YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A new store has opened in downtown Youngstown that specializes in vintage sneakers.
Under the parking garage in downtown Youngstown, in the space long occupied by Greyland Vintage, you’ll now find Youngstown Kicks.
“This one right here is a friends and family Akron exclusive, made for the friends and family of LeBron James,” said 22-year-old Andy Murphy of Canfield, who owns Youngstown Kicks.
Murphy’s LeBron James exclusives will sell for around $6,500. Right next to them is a pair of Air Jordan 1s.
Murphy started his sneaker collection at 14.
“It’s funny. A buddy of mine got me into it and I saw one pair. He got me hooked. Then just from there, it spiraled into an addiction,” Murphy said.
On Friday, a third of Murphy’s collection — about 400 pairs — could be found on the shelves of Youngstown Kicks. Nearly all are athletic shoes of various colors and makes.
Youngstown’s Frederick Hicks says a vintage sneaker store can make it here.
“Oh, it definitely can make it in Youngstown. There’s so many different cultural aspects in here. People from all over coming around. There’s people from Cleveland, Akron, Canton,” Hicks said.
The store also stocks clothes and memorabilia. Murphy also specializes in sneaker cleaning.
As to why he chose to locate in downtown Youngstown…
“It’s the greatest city in the world. I truly believe that,” Murphy said.
To help people understand the culture behind sneakers, Murphy told of when he first started collecting. How he bought a pair of Air Jordan Bred 11s and hid them from his mother.
“When she found out, well, she wasn’t too happy because I spent $200 on a pair of shoes and she couldn’t understand why, and that was something nobody at the time could get their head around. But for me, I just saw it as, this is the history, this is the culture and this is something I want to be a part of,” Murphy said.