ST. LOUIS — Sneakers are no longer just for playing sports. People are lacing up a fresh pair of kicks to make a fashion statement, and the demand is making sneakers big business in St. Louis.
Matthew Collado saw the need and decided to open a shop on Washington Avenue in downtown. He calls it “The Drop.”
“Like a Footlocker meets a Louis Vuitton meets like a Dior or art museum. We kind of wanted to clash everything together,” said Collado.
The Drop has everything for sneaker lovers, including a vast array of colors and brands.
“We have over 500 pairs of shoes. A lot of it is stuff you can’t get anywhere. It’s all resale,” he said.
Collado said some customers are willing to play $2,500 for a pair of sneakers.
B.A. Daniel is a collector. He hasn’t paid big bucks for just one pair of sneakers, but he admitted he has spent a lot of money over time.
“$20,000, $30,000, $40,000 maybe. But I also buy and sell a lot,” Daniel told 5 On Your Side.
He isn’t just a collector. He is also a broker. He sees his sneakers as assets. In fact, sneakers helped him get through a tough time financially.
"Didn’t work for nine months. I just sold my shoes to pay rent,” he said.
But his collection of sneakers isn’t only about dollars and cents. Some of them have a sentimental value. He has a special pair of Air Jordans.
“I wear in dedication of Paul Raymond Forbis, a dear friend of mine we lost. Those I wouldn’t sell,” he said.
There are some precious memories laced into his collection.
“I make a connection with everything, so it is definitely more than just a shoe,” Daniel said.
Daniel has also become connected to the St. Louis sneaker community, which he described as being tight-knit.
“Consider each other brothers,” he said.
The sneaker community and culture has created a boom. A recent study by Cowen Research Equity estimated that reselling sneakers is a multi-billion dollar business. And in St Louis, more people are getting into it.
“Now that it’s a thing of value and reselling, people are like huh,” Collado said with a smile.
And Collado doesn’t see the demand for the latest sneakers slowing down anytime soon in the area.
“Everybody buys shoes every day. People don’t stop buying shoes,” he said.