The Spot: Sole Classics is the Hidden Gem Ohio Sneakerheads Didn’t Tell You About

Recently, Columbus sneaker and streetwear boutique Sole Classics partnered with Vans for a collaborative Sk8-Hi reissue. The design was inspired by the Apollo 11 space mission, in which Neil Armstrong (a Wapakoneta, Ohio native) took man’s first steps on the moon.

Since its inception in 2006, Sole Classics has been keeping its city supplied with heat. When Dionte Johnson took over the reigns of the shop in 2010, it began its journey as Ohio’s go-to outlet for all things street culture.

Sole Classics comes stocked with about two dozen apparel brands that range in notoriety; while they carry standard labels like BBC, Stussy and The Hundreds, they also keep some lesser-knowns on deck, like 40s and Shorties and Distinct LIFE.  As far as sneakers go, they’ve been known to have a diversified inventory. “With prices for shoes as crazy as they are, we want to give people alternatives. We’ve got the meat and potatoes brands, yeah, but we also look for brands that can keep our customers inspired.”

While some would argue that Columbus isn’t exactly in the heart of streetwear culture, there are in fact 34 different shoe stores in the area. So then, what allows Sole Classics to stand apart?

“We’re young and we’re able to move,” said Johnson. “We like to keep it fresh, and both introduce people to our way of living while building a story behind what we do.”

Since they’re nestled right in between downtown Columbus and Ohio State University’s campus, the shop attracts an eclectic mix. Everyone from sneaker fanatics and basketball fans to skaters and hip-hop heads have made their way to Sole Classics.

They’re also posted in the city’s Short North Arts District, which is reflected by the wall murals slated across the shop’s interior. Native street artist Roscoe crafted plywood cartoons and illustrated creatures that add life to the unique boutique

The wall art isn’t the only attention-grabber, either. A foosball table anchors the main space and old school OSU pennants give the shop some collegiate context. There’s even a vending machine dispensing nothing but ankle socks and Jason Markk Quick Wipes.

While Johnson disclosed that Sole Classics has some special projects in the works, you’ll have to keep an eye on them for the details. In the meantime, you can pay them a visit at 846 North High Street or at

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