Cool kicks in Miami

Most students at UM don’t think twice about choosing comfortable flip-flops over the constraints of sneakers in such a humid, tropical climate. For some Canes, however, the need to look fresh in a brand new pair of sneakers takes priority, even in the heat.

While the number of boutiques in Miami pales in comparison to cities like New York or Los Angeles, a few havens remain for “sneakerheads” across South Florida. Before making a trip to the local mall for a new pair of kicks, check out some of these boutiques first.

Shoe Gallery – 244 NE First Avenue, Brickell – Grade: 5/5 Stars
Recently ranked by Dime Magazine as one of the top-50 sneaker stores in the country, Shoe Gallery has a legendary reputation across the city of Miami. Celebrities have turned Shoe Gallery into a mandatory stop on trips to South Florida; the walls are lined with pictures of all the Hollywood stars and icons that visit the store. The selection of streetwear brands inside is expansive. Boasting the most limited sneakers in the city, Shoe Gallery commonly has campouts by collectors before the release of exclusive kicks.

FootSoldiers – 100 SE First Avenue, Brickell – Grade: 4/5 Stars
Located only a few blocks away from Shoe Gallery, FootSoldiers is the only store in the immediate area that sells the highly desirable Nike Skateboarding line of sneakers. The store also boasts an impressive collection of streetwear, including limited brands like KidRobot, as well as footwear from up-and-coming brand Supra. FootSoldiers has a loyal following of young hipsters and sneaker collectors and, as a bonus, always has a good sale rack.

Air Traffic Control – 1601 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach – Grade: 4/5 Stars
Air Traffic Control just might be one of the most awe-inspiring boutiques in the entire country. Boasting a collection of extremely rare sneakers, ATC is a consignment boutique for the most dedicated of sneaker aficionados. The store, set up with a conveyor belt that rotates some of the most exclusive pairs, regularly has sneakers on sale ranging from $500-$1000. While ATC is not a place to purchase a new pair of kicks on a whim, it is unquestionably worth a visit for anyone remotely interested in fashion.

M.I.A. Skateshop – 229 Ninth Street, Miami Beach – Grade: 3.5/5 Stars
M.I.A. serves skaters across South Florida as Miami’s premier skateshop, selling everything from skateboard decks and wheels, to helmets and backpacks. Along with FootSoldiers, M.I.A. is one of the only places in Miami to snag the newest Nike Skateboarding releases. While the sneaker collection is not expansive, reasonable prices and the rare Nike offerings make this little skateshop a worthwhile boutique.

Invazion – 2765 SW 27th Avenue, Coconut Grove – Grade: 3/5 Stars
Invazion is a small boutique located right near the Coconut Grove metro stop on US-1. The strong collection of streetwear brands like The Hundreds and Crooks & Castles make up for a somewhat disappointing sneaker collection. Although Invazion has some fantastically colorful sneakers, the boutique does not boast many limited releases. Even so, Invazion is still worth the short Metro ride to the Grove.

Camron Ghorbi may be contacted at