3941 N. Sheridan, (773)477-4007, facebook.com/encorechicago [ratings]
Goods: Sneakers for men and women. Designers: Nike, Adidas, Puma, New Balance, Creative Recreation and several labels from Germany and Japan. Owner: Percy Gibson became the sole owner of this streetwear shop. Vibe: A pulsing, high-energy room with bright lights and hip-hop beats to accompany your shoe shopping. No shoe racks here; each sneaker is given its own display space, making it easy to marvel. Price Range: Moderate-Expensive. The Look: The Encore client may seem laidback and sporty, but don’t be fooled. This shopper is going to sidestep even the smallest puddle, as they think of their shoes as works of art. Shopper’s Perks: Encore carries hard-to-find shoes and Gibson only stocks a few in each size, which means these are more than shoes—they’re collector’s items. You can also get one-of-a-kind sneakers customized.
UPDATED OCTOBER 2009