For Fresh Kicks, It’s Worth Going the Distance

I felt that recently I have not been paying enough attention to all the sneaker heads on campus that are looking for a place to grab new kicks. Sneaker boutiques are my favorite because you are immediately absorbed by a wall where every item is something new to take in. Back home in New York City, I know exactly where the legendary places are, and I thought it would be good to see if anything in Philadelphia could compete. Here are a couple of places that have already received great reviews from the locals and that I recommend you should check out soon!

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Ubiq
Ubiq is a sneaker boutique located right of off Rittenhouse Square which promises to serve any sneaker head with a large selection of shoes as well as street fashion apparel.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Price: $$
1509 Walnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
215.988.0194
www.ubiqlife.com

Now, listen to this. You walk in through a glass door into this Rittenhouse Square boutique and are immediately teased by shelving units that only allow you to catch a glimpse of what lies ahead. You stroll up the small set of stairs and slowly but surely you start nodding your head as you hear Drake’s “HYFR,” which sets the mood for the rest of your visit (I am not lying here, the song went on, and it was as if they knew about my Drake obsession). You are initially brought to a room filled with an epic variety of Chuck Taylor’s and some great picks of Nike SB’s. A smaller room in the back has clothing and fitted caps from Obey, Ubiq, 10 Deep and Milkcrate.

Ubiq has a large selection of sneakers and includes classic brands like Converse, Adidas, and Puma as well as more unique brands like Supra, Karhu, and Saucony. Like most sneaker boutiques, there are little sales and the price ranges are high. However, there is no price you can put on the variety you can find here.

There is also a small section dedicated to women’s sneakers from brands such as Keds, Nike, and Vans. Other shoes include all weather boots from Sorel. The selection is indeed small, but most of the sneakers from the men’s section can be unisex.

One of the best features of this boutique is the pop-up shops it hosts. Currently on exhibit is the Kenny Lyon for Hall of FamePop-up Shop in which this artist and designer displays some of his drawings and cartoons on the walls of the second floor of the shop. It is interesting to walk around and see some of his work. I appreciate how Ubiq makes use of its space and converts it into something that goes beyond its primary function of displaying merchandise and establishes itself as prominent in street fashion and culture.

Overall, it was a pleasure to be surrounded by sneakers at Ubiq. The atmosphere was welcoming and comfortable, and the staff was always by my side in case I ever needed assistance.

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Abakus Takeout
This shop modeled after a takeout store makes it its mission to provide the most unique sneakers in Center City. Abakus Takeout is located in the heart of Chinatown and specializes in a selection of Jordan’s, Nike SB’s and Adidas.
Rating: 4 out of 5
Price: $$$
227 N. 10th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
215.351.7978
abakustakeout.com

Here the store front is the first thing that gets to you. The store blends in well with its other store fronts, and unless you are paying close attention, it is easy to confuse it for just another restaurant or shop from the area. Upon entering, you are greeted by spray paint cans and toys, a pleasant surprise that suits Abakus’s theme of street fashion. To the right of the small shop is a screen of an ongoing game of what seems to be some version of NBA2K.

Abakus is know throughout Philly for having the most unique variety of sneakers, something that you might not immediately think of seeing in your typical sneaker shop. The shelves here are lined with bright neon and oddly patterned kicks that demand anyone and everyone’s attention. Amongst this selection also lie classics like Jordans, which always grab your attention even in its most basic form. This is most definitely the place to shop if you want something different and outlandish (in a good way) to add to your wardrobe.

The atmosphere here is very relaxing and takes you on a journey, secludes you from the rest of your day, and traps you in a space that is far from what you would have expected to be.

Abakus tries to fairly serve all its customers by providing a close to equal selection for both men and women.

The staff is also very helpful and seems very knowledgable as to what the current trends are for each brand and is happy to help with your orders. The person whom I was talking to even recommended some sneakers for me, which I have to say were very tempting.

Abakus met all the expectations I had and surpassed them. I am definitely looking forward to taking trips here with my friends and letting them have fun picking out new sneakers.

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