure your shoes are fresh, and if you got that, then the rest is a breeze.” For this reason and others, 14,000 sneaker fanatics descended upon the Santa Clara Convention Center the weekend of March 31 for Sneaker Con, a convention that offers an opportunity for a mostly teenage crowd to buy, sell, and trade the most coveted kicks on the market.

More than 500 official vendors crammed the convention center, but the real action was in the trading pit, where sneakerheads hawked their personal stocks—from the Adidas Yeezy Boost to the rare Nike Air Max—with prices reaching into the thousands of dollars. For Yu-Ming Wu, who founded Sneaker Con in 2009, the convention offers a space not just for commerce but for immersion in the intricacies of shoe culture. “We appreciate the art on our feet like you might appreciate art in film, art on paper, or comic books,” Wu says. “This is just a great gathering of people who love sneakers.”

  

Originally published in the May issue of San Francisco 

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