The Sneaker Shop Hierarchy

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

With new shops popping up around the City like beggars asking for booze money, one ponders: What does it takes to climb the proverbial sneaker-shop food chain and assume a spot in the sacred upper echelon of NYC sneaker boutiques?! Most of the top-tier shops are pretty hit or miss these days but continue to have the hardcore followings and elitist stigma that makes stopping in seem more like a chore than a choice.

One shop with no such stigma is Rugged Sole  in the West Village on 6th Ave at the corner of Washington. This shop is flying under the radar so much so that I’ve walked by it numerous times without realizing it was even there. After stumbling upon it for the first time, I did my internet homework like any good New Yorker who sees something for the first time would do (no cars in Times Square?!wtf?!) and read through some NYC shop reviews on some other sites. The old favorites were all there– Rivington Club, DQM, Nort-Recon, Premium Goods, Supreme – but not a single mention of Rugged Sole, despite a fairly impressive selection.

I may not have been totally blown away with what I saw at Rugged Sole  (no quick strikes or super-rare shoes), but I was impressed with the amount and diversity of their selection; Nike (essential), Clae, Vans, Creative Rec, and Converse. There were a number of different Clae’s on display and a 50% off clothing sample-sale offering some real steals.

Next time you’re in the West Village looking to quench your sneaker thirst, this StreetSneak would recommend giving Rugged Sole a look.

Hard to believe, but the StreetSneaks can’t be everywhere at once. Not quite. So the next time you pass through a shop, grab a pic, take a quick inventory,  and be sure to send it our way: We’ll put it up and everyone goes home happy.


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