Sole Mates brings sneakerhead paradise to Capitol Hill

Seattle’s sneakerheads will have a new foothold on Capitol Hill when Sole Mates, a sneaker consignment store above the Broadway and Pike QFC, opens shop at the end of the month. Owner Parris Johnson said culture is “in demand” on Capitol Hill, and that preparations are basically done and the store should be open by August 31st.

“I felt like this is what the area needs,” Johnson said. “A real true boutique. Brick and mortar.”

Johnson, who grew up in Seattle, jumped at the opportunity to open a business less than a quarter mile from where he grew up on 20th and Union.

 

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“A lot of prayer. A lot of hard work and dedication. Doors opened up for me,” he said. “My heart was definitely in this area. I grew up over here. I grew up on the streets. I’m all too familiar with it.”

After growing his business online and building up a sneakerhead-worthy inventory, Johnson’s first store takes over a former chiropractor’s office space in the Harvard Market shopping center above QFC at Broadway and Pike. The plan is a kicks-packed consignment shop full of high end shoes and style. The look will be somewhere in the middle of vintage arcade, graffiti, and skater hangout. “We’re gonna make it a little more millennialish,” Johnson told CHS earlier this year.

The retail venture should help bring some new life to the upper level retail complex and parking lot also home to MarinationOoink, and a Bartell’s,

The growing market around designer shoes means Johnson’s shop isn’t the only consignment game in town — or even the Hill. Restock offers sneakers and streetwear in the 600 block of E Pike.

Johnson fell in love with sneakers at a young age; mostly, he added, because he couldn’t afford them. To him, shoes are a commonality among people that can bridge gaps between total strangers. He said he makes “shoe contact” before he makes eye contact, and often sizes up a person by what’s on their feet before anything else.

“I look at your shoes before I look at your eyes,” Johnson said. “It bridges a gap. It’s a conversation starter. For a second we can bond over a pair of shoes.”

Sole Mates is set to open soon in the Harvard Market shopping center above Pike and Broadway. You can learn more at instagram.com/solemates206.

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2 thoughts on “Sole Mates brings sneakerhead paradise to Capitol Hill

  1. There goes the neighborhood. Melrose in Los Angeles. haight-ashbury in SF, wicker park in Chicago all are getting engulfed in these sneakerhead shops. It’s a bad local economic sign when shops are getting replaced with this crap.

    • First, how is this a new local business opening bad for the community? Second you obviously have never been to this area as this storefront has been empty for ages and is one of the worst areas for people to be hanging out doing drugs. Pumping more foot traffic to this area is great and the money staying local is even better.