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Sneaker Shopping in Tokyo

Japan’s love affair with quality kicks began in the ’90s and has burgeoned ever since. A wealth of amazing stores attracts both local obsessives and globe-trotting sneakerheads, and for limited editions and rare collectibles, Tokyo has other capital cities beat: pretty much everything can be found here.

Index

  • How to Shop

  • Where to go

  • Select Shops and Niche Stores

  • How to Shop

    How to Shop

    How to Shop

    Finding über-cool sneakers isn’t difficult in Tokyo (at least with this guide at hand!). The real challenge for foreigners can be finding ones that fit. The average Japanese male shoe size is around 27cm, which is a 9 in U.S. sizing. Way out of this range, you’ll have some trouble, but within a few centimeters upwards, you should find at least some of your coveted kicks available. Make sure you know your shoe size in centimeters before heading out!

  • Where to go

    Where to go

    Where to go

    Harajuku, at the heart of Tokyo street fashion, is ground zero for sneaker shopping. Here specialist sneaker boutiques deal in limited-edition releases, with important ‘drops’ seeing hard-core sneakerheads queuing outside overnight to secure the latest Nike x Supreme collab or suchlike. Key among these shops are Undefeated, the luxury apartment-styled A+S (Architecture + Sneakers), Billy’s Ent, and Kicks Lab, which has a gallery-like display of rare and vintage shoes.

    Where to go

    Where to go

    This district is also home to awe-inspiring flagships from global sneaker brands: all have a major presence in Harajuku, usually carrying the full collection and with the most boasting stunning design that is a must-see in its own right. Top of the list is Nike’s store at the top of Omotesando, where running track-style lines guide you around a vast and futuristic space that has a chandelier made of sneakers suspended overhead.

    Where to go

    Where to go

    Puma’s flagship is just up Omotesando Avenue from Nike, while New Balance is located on Meiji-dori, a couple of blocks north from the intersection with Omotesando. Over on Harajuku’s Cat Street, you will find concept stores from Adidas Originals, Reebok, and Japan’s own Onitsuka Tiger.

    Where to go

    Where to go

    Numerous other stores can be found in the Harajuku backstreets: keep an eye open for easily missed spots at basement level and on second-floor locations. On a street not far from New Balance is Atmos Pink. This is a store dedicated to women’s footwear from Atmos, a chain focussing on hip kicks from both major names and cult labels.

    Where to go

    Where to go

  • From Harajuku, walking down Meiji-dori towards Shibuya you’ll pass a men’s and women’s branch of Atmos. Then in Shibuya you will find several branches of ABC-MART (the Jinnan shop along from Tower Records is probably the best). A giant discount footwear chain that offers a fairly decent range of sneakers, ABC isn’t the place for rare limited editions but larger sizes can be found more easily than elsewhere. Step-in-Step is a similar but smaller chain, with two branches in Shimokitazawa a brief train ride west of Shibuya.

  • Select Shops and Niche Stores

    Select Shops and Niche Stores

    Select Shops and Niche Stores

    A concise, fashion-focused edit of current sneaker styles, including unique custom colorways, can be found at branches of the main ‘select shop’ (multi-brand boutique) chains such as Beams and United Arrows/Beauty & Youth. Though, you’ll have to fit into the Japanese size range for these. Again, all of the select shop chains have major branches in Harajuku and Shibuya.

    Select Shops and Niche Stores

    Select Shops and Niche Stores

    More niche destinations worth checking out include Worm in Nakameguro, which deals in only the most sought-after kicks both new and used. The shop has a dedicated big size section, and Worm will also purchase your unwanted rare sneakers. In nearby Daikanyama, Initial Kicks specializes in scarce sneakers, all brand-new stock, in cute scaled-down sizes for babies and infants.

    Harajuku
    Address
    Tokyo Shibuya-ku Jingumae 1-chome
    Phone
    NEW BALANCE Harajuku
    Address
    Tokyo Shibuya Jingu-mae 4-32-16
    Phone
    0334021906
    キャットストリート
    Address
    東京都渋谷区神宮前
    Phone
  • adidas Originals Flagship Store Tokyo
    Address
    Tokyo Shibuya-ku Jingumae 5-17-4 Jingumae torus
    Phone
    0354645580
    NIKE HARAJUKU
    rating 3 Reviews
    Address
    Tokyo Shibuya Jingu-mae 1-13-12
    Phone
    0363656453
    NIKE KICKS LOUNGE OMOTESANDO
    Address
    Tokyo Shibuya-ku Jingumae 4-25-12 MICO within Jingumae
    Phone
    0363675277
    PUMA Store Harajuku
    Address
    Tokyo Shibuya-ku Jingu-mae 1-13-14
    Phone
    0334016100
    Omote-sando
    Address
    Tokyo Minato-ku Kitaoyama 3-chome
    Phone
  • Onitsuka Tiger Omote-sando
    Address
    Tokyo Shibuya-ku Jingu-mae 4-24-14
    Phone
    0334056671
    atmos Flagship Store
    Address
    Tokyo Shibuya Jingu-mae 6-23-2
    Phone
    0364276366
    atmos Harajuku
    Address
    Tokyo Shibuya Jingu-mae 3-22-8
    Phone
    0368042274
    Atmos blue omotesando
    Address
    Tokyo Shibuya-ku Jingumae 4-29-4Barbizon78
    Phone
    0364389445
    ステップインステップ 下北沢北口店
    Address
    東京都世田谷区北沢2-31-14
    Phone
    03-6891-9292
  • Step In Step shita Kitazawa Honten
    Address
    Tokyo Setagaya-ku Kitazawa 2-2-6
    Phone
    0334109292
    BEAMS Harajuku
    Address
    Tokyo Shibuya Jingu-mae 3-24-71F ‧ 2F
    Phone
    0334703947
    BEAUTY&YOUTH UNITED ARROWS(ビューティ&ユース ユナイテッドアローズ) 渋谷公園通り店
    Address
    東京都渋谷区神南1-19-11 パークウェースクエア2 1・2F
    Phone
    03-5428-1893
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