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Rare sneaker store steps into downtown

October 8, 2015
| By Pat Evans |
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Dead Solez sneakers
Dead Solez in downtown Grand Rapids is a store where people can buy, sell and trade rare sneakers. Photo via

A store dedicated to collectible sneakers and baseball hats has opened downtown.

Dead Solez is located at 53 Monroe Center St. NW and is setup for people to buy, sell and trade “high-end sneakers.”


Sneakers at the 1,200-square-foot store include limited edition and discontinued styles, such as Air Jordan 11, Nike Foamposite, Jordan 1 Collaborations and Jordan Doernbechers, according to Colliers International | West Michigan today, which helped broker a three-year lease for the space.

The store also features a selection of branded baseball hats.

“Anyone who has visited Grand Rapids in recent years can see that this city is absolutely buzzing with all kinds of activity, so Dead Solez wanted to be here to provide unique products and services that we’re confident people will enjoy,” Dead Solez co-owner Angelo Martinez said.

“We’re really excited to set up shop right in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids, with heavy foot traffic, easy access, terrific customers and near other great boutique stores.”

People can trade in sneakers for cash or an upgrade to new sneakers. Shoes with fewer creases and in men’s sizes see a better return.

The store has two employees, or "sneaker experts," who will help "evaluate sneakers, authenticating them based on shoe soles, tongues and marks."

Dead Solez was started this year inside the Capz on Rackz store in Comstock Park. Capz on Rackz is owned by Tim and Heidi Datema and carries a variety of hat brands.

Downtown market

“Retail space in downtown Grand Rapids is disappearing fast, because businesses are snapping up storefronts to be at the heart of the activity,” said Chris Prins, an associate at Colliers who helped broker the lease.

As more people live in downtown Grand Rapids, more retail should follow, Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. Chief Outcomes Officer Andy Guy said.

Guy said about 1,200 apartments or condos are either approved or under construction in the city’s urban core.

“Retail follows rooftops,” Guy said. “We’re building towards a critical mass of people living in downtown Grand Rapids. We’re hopeful this important positive trend continues, encouraging still more retailers and restaurateurs to shop for a downtown location."

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