With about 100 pairs of sneakers each, self-described sneaker heads and local businessmen Michael Rhine and James Jones have turned their love of foot fashion into their newest business – Street Heat Sneaks.
Located on Rehoboth Avenue in Rehoboth Beach, Street Heat Sneaks is a custom sneaker shop and apparel store that opened a few weeks ago.
Rehoboth has become a definite beach-town destination on the East Coast, said Rhine. The idea is to offer a fun and inviting store where people can find or create something unique for themselves, he said.
“It is bustling, especially in the summer, but it has become more year-round, and it draws people from all sorts of walks of life, cultures and interests,” said Rhine in an email June 27.
The store features sneakers for sale, but it also offers the ability to get those sneakers customized. Rhine said they work with several artists in the United States and Europe.
“We do many of the designs and they make our visions a reality,” said Rhine. “The majority are hand-painted by our artists and the Gucci/Versace/Louis Vuitton are hand-sewn by our artists in Europe.”
Rhine, who also owns Coastal Hobo up the street on Rehoboth Avenue, said Street Heat Sneaks combines a passion and hobby into a business that he hopes to share with many customers. There wasn’t always money to buy a nice pair of Jordans, but, he said, he would treat himself every now and then.
“They were a prized possession and continue to be to this day,” said Rhine.
Jones said he’s always had an eye for fashion and he enjoys being creative for customers, which is why he also enjoys doing swimming pools and hardscapes for his other business, Cool Water Pool & Lawn Service. It’s about creating what the customers want and getting to witness smiling faces when the project is complete, he said.
Rhine said he’s been buying customized sneakers and collecting shoes for years, and after visiting a sneaker convention with Jones, and seeing the interest in sneakers among all ages and cultures, they decided to bring their vision to life.
The store’s walls are covered in posters and pictures of NBA legends Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. Rhine said he and Jones appreciate the way Jordan and Bryant approached their game and work ethic.
“Jordan is the [greatest of all time]; he was an assassin. Kobe was right behind him,” said Rhine. “They did whatever it took to win.”