Sneaker Con Vancouver returns to city after two-year hiatus

If it's anything like past events, expect B.C. hypebeasts to converge on the Vancouver Convention Centre this weekend

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      Imagine shelling out the equivalent of a Vancouver condo for a pair of sneakers.

      That's what happened last May when someone forked over $1.8 million for a pair of Kanye West's first pair of Yeezys, shattering the previous record for a pair of Nike Air Jordans by more than three times.

      Sneakers have become such a fashion statement that they're even worn by the vice president of the United States, Kamala Harris.

      In the tweet below, she be seen exiting a plane in her trademark Chuck Taylors.

      On Saturday (March 5), B.C. hypebeasts and sneakerheads will converge on Sneaker Con Vancouver, looking for some vintage kicks of their own.

      One of those who will be at the Vancouver Convention Centre is Shireen Edross, the head of sneakers for eBay Canada. 

      "It's always been a passion of mine," Edross told the Straight by phone from Toronto. "I've just been lucky enough that [my] passion has been able to turn into a career now. I've always loved sneakers."

      The former University of Guelph varsity volleyball player pointed out that her company is the title sponsor for Sneaker Con Vancouver, which last graced the city at the end of February in 2020.

      "Sneaker Con and eBay are very similar," she said. "We are about bringing communities together."

      This was what the lineup looked like outside Sneaker Con Vancouver in 2020 just before the pandemic was declared.
      Charlie Smith

      In 2020, lineups at the Vancouver Convention Centre snaked around inside the building for great distances—a testament for the growing popularity of sneakers in the 21st century.

      Inside, the building was filled with vendors hawking sneakers, jerseys, and other goods to hordes of attendees.

      Over the years, eBay has been a popular platform for those who love to trade in these products. Last year, the company extended its authenticity guarantee program to Canada.

      "We vet and verify our sneakers over $100 before they go to the buyers," Edross explained. "I cover all of that as the head of sneakers."

      Anyone who visits the eBay Canada booth at Sneaker Con Vancouver will be able to get sneakers checked out for their authenticity.

      She attributes the enduring appeal of sneakers to nostalgia. For her, certain shoes take her back to events in sports history, like a famous Jordan shot in basketball.

      Edross also recalled what it was like saving up money to finally afford her first pair of Nike checks. 

      Then there is the multitude of alternatives, including some designed by famous artists or celebrities collaborating with the brands.

      "There’s such a variation out there—and a sneaker for everybody," Edross says.