Unknwn offers buyers iPad descriptions of its sneakers

Located in the chic environs of Bal Harbour Shops, Addict blends sneakers and high fashion. Special lines from major brands abound here (think Adidas Y-3 and the Alexander McQueen collection from Puma). Plus, you’ll come upon some sweet, high-end finds from labels like Lacoste and Porsche Design. Bal Harbour Shops, 9700 Collins Ave., 305-864-1099; thefashionsneakerstore.com

A solid South Beach option, ATC (aka Air Traffic Control) is an urban sneaker sanctuary that functions as a high-end consignment shop where you can not only buy and sell, but also trade. Stock is constantly changing, but the store carries a choice assortment of collectors’ editions, as well as striking designs from brands such as A Bathing Ape, Nike’s Dunk and Air Max lines, and sometimes even luxe, sui generis models from Louis Vuitton. The staff is knowledgeable but not overbearing. 1601 Washington Ave., Ste. 114, Miami Beach, 305-531-2000

CJ Urban Wear
If you’re looking for cool retro kicks, hard-to-find colorways, or those awesome chrome-tinted Nikes, CJ—a downtown haven for sneaker buffs, frequented by rappers and NBA stars—is the place for you. It even has a vintage Air Jordan collection that goes back to 1992. 121 E. Flagler St., Miami, 786-777-0099

Another staple for sneaker lovers, FTSLDRS (aka Foot Soldiers) prides itself on a diligently curated selection that ranges from coveted Air Jordans to stylish, quasi-dressy Vans and anomalous releases (such as zombie-themed Nike Foamposites with glowgreen soles). Log on to the website for daily updates. 100 SE First Ave., Miami, 305-374-3501

MIA Skateshop
You don’t have to be a skater to dig MIA’s array of sneakers. Prominent here are the variety of Nike SB products, wearable for any casual occasion, plus a number of Cons by Converse, colorful Adidas, Vans for the discerning buyer (including the California series), and pieces from rarer brands like HUF and The Hundreds. 229 Ninth St., Miami Beach, 786-621-3511; 16850 Collins Ave., #113C, Sunny Isles Beach, 305-974-0040

Mr. R Sports
Amid the bustle of Lincoln Road, Mr. R Sports has one of the widest selections of brands in Miami, from staples like Nike, Adidas Originals, and Converse to harder-to-find stuff such as Brooks, Mizuno, Asics, and Onitsuka Tiger. It also shines for its commitment to offering offbeat colorways. If it’s serious running shoes you’re after, it has those, too. 408 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, 305-534-1253

Shoe Gallery
Perhaps the oldest shop of its kind in Miami, Shoe Gallery is a must-stop for any real sneaker-head. Go here for your fix of Nike Air Force 1s, new-school Reebok Pumps, and cutesy collectables like the Adidas JS Bear series (complete with furry teddy bear heads atop the laces). And don’t be surprised to see a line outside if the store is about to release limited-edition kicks. 244 NE First Ave., Miami, 305-371-2063

The brainchild of Miami Heat baller LeBron James and four friends, Unknwn at Aventura Mall is decked with a wall of meticulously appointed rows of multihued sneakers, each with its own iPad to provide eye-popping visual descriptions. Check in regularly for limited-edition items (e.g., Nike LeBron series, Converse First String) because they run out fast, or click on the store’s blog to see what’s new. Aventura Mall, 19501 Biscayne Blvd., 305-937-2103

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