Style - Kicks and Gear / Aug 4, 2009 / 4:00 pm

Top 50 Sneaker Stores: Leaders 1354 (#32)

Leaders 1354

Just like an art collector scouring the globe for a masterpiece, sole searching sneaker fiends will go to great lengths to find an exclusive pair of kicks. Back in Dime #25 (August 2006), we put together a list of the Top 25 Sneaker Stores when the kick game had never been bigger. But while that list was limited to mostly US spots, we decided in our 50th issue to take it worldwide.

Many factors went into our rankings – selection, build-out, atmosphere and status – as a combination of all of these aspects create the quintessential locale. Remember, this is all about the kicks, so clothing selection was immaterial. After months of traveling and research, and talking to people in all facets of the industry, we came up with our list of the Top 50 Sneaker Stores in the World.

Each day we’ll be dropping a few new spots as we count down to No. 1…

32. Leaders 1354 (IL)
After opening their doors in August 2002, Leaders 1354 has had one simple phrase by which they lead their life: “Always lead and never follow.” It is this mantra that has propelled this Chi-Town spot to the forefront of the scene in the Windy City. With future plans of global takeover, Chicago’s tastemakers and those in town always stop by to pay their respects. From basketball players Eddy Curry, Ben Gordon, Nate Robinson and Andre Iguodala to rappers Common, Mos Def, Nas and The Cool Kids, everyone tried to get their hands on the Leaders 1354 x Nike Huarache 2K8 which was limited to only 25 pairs. But with Nike, adidas, Puma, DC, Clae, Alife, Gourmet, Reebok, Spring Court, Abington and The Hundreds in the regular rotation, there’s always something you can go home with.


1400 N Milwaukee
Chicago, IL 60622

672 N Wells
Chicago, IL 60654

Leaders 1354

Leaders 1354

50. Sportie LA (CA)
49. Social Study (MD)
48. Black Rainbow (France)
47. MAJOR (DC)
46. Norml (Canada)
45. Attic (CA)
44. Premium Goods (TX / NY)
43. Espionage (Australia)
42. R.sole (MO / TN)
41. Gentei (MD)
40. No Boys Allowed (The Netherlands)
39. Goliath RF (NY)
38. Saint Alfred (IL)
37. Standard (GA)
36. Da-Fresh (Israel)
35. The 400 (CO)
34. Grand (Switzerland)
33. Hanon Shop (Scotland)

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  • Coop

    This is just embarrassing now.

  • http://dimemag.com Dime Magazine


  • Coop

    With respect, judging by the responses (or conspicuous lack thereof) to these shoe shop posts, I feel ‘the love’ may be somewhere else.

  • mole

    Ive been to this store a couple times. I wasnt impressed. St. Alfreds Chicago > leaders. for sure

  • jay

    howd leaders place better than st.alfreds – let alone make it to the board. they dont even have a lot of shoes and most of them are taxed hard as fuck.

  • Samuel “Raf” Simons

    Damn I thought Leaders would at least be top 10-15. St. Alfreds has nothing on Leaders. They look more like a hobby shoe store, they do have a few good releases fron time to time. Leaders Nike and Reebok Collab was dope. They did kind od Tax people on the Yeezy’s tho but thy’re a good store all and all…..I heard they were opening up a store in California too.

  • steve

    How the hell did R-Sole even make the list?? no culture to the store… horrible service! What a joke!!!

  • Horse

    @ steve ……….. shut ur mouth. R Sole> St. Alfreds easily…… Yea i live in IL, but in the south, so i gotta go to R Sole. But whenever i came up there, St. Alfreds was cool, but nothing on us.