Top 50 Sneaker Stores: Saint Alfred (#38)

07.27.09 10 years ago 2 Comments

Just like an art collector scouring the globe for a masterpiece, sole searching sneaker fiends will go to great lengths to find an exclusive pair of kicks. Back in Dime #25 (August 2006), we put together a list of the Top 25 Sneaker Stores when the kick game had never been bigger. But while that list was limited to mostly US spots, we decided in our 50th issue to take it worldwide.

Many factors went into our rankings – selection, build-out, atmosphere and status – as a combination of all of these aspects create the quintessential locale. Remember, this is all about the kicks, so clothing selection was immaterial. After months of traveling and research, and talking to people in all facets of the industry, we came up with our list of the Top 50 Sneaker Stores in the World.

Each day we’ll be dropping a few new spots as we count down to No. 1…

38. Saint Alfred (IL)
It’s a good sign that when you call a store to do an interview, they ask if they can call you back because Ben Gordon is in the shop trying on some Jordans and Vans. And that’s exactly what you get when you call Chi-Town’s Saint Alfred. To understand Saint Alfred, you have to understand KICKS/HI, as Saint Alfred comes from the owners. When KICKS/HI opened in 2001, the idea of a sneaker boutique wasn’t a popular business model. You can pretty much figure out the rest from there. With sneakers from adidas, Asics, Converse, Generic Surplus, Gravis, Nike, Puma, Reebok, Tretorn, Vans and Visvim, there’s enough variety for everyone from Saint Alfred customers Robin Williams to Tommy Lee. And if you’re looking for some heat right now, the most exclusive pair in the shop for purchase is the Visvim FBT Lattice in blue suede (that would even have Elvis camping out for days).

1531 N Milwaukee
Chicago, IL 60622

50. Sportie LA (CA)
49. Social Study (MD)
48. Black Rainbow (France)
47. MAJOR (DC)
46. Norml (Canada)
45. Attic (CA)
44. Premium Goods (TX / NY)
43. Espionage (Australia)
42. R.sole (MO / TN)
41. Gentei (MD)
40. No Boys Allowed (The Netherlands)
39. Goliath RF (NY)

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