This weekend, thousands of people are expected to flock to the Dallas Market Center, where they will trade, display, admire and purchase collector items that are one-of-a-kind or nearly priceless. 

It’s not an antique show, and it’s not Comic Con. This is the sixth annual Sneaker Convention of Dallas, and this year’s event is expected to be the big one. Perhaps even the biggest yet. 

“With us having been without the ability to do events for the past year and a half, it’s been almost 18 months since we’ve hit the road and done anything in a live setting,” said Will Debord, managing director of Sneaker Con and one of the original forces behind its beginning.

The last convention that the group was able to hold was in Los Angeles in December of 2019.

“So this is like our welcome back. It’s our ‘we’re back’ event,” Debord said. “With the energy and the excitement that people are showing, this is looking out to be our biggest event in the United States ever.”

The first Sneaker Con was held after a few collectors decided they wanted an official platform to buy, sell and trade. It was in Times Square, in a small comedy club hallway, with about 20 vendors and roughly 1,000 people. 

Historically the biggest Sneaker Con takes place in New York, where as many as 15,000 people come for the 100,000-square-foot spread of roughly 300 vendors. The upcoming Dallas show will offer 400 vendors and is surpassing the event in ticket sales so far. 

“It’s going to be a very big moment in sneaker culture that people will be talking about for some time as the first Sneaker Con back from COVID,” Debord said. 

For those unfamiliar with the sneaker collecting niche, the hobby first gained momentum in the early 2010s when Instagram gained popularity. The social media app became a virtual runway for all types of fashion enthusiasts to show off their collections, including rare, limited edition sneakers. 

The convention is excited to announce a new feature through its partnership with eBay. The online retailer will be on-site to provide sneaker sale authentication just as it does in online sales. 

The convention will also offer a plethora of product giveaways, a live workshop and the trading pit, where attendees are invited to bring as many pairs of sneakers as they can carry to trade with others. 

Debord said the event organizers are expecting some huge waves in inventory and buying power with large-scale sneaker collectors and sellers are eager to bring momentum to a market that’s been stagnant since COVID. He noted that some buyers may be coming in with as much as $500,000 in purchasing power. 

“These resellers have been cooped up during the pandemic,” Debord said. “They’ve been buying and selling at home but missing the outlets because they normally come to every show. This will be an opportunity for them to liquidate their whole collection.”

Debord said the convention is excited to be back in Dallas, and is expecting national attendance. 

“The sneaker culture is eager, more hungry and passionate than ever before,” he said. “We are excited to start traveling again and take this around the country.”

Event details

Dallas Market Center, Main Hall, 2200 N. Stemmons FWY, Dallas, Texas 75207

May 22-23

Noon to 7 p.m.

Purchase tickets here.