From $65 running shoes to $1,000 black-and-gold Air Jordan 12 “Wings” sneakers, there was a little of everything for hundreds of sneakerheads at the 2016 Ultimate Sneaker Expo in St. James on Saturday.
By mid-afternoon, organizers estimated about 900 people had been through the expo at The Sports Arena in St. James, buying and trading sneakers with nearly 200 vendors.
DJ Clark Kent and HOT 97’s DJ Camilo headlined the event, during which an excited crowd received free T-shirts.
DJ Sharad, 37, of Farmingdale, president of DJ USA Events and one of the expo organizers, said the event was at first “a test,” because St. James was a bit far from the expo’s normal venue in Syosset. However, he was pleased with the turnout.
“The show really fuses DJs, the music, the sneakers and the fashion into one arena,” said Sharad, who would only give his stage name. “Sneakers are the star, but sneakers aren’t the only thing here. It’s also a great place for up-and-coming brands and it’s a youth event. It brings a city-type event into Suffolk County.”
Matteo Torquato, 13, of St. James and his younger brother Gio, 11, both had been to the expo in past years — but both agreed it was still just as fun.
When asked what it was about sneakers that appealed to him, Matteo said: “It’s the uniqueness and the design of an awesome pair.”
Event organizers teamed up with Uniondale charity Heeling Soles, which provides new and gently used sneakers to people in need, allowing people who donated shoes at the event to get into the venue without waiting in line.
Dejounte Murray, 18, who traveled from New York City to the expo, walked out sporting four pairs of Air Jordans, which he estimated would normally go for between $200 to $300 per pair.
“I got them for a whole lot less than that,” he said with a smile.