Thousands of sneaker fanatics swarmed the Javits Center Saturday seeking to buy and sell the world’s most coveted kicks.
The 7th annual Sneaker Con NYC kicked off with large crowds perusing rows and rows of custom-made footwear with price tags upwards of $1,000.
Staten Island sneakerhead Mike Papagni, 32, brought a pair of his $2,500 handmade Air Yeezy Golden Child kicks.
“In a room full of sneakers, they stick out,” Papagni said as he proudly displayed the shoes’ certificate of authenticity.
“They probably made about 1,000. They take 40 hours to hand make. I don’t want to sell them. I want to trade them for something else to put in my collection.”
Sneaker Con has grown into a national phenomenon after launching in 2009 inside a 2,000 square-foot Times Square space that only hosted 600 attendees.
A whopping 40,000 people are expected to visit the traveling sneaker convention’s two-day show in the city.
Sneaker owners lined up Saturday to have their footwear certified as authentic before the buying and selling kicked off.
Michael Consalvo, 20, brought close to 30 pairs of Nike Air Max 90 Laser NYC customizable sneakers that he was selling for $400 apiece.
“You have people who come in here and bring $10,000 cash and wanna spend some money,” said the Queens man who has 200 pairs of sneakers in his own collection.
Rene Garcia, 35, traveled to New York from Chicago to sell parts of his eye-popping collection, including the Air Jordan “Kobe Bryant” pack.
The two-sneaker package contains the retro Air Jordans worn by Bryant during the 2002-03 NBA season.
The price-tag — $18,000.
He has a Kobe friends and family pack he is selling for $18,000.
“At the end of the day I’m a collector but everything has a price,” Garcia said.
“I used to have 400 pairs of sneakers in my collection but I’ve downsized to about 40 valuable pairs.”
Benjamin Kopel, 18, dipped into his 4,800-pair collection of kicks before making the trek to the city from Miami.
“I made my first money washing cars and walking dogs,” said the teen entrepreneur. “Then I lost one of the dogs I was walking so I started doing this as my job.”
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