Better late than never (but never late is better). The Sole Exchange Canada event fell directly in the heart of mid-term exams and right at the birth of the holiday season. The killer one-two punch of assignments, exams, and Christmas has this university student grasping for air. Thankfully, I have a photographic memory that’s better than a 600GB SD card. So without further ado, I bring you the Sole Exchange Canada 2 summary and review.
Let us begin our journey with the drive to the event. I have nothing against the East End, but the drive to Oshawa was longer than Jonas Valanciunas’ last name. With three other sneaker enthusiasts in tow, I made the 45 minute drive to the Oshawa Music Hall. The day started off surprisingly well, when we were informed that parking in the Dirty ‘Shwa was free on weekends (score!), but quickly was dampened, literally, when the rain began to fall as soon as we stepped out of the car.
Upon arrival at the event, I received my media pass and my amigos paid the $20.00 entrance fee. The first impression was not a great one, when we were told that there was a mandatory coat check. Luckily I YOLO’d it and walked straight through that money grab.
Right off the bat it was very evident that lighting and sound was the biggest issue. The event was being held in night-club, and this was blatantly obvious due to the extremely low lighting and the ear piercing “DJ” trying to hype up the crowd on the mic. The space was relatively small for the amount of bodies that filled the venue, but being in a room full of sneakerheads meant that everyone was weary of stepping on each other’s footwear. The vibe I got from the space itself was a very forced feel, with tables crammed into every corner of the room, on the stage, and on the second floor (which I only discovered after being there for 30 minutes.)
The vendor tables were full of everything from GR’s to Red Octobers and everything in between. Many big names made it out to try and make a quick buck, which meant an abundance of options were available for anyone toting enough cash in their wallet.
In talking with the vendors, their concerns were the same about the low light and loud music; however many of them seemed to be moving a bunch of kicks so I’m sure they had no complaints about that.
Aside from the lighting, space and noise issue I had a great time at the event. There were plenty of familiar faces who made the trek out to the expo, and many new friends were made when talking to other event-goers and vendors alike. The Sole Exchange hosts gave me a very warm welcome and personally thanked me for stopping by; which was awesome. Overall the experience was positive, it’s always nice to talk sneaks with others who share the same passion, and I’m hopeful that the hosts continue to move in the right direction with these expos.
Sole Exchange 3 is set to be held on March 21st in Mississauga (my gas tank thanks you), and we will be in the house to see if there are any improvements to the very young event.