[A Guest Post by Hubert!]
Hi, my name is Hubert and I am a recovering sneaker addict. (Hi Hubert.)
For as long as I can remember, sneakers have been the highest form of visual sophistication for me. I have never really been into clothes and accessories, because they are far too seasonal. Living in Michigan, it is too costly to stay sharp for all four seasons of the year. If I lived in Southern California or Florida, I may be a different person. Thing is, I am a Michigander [through and through] and I can rock my Nike Airs year-round. I won’t lie. I also have a problem with vinyl records, so I figured I needed something that would accentuate my never-ending hunt for musical treasure. I do a lot of standing and walking, might as well look good while doing it, right? And so it goes…
For the last four years or so, I have been coping with an abusive relationship with an enabler. Usually, people in my shoes would leave such entities nameless, but I must out them. I must out them today. And by them, I mean Burn Rubber Sneaker Boutique in Royal Oak aka The Dope Spot. Burn Rubber was the cause of many of my late night shakes and twitching when I hadn’t laced up a fresh pair of Dunks in over a month. Boy, do I love the smell of a brand new pair of Nike’s. Ugh, I should stop before I go and relapse.
Being in existence for about 4 years, Burn Rubber was the only shop around with Nike’s Indie Energy and Quick Strike accounts, which meant they were the only ones to carry some of the most limited edition sneakers for the state of Michigan. Since the explosion of the sneaker craze, more shops have opened shops in various corners of our mitten-ous state, but Burn Rubber has made their mark indelible in the sneaker community [even with the non-marking soles]. Currently owned by Rick Williams and Roland “Ro” Coit since February 2007, two self-proclaimed sneaker freaks themselves, Burn Rubber has sponsored several social and charity events around Metro Detroit.
One might wonder what types of individuals would be crazy about athletic shoes. Heck, one probably wants to know how a sneaker boutique can even stay in business in Michigan. Apparently, sneaker collecting is not as small of a niche market as you would think. According to Rick and Ro, their customers are “a mix of musicians, soccer moms, athletes and executives.” Burn Rubber initially only sold “reissued” sneakers of years’ past, which had folks buying up shoes they may have had as teens or early adulthood. For me personally, I do not even mess with a shoe that originally came out after 1996. Now the sneaker industry has proliferated in such a way that all sorts of new brands, styles and designs have come on the scene, breeding a new group of sneaker lovers.
The atmosphere in Burn Rubber’s quaint 680 sq. ft. space is a quaint one. In the store, you will find brand staples like Nike, Adidas and Reebok, along with new shoe brands like Alife and clothing brands like Crooks & Castles and 10 Deep. You will find regulars lounging on the benches, chatting with the owners while assisting inquisitive shoppers on a potential purchase. Such an environment makes you feel like you are a part of something, even if you are not a “sneaker head.” If you go into the shop now, you will see a recent wallpaper job by world-renowned urban artist Tristan Eaton, mastermind / founder of Thunderdog Studios.
I could go on and on about my love/hate relationship with Burn Rubber, but it might trigger urges to spend funds that I really should not. I will say that Burn Rubber is definitely a part of the youthful exuberance that makes Royal Oak a great place to be. You should do yourself a favor and stop in their shop. Rick and Ro are very helpful and they make a point to let you know that they appreciate your business, even if their grins come off a bit devilish – but I digress.
I want to thank you for listening. I have been clean for about 8 months now. I am taking it one Air Max, I mean one day at a time.
You can contact them at (248) 543-3000, by email at burnrubberdetroit [at] gmail [dot] com and/or check out their website: BurnRubberDetroit
Hubert Sawyers III
This article brought to you by the good folks at Urbane Apartments Royal Oak Michigan, Urbane Apartments Ferndale Michigan,Urbane Apartments Birmingham Michigan, and Urbane Apartments Dearborn Michigan