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Sneaker fans go nuts over Bronx shoe

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You’d be surprised by how many Bronxites spent a recent Saturday waiting to buy sneakers. And everyone was buying the same exact pair.

A new line of Nike Air Force 1 sneakers are out: the “Five Boroughs Pack,” which includes a special sneaker for each of the city’s five boroughs. Naturally, locals rushed out to pick up the Bronx pair.

“We haven’t had something like this in a while,” said Vincenzo Cafaro, owner of BX Sports at 2181 White Plains Road. BX Sports, which has four locations in the Bronx, is the only store in the borough that had the shoes. “Anyone who loves sneakers would definitely want to have this collection. They’re going to sell a lot,” he said on Friday, July 30, the day before the shoes went on sale.

Cafaro predicted correctly. After receiving calls for days leading up to the public release on Saturday, July 31, Cafaro’s store on White Plains Road had sold out by 1 p.m. Saturday. Some customers lined up before the store opened up at 10 a.m.

The Bronx shoe comes in one color combination: a red, white, and blue — though it’s a baby blue, not the navy of our national colors. In terms of signage, there is a side logo by the heel that says “THE Bx” in a circle.

“New York” and “The Bronx” are written in white lettering down one end of each shoelace. The inside sole also carries the name of the borough, in a type font specific to each borough’s pair. For example, inside the Manhattan pair, the letters on the sole join at the top to form the city skyline.

“A lot of people expected Yankees colors,” said Jose Marano, employee of the BX Sports at 1574 Westchester Avenue. “But if you’ve seen the other boroughs, those colors don’t really relate to the borough either. The Bronx one has a good color combo.”

Indeed, the color combo for each pair seems arbitrary. Rather than Mets colors, as one might expect, the Queens shoe is green and white, while Brooklyn’s main color is purple. Manhattan has maroon, and the Staten Island pair is orange and black.

Larry Prospect, executive director of the White Plains Road BID, was excited about the shoes from a business perspective. “This will be a great boost to business in the area,” he said. “[Cafaro] is a tremendous fashion indicator. Obviously once people are on the street to get the shoes, they’ve got other places they could come and shop.”

Prospect joked that even though he is “kind of clueless” about shoes, he can tell these were important not just as a fashion statement, but a source of pride to Bronx diehards.

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