EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Sneaker heads have a new hub in East Lansing.
House of Soles, which initially opened at an Okemos location in 2020, has a new spot right on Michigan State University’s campus on Grand River Avenue.
The shop was opened by twins Lennie and Lonnie Smith, who excelled at basketball and football at Haslett High School.
Two years into the business, the twins received a helping hand in opening their new East Lansing spot from former Spartan athletes Carlos Jenkins and Herb Haygood.
Both had great success on the football field, and later played in the NFL. Jenkins appeared on rosters for the Minnesota Vikings and the St. Louis Rams, and Haygood played for the Denver Broncos.
House of Soles specializes in the sneaker resale market. The shop’s stock includes rare and coveted Air Jordans and other limited releases from brands like Adidas and Nike.
“This a Black-owned, family-owned business. In East Lansing, there’s no real premier sneaker store. We’re trying to bring that to East Lansing and have a little flair to it,” said sales associate Ambrose Wilson. “We all love shoes. We all have our own sneaker collections. We started the store from the ground up and just been going from there.”
These shoes are for serious buyers, as they can fetch prices as high as several thousand dollars.
Unfortunately, the high value of these shoes has led to instances of robbery and even murder in cities around the country.
Reading of these tragedies in various Michigan news outlets, the Smith twins decided they wanted to create a venue to sell and purchase shoes that was much safer for young people than connecting with random strangers online.
“This is a love for all ages. There’s different types of sneakers and vintage that people really adore. It can bring a community together; working together toward one thing and one love,” Wilson said.
Manager Drew Roberts said the shop is for everybody, whether they’re a sneaker fanatic or not.
“I grew up loving fashion. It’s a sense of fashion, and when I get dressed in the morning I start from the shoes up,” Roberts said.