When it first started in 2004, the H-Town Sneaker Summit was held was a sports bar, where sneaker enthusiasts in and around Houston bought, sold, and/or traded the coolest kicks. But, over the years, with more and more attendees and vendors flocking to the convention every year, there have been spacious summits held at Toyota Center and NRG Park.
Since we're still basking in the afterglow of the Astros winning the World Series, this year's summit, happening Sunday, July 22, will be at Minute Maid Park. Event coordinator Tasha Sanders hopes this summit will be just as good as the Summit held last December, which drew in nearly 4,000 people. "December was a great turnout," she says. "I feel like that was one of our better shows. We had a lot of people. We had D'wayne Edwards, who used to be a lead designer at Jordan last year. Summer's always the bigger show, because a lot of people don't have work and school and whatever."
Sanders is hoping for double the attendance at the upcoming summit, which will have 100 or so vendors, specializing in shoes, accessories, apparel, and more. All the biggie shoe brands are scheduled to be represented, including Adidas, Reebok, and Jordan. Other Houston-area sneaker boutiques, like Premium Goods, Active Athlete Inc., and Proper will have their own tables. Local celebs are also scheduled to appear, like rappers Bun B, Paul Wall, and Slim Thug (who will most likely be hawking his BossLife clothing line). And since, in the past, rappers have also done impromptu freestyle performances, don't be surprised if some might hit the mike during this.
The Sneaker Summit has became such a major event in sneaker culture, it has spawned Sneaker Summits in New York, Los Angeles, Austin and — coming next month — Kansas City. Sanders feels that while those events have their moments, nothing beats the genuine article. "Ours is more like a production and whatnot," she says. "The other shows are great. It's like we're great at what we do, and they're great at what they do. It's a different demo, you know. Houston's like its own country."
According to Sanders, the Houston show is where she has seen sneaks she'd never thought she'd see up close. "I've seen some Mags, some Nike Mags, from Back to the Future," she says. "I don't know if they were for sale, but that would probably be the most expensive that I know of. I mean, you can't even get those. Like, you had to, I think, bid on those though charity. So, those are really, really rare."
This is a special weekend for Sneaker Summit. On Saturday, July 21, the Sneaker Summit store on S. Shepherd will celebrate two years of business. So, expect them to also show off some unique, hard-to-find footwear the following day. "We have a Kobe," says Sanders, referring to the retired basketball great's line of Nike shoes. "There are only 81 pairs in the world, so we have a couple of those. So, yeah, you'll see a lot of shoes that, like I said, you'll probably never see in your life — or thought you'd never see in life."
The H-Town Sneaker Summit kicks it on Sunday, July 22, at Minute Maid Park, 501 Crawford St. 3 pm to 8 pm. $20-$150. For more information, visit this site.