Welcome to “Shoe+Topia TO”

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If you are a native of the Greater Toronto Area and you call yourself a sneakerhead November 9, 2013 was your day to show the rest of Toronto how you get down. On this date The Toronto Raptors Basketball Team in collaboration with Foot Locker Canada (@footlockercad) put on the first of what hopefully will be many “Shoe+TopiaTO” or “Kicks + Tix”…depending on what sign you were looking at. This event took place at the home of the Toronto Raptors…The Air Canada Centre at Gate 6. I was lucky enough to be introduced to the man behind this event, Jason Fata (@Jfata15)  who is an Account Executive, Group Sales with Maple Leaf Sport Entertainment, exclusively by my man Dion Walcott from Toronto Loves Kicks (@TDotLovesKicks) at United We Sole in September.  Since then I had been in contact with Jason making sure that I did not miss this event.

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One of the best things about having events like this is it is a place where many sneakerheads get to meet up and “battle” with their amazing sneaker collections, but they also give and receive a lot of love from all the people in attendance. There was just as much sneaker heat on the feet of the people in attendance as there as there was on the display tables from various vendors. I can’t tell you how many times I bumped into people because I was walking around and staring down at people’s kicks on their feet.  I got to see some VERY rare sneakers that I have only seen online…so a special shout out to those individuals that brought out some of their real sneaker heat for this event…you know who you are!

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Like any great event this one brought out some Toronto’s notable locals like sports media personality Akil Augustine (@AkilAugustine), Spex Da Boss (@SPEXDABOSS) from G 98.7 FM, sneaker photographer /sneakerhead Uncle Luc (@eyeprojekt)  holding it down for Sole Collector and not to be biased, but my favourites…some of the Toronto Raptors Dancers…LAWD…just to name a few! A great thing about events like these is that it didn’t matter what your social status was…the only thing that was important was the SNEAKERS! I saw some of the old school sneakerheads that came to just see what going on in their city, new sneaker collectors that were building their collections and were coming to buy some more kicks for their collections, people that looked like they brought the bank with them to get “that” shoe that they have been looking for at ANY cost and the list goes on and on.

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You would think with this being a sneaker event that’s all you would see, but this event also featured people that were selling t-shirts, hats and sweaters…and if you are a sneakerhead you know that there is nothing like a good t-shirt to make your kicks shine more. I saw vendors that were selling various key chains in the form some of the most popular sneakers out. There were people promoting their stores and various services that they provided in the sneaker world as well. So you could have walked in wanting just sneakers and left the event with a whole outfit! Some notable mentions should go out to UpliftSociety.com and doinitwell.com for some really nice gear! Special shout out going to doinitwell.com for my Afro Boy t-shirt…just think Astro Boy with an afro…SICK!!!

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Some of the most notable things that were at this event were the Toronto Raptors players had donated some worn and signed sneakers that were for sale with proceeds going to charity. As well as the people from Toronto Loves Kicks were showcasing some of the sneaker heat that Fila will be releasing in the very near future…welcome back Fila! Not to be overshadowed by all the other sneakers that were at this event was one of the biggest features that I KNOW for a fact most of the people missed and that feature will be on Sole Theory on its own in the near future so keep an eye out for that…we got some exclusive stuff coming for you!

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Did I mention that some of the Raptors Dancers were there…? LOL

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When it came to the actual vendors at the event it was no joke! There was sneaker heat as far as the eye could see. The one thing I will say is that if you have ever missed out on an Air Jordan, Foamposite or LeBron you would have seen it at this event in every style and colourway it could have possibly been released in. Everyone brought their A Game and it was hard to choose who you would consider the winner depending on what your take on good sneakers is. Even Foot Locker brought a nice display board of Nike Air Jordans that looked like a blend between re-releases and dead stock Nike Air Jordans and Jumpmans.

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TIP: One of the things I noticed at this event and I have been noticing lately are these so called “sneakerheads” and their lack of Sneaker Diversity. I’m not going to sit here and lie to you by saying that Nike is not the most dominant player in the game right now…but they are NOT THE ONLY player! That being said there is more to Nike’s catalog than LeBrons, Foamposites and Air Jordans. People tend to forget that sneaker heat from players like Reebok, Adidas, Asics, Converse, Ellesse, Puma, Le Coq Spotif and as you can tell I can go on and on. If you want to stand out and win an event like this not only do you have to have what is hot on the market, but you got to have things that will have people scratching their heads and wondering where the hell did you find them. As well, don’t think that just placing your kicks on a table side by side will catch everyone’s eye…be creative! Events like these can reveal the difference between a sneakerhead and just someone that has a lot of money and shoes…don’t front for a second and think that because you bought everything out there that you’re a TRUE sneakerhead!

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With that being said a BIG shout out going to the Sneaker Misfits that cleaned house again! I will not divulge what they did to win, but if you see what they do you will know why they are known to be THOSE dudes when it comes to sneaker battles in Toronto!

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I want to take the time to thank Jason Fata for putting together an AMAZING event for sneakerheads and sneaker lovers to come together and celebrate sneaker culture. Just by looking at all that was happening that afternoon I know it could not have been easy and it is only going to get bigger and better from here. Thank you VERY much for the exclusive access to your event and allowing us to take in your event from all angles…it was amazing! Shout out to Foot Locker Canada for showing love to those that have been showing them love since their doors first opened up…the sneakerheads! As I said before not enough credit can be given to Dion Walcott and Lee Joseph of Toronto Loves Kicks, if there is something happening in Toronto that has to do with sneaker culture more than likely they have their hands in it. Big thanks going out to my man Uncle Luc from Sole Collector for showing us here at Sole Theory a lot of support. Special mention going out to Ms Bevy Bevv (@bevy_bevv) representing for the Sole Divas at this event! It can’t be easy being the only lady amongst all those dudes, but you DEFINITELY hold it down for the ladies! A HUGE congratulations going out to my man Joel Hernandez (@jo_dooney) and the Sneaker Misfits crew for the great win at Shoe+TopiaTO.

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Last but NOT least…thanks to all the sneakerheads out there that came out to make this event so great…you know that if you want great events like this to continue you HAVE TO SUPPORT THEM! I know a lot of people that are beside themselves in anger for missing Shoe+TopiaTO so I can only imagine what the turn out will be at the next one!

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  • Uncle Luc

    Killin me with that last pic! haha

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About Sole Theory

Sole Theory is a sneaker lifestyle guide that explores the social impact of the sneaker culture. Users can expect to gain insight on recent trends, historic brands and signature styles that have heavily influenced the shoe industry. Content will be driven by articles, interviews and reviews that will uncover interesting facts and stories that have rarely been told.