INDIANAPOLIS — On Saturday, three young men from Indy's west side will be hosting their fourth annual sneaker convention, hoping to draw in sneaker lovers from all over.
Owen Ezell, Tyler Smith and Dustin Cronnon formed Central Kicks as a way to further their interest in sneakers that started in middle school.
"It's kind of like a status symbol now," explained Smith. "A Ferrarii is a status symbol for your car. For sneaker heads, 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 partner with childhood friend, Ezell, who runs his own shoe resale business.
The trio has been buying, trading, and selling shoes since middle school and are now preparing for their next Central Kicks convention so others can do the same.
"This will be our fourth convention that we're throwing here in Indianapolis," Smith said. "It's really just a hot spot for sneaker heads to come all over from the Midwest to shop for shoes, vintage clothing, collectables, art."
So, what is a sneaker head? "It doesn't really matter," Ezell said. "If you love shoes, you're a sneaker head. That simple."
For these three, it really is a love that has now expanded into a fulltime business.
"It's 100 percent of my time towards the business," Smith said, "and he's (Ezell) got 100 percent of his own time toward his business. But the good thing about it is they're both incorporated with each other. So it's easy to combine both businesses under one roof," Smith said.
They're even using the convention to sell off some of their own personal shoes, like a pair of low-top Jordans that Ezell figures to go for $600-700 based on their condition. "It's pretty clean, no major flaws with the box," he explained. "It's a hard shoe to find - super rare shoe."
They're hoping to showcase the culture of shoes across central Indiana for others to enjoy.
"Just the love the sneaker game, providing a place for people to buy, sell and trade all under one roof," Smith said.
The convention kicks off at Noon and ends 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.