A trio of friends bring a sneaker convention west of Indy

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Owen Ezell, Tyler Smith and Dustin Cronnon formed Central Kicks to develop their interest in sneakers that started in college.

INDIANAPOLIS — On Saturday, three young men from the west side of Indy will hold their fourth annual sneaker convention, hoping to attract sneakerheads from all over.

Owen Ezell, Tyler Smith and Dustin Cronnon formed Central Kicks to develop their interest in sneakers that started in college.

“It’s kind of like a status symbol now,” Smith explained. “A Ferrarii is a status symbol for your car. For sneaker lovers, it’s your shoes.”

Smith and Cronnon run Central Kicks, the local shoe convention where people from all over gather to buy, sell and trade their shoes. They also team up with a childhood friend, Ezell, who runs his own shoe reselling business.

The trio have been buying, trading and selling shoes since middle school and are now gearing up for their upcoming Central Kicks convention so others can do the same.

“This will be our fourth convention that we’ve hosted here in Indianapolis,” Smith said. “It’s really just a hotspot for sneakerheads coming in from the Midwest to buy shoes, vintage clothes, collectibles, art.”

So what is a sneaker head? “It doesn’t really matter,” Ezell said. “If you love shoes, you’re a sneakerhead. It’s simple.”

For these three, it’s truly a love that has now turned into a full-time business.

“It’s 100% my time for the business,” Smith said, “and he (Ezell) has 100% of his time for his business. But the good thing about it is that they’re both incorporated into each other, so it’s easy to combine the two businesses under one roof,” said Smith.

They even use the convention to sell some of their own personal shoes, like a pair of low-top Jordans that Ezell estimates at $600-700 depending on their condition. “It’s pretty clean, no major flaws with the box,” he explained. “It’s a hard shoe to find – a super rare shoe.”

They hope to showcase shoe culture in central Indiana for others to enjoy. “Just the love of the sneaker game, providing a place for people to buy, sell and trade under one roof,” Smith said.

The convention will begin at noon and end at 5 p.m. Saturday at the Indianapolis Westside Church of the Nazarene at 8610 West 10th St., just west of Ben Davis High School. Tickets start at $15.

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