Sneaker Politics is a mom-and-pop store that provides a home-spun alternative to chain stores ike Foot Locker and Shoe Carnival.
Sneaker Politics started as a mom and pop store in Lafayette in 2006. They then franchised and opened stores in Austin, New Orleans and are currently working on a location in Dallas. Their Baton Rouge branch opened in 2010.
Every first Sunday of the month, Sneaker Politics hosts an event called “Shake Back Sunday."
“It’s like a giveback event,” said store manager Fletcher Sanders. “We normally raffle off shoes. During the first hour is the hangover hour. Then we raffle off the hottest shoes of the month.”
Encouraging its mom-and-pop roots, Sanders stresses running the store as a family environment, which he believes has been vital to the store’s success.
“We run each store like a family environment more than like a job,” Sanders said. “I think I have six people here working for me, and it’s like six of my little brothers. It’s awesome. That’s how we keep customers coming back. It’s not like your typical shoe store, where you walk in and just grab a pair of shoes. I have a lot of relationships with customers…And that’s what makes us stand out.”
For a mom-and-pop store, Sneaker Politics is a step above the other big-name shoe stores.
“A lot of the product that we get is specialty product that is not available to big box stores,” Sanders said. “We’re actually working on a shoe right now with Saucony and Café du Monde, so it’s gonna be a Politics/Saucony that we’re doing, and Café du Monde, they’re gonna serve beignets at the release.”
Sneaker Politics also does shoes for events, such as anniversaries for movies and events for other businesses.
“We did something for the 20th anniversary of ‘The Waterboy’, the movie, here with Adidas,” Sanders said. “We had a food truck out there, stuff that you’ve seen from the movie. We sold all the jersey’s, the Bobby Boucher jerseys, so stuff that we do here is a little different then your big box mall store product wise and experience wise.”
Though they have many unique brands, Sneaker Politics also carries many of the big-name brands such as Nike, ASICS, Reebok, Adidas, Vans and Puma. They also carry many major clothing brands as well, such as Nike, Adidas and Reebok, in addition to street wear brands, such as The Hundreds, 10 Deep and Billionaire Boys Club.
“A lot of these shoes you can’t find anywhere else,” Sanders said. “We’re like the only store in Louisiana that does what we do, on the shoe side. There’s other stores that can have the same clothes, but we have the best accounts that you can get.”
Sneaker Politics relies more on word of mouth than traditional advertising.
“We have a huge following,” Sanders said. “We do a ton of online business … We don’t spend a ton of money on advertisement, so it’s kinda a word of mouth thing.”
Sneaker Politics is located at 9655 Perkins Road Suite D, and is open Monday through Saturday from 11 p.m. to 7 p.m. and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.