The Footwear Fetish Capital of America 

Want to know where to go if you love footwear? Look no further than Portland, Oregon!

This quiet city boasts one of the largest #FootwearFetish cultures in the world, and with Nike corporate in its backyard (the owners of Converse) there is little reason not to be so downwardly focused. Portland’s footwear fetish is a nationally known phenomena, in both print and NPR, so I knew I needed to hop, skip and jump my way down to take a peek.

Since my home is Seattle, a leisurely Amtrak ride places you in PDX in a short 4 hours and allows you time to relax and take in some of the best views Puget Sound has to offer!

Arriving at my latest addiction, a tiny house AirBNB, I dropped my luggage at the “Portland Pink Palace” and ventured out with friends for some excellent chicken at Nong’s Khao Man Gai and then hit The Helio Sequence’s studio before completing the evening with Olive Oil ice cream at Salt & Straw a MUST TRY in PDX! The city might have gotten known as VooDoo Donut town but the new foodies know the REAL goods are down the street!

The first day I hit the ground running and entered a couple of the sneaker heads most hallow halls…. Compound Gallery and the greatest #Sneakerhead resale shop, Index. They are both blocks from each other in PDX’s International District and come to find out a local #Sneakerhead-themed coffee shop had just opened up a block away, Deadstock. Now since sneakers (and coffee) are two of my things, of course I was going to stop in for a cup! The cafe owner, Ian, was lively, engaging and very much a #Sneakerhead connoisseur! He flowed in and out of my Converse questions and fellow Nike staffer ramblings as easily as he poured a mean Macadamia Nut milk latte (yes, that was a first for me too and it’s actually pretty good!). Ian even told me about a local #TNTNW latte art competition with a custom pair of Chuck II’s as the prize! Not only are the new Chuck II’s hard to find but to have limited edition pair of custom kicks? Maybe I can talk one of my Starbucks barista friends into winning me a pair?

PDX #FootwearFetish is all around you if you look, even my good friends at the Goodwill Industries of the Columbia Willamette had multiple brand new sneakers to buy! A throw back to my first year living brands, Living the Goodwill Life, served me well and I ended up scoring this beauty of a pair, brand new, for less than $20. Not something you can always find in lesser-known footwear towns.

When I say that you can throw a stone and hit a Nike employee in PDX I’m not kidding! I had so many people around me all weekend long that worked for the over 9k strong corporate office from fellow coffee seekers, to breakfast bar comrades to those at the Converse store in Woodburn outside of PDX that it would make your head spin. PDX IS Niketown!

I definitely look forward to my next trip south to hang with the culture that lives, breaths and orders coffee and kicks together… my Portland peeps. PDX, I’m starting to get your #FootwearFetish fandom, and I like it!

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