Remember Sneaker Shopping?

We had a Foot Locker once.

It survived many many years {if I remember correctly, it was around when I was 18} but in the dying gasp of our local mall, didn’t make it through the pandemic – taking Famous Footwear along with it. There were never lines around the building to cop the “hype” sneakers, because they rarely {if ever} received them. Even now, every once in a while, I’ll call Dick’s Sporting Goods in the same mall to ask if they’re receiving a coveted pair, only to be reminded that this location doesn’t get Jordans, and once I had to speak to three different people because two of them didn’t know what a Yeezy even was.

Closest to me, we have a Zumiez, and The Shoe Dept. and about 15 minutes away is Homegrown Skateshop – which lives on in my heart as a constant disappointment because they never carry my size. Ever. And, unless I want to travel to Syracuse – which I do not – that’s about it.

So, imagine my surprise when I was scrolling through Instagram location tags for work and spotted One Stop Kicks. And then imagine my surprise again when I opened their Instagram and realized that I actually remembered hearing about their opening last year, but at the time they only had their own branded gear, and sneakers at resale value which I had already vowed never to buy because there’s principalities in this.

So obviously I made plans to go the next day. To look.

To. look.

But then I got there, and I asked “What’s the smallest size you carry?”, the heavens parted and a chorus of angels sang “Men’s three and a half.”, I felt tears welling up in the corners of my eyes and asked a very important follow up question: “Do you have any Yeezys in a four?”.

And thus my scruples were abandoned.

Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 Mono Mist originally released June 2021

Mono Mist released as part of the “Mono Pack” last year {alongside Ice, Clay, and Cinder} this semi-transparent dusky mauve? taupe? sure! sneaker boasts a monofilament mesh upper and features an under layer of funky opaque designs that remind my 11 year old and I of butterfly wings.

The shoelaces are covered in a shimmery mesh, making them a whole ass sensory experience. The sneaker is finished with the comfortable, sproingy af boost sole – expectedly.

I remember seeing these around the time they were releasing and I believe this pair did not release in the U.S. – but I’m not certain. I wasn’t checking for them because I didn’t know how good they were {my first pair of 350 V2s would arrive in August}, so I don’t remember much about any Yeezy release before that. I gleefully paid for my pair and literally walked out the store with them in hand.

I didn’t have to wait a week for FedEx to bring them to Syracuse, not deliver them and then take them on a tour of Ohio, before bringing them back to New York. Wild.

The Mono Mist are also Severus approved.

These shoes are great for summer and not for winter because of mud purposes.

– Severus, Age 11

Going back to One Stop Kicks.

The store itself leaves a lot to be desired with its plain walls save for the one covered in sneakers {one shelf officially way too high for me to see the shoes that graced them – but it’s not their fault I’m fucking short}, though it’s still a fairly new business. The simplicity was not a negative, as it made for a much less overwhelming experience. Coupled with the casual feeling of the store, shopping felt easy. There are cushy places to sit which Aaron immediately took advantage of, and I didn’t feel like Thaddeus could harm anything by looking and wandering around, though he mostly sat on a bench near the sneaker wall when he wasn’t picking out his own favorite sneakers.

Best of all, I wasn’t treated like a woman in sneakers is frequently treated, but some of that might have been helped by the fact that my 8 year old almost immediately found a pair of dark marina blue 1s on the shelf and matched them to the ones on my feet. Or maybe he just wasn’t an asshole, which is a better assumption to hold but not one I often do based on prior experiences. That’s a me problem.

I don’t doubt the knowledge of the associate who worked with me either, when I asked about the QC on a pair I liked but saw too many times come in fucked up, he said without hesitating that it was “Bad.” an easy pass in that case. He knew what was in stock without having to look, or guess, and gave me a good price for the pair I left with. Yes, over retail, not much more than StockX after fees, but for the convenience of seeing them in person, and bringing them directly home, it was more than fair.

One Stop Kicks is in a phenomenally convenient location, and had I not been there with two of the most uninterested in sneakers people ever, I would have lingered a bit longer. I don’t get to see sneakers in hand before buying them, and they had such a variety of sneakers that I had been on the fence about and now know which way I’ll swing for them. I’d forgotten how valuable that experience was, but I didn’t realize just how much I missed the exhilaration of shopping for sneakers in store.

For that alone, I’ll visit again.

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