Rival Sneakers Makes A Move to Congress Street

March 16, 2016

RIVAL3by Liz Felix

Back in the day, Tucson’s Downtown was a popular locale for some good ol’ fashioned retail therapy. Montgomery Ward, Cele Peterson’s, Levy’s, Steinfeld’s, and Woolworth’s are just a few shops that once had a home in the heart of the Old Pueblo, but with time came change and slowly, those retail stores began to disappear.

Enter the revitalization of Downtown Tucson. New spaces on Congress Street meant new opportunities for retail shops to catch the heavy foot traffic, and the newest kid on the Congress shopping scene is Rival Sneakers.

“Rival Sneakers is about filling a void and creating a hub for local sneaker enthusiasts,” says owner Mario Escalante. “Most of our products are limited edition releases that you could only find in a boutique like Rival, and until now, you could only buy them online or drive out of town.”

Rival's collection of Clear Weather One-O-One Suede shoes.

Rival’s collection of Clear Weather One-O-One Suede shoes.

Previously called VII Grand and once located on 178 East Broadway, Escalante felt that his sneaker shop, co-owned by former UA basketball player, Derrick Williams, could benefit from a little more exposure and so began the move to Congress.

“We have something special here and I wanted to make sure everyone knew about it, the activity on Downtown, especially on Congress, is ideal and it’s only growing. A lot of people are living down here too,” says Escalante.

“But most importantly, I wanted to make sure people knew this was a local business and unique to this city. I don’t think people would think that if we were in a mall.”

Staying in tune with the community vibe that Tucson is famous for, Escalante kept it local and reached out to new neighbors, FORSarchitecture+interiors, for help in designing the new space. Its white walls and modern fixtures help to prominently display their collection of unique sneakers and apparel, making walking by the store a difficult feat.

Rival Sneaker’s doors are currently open for business, with a grand opening celebration taking place on March 26, 2016. Food, refreshments and music will accompany some very cool giveaways, including a pair of the hottest sneaker on the market, the Adidas Yeezy Boosts.

Got a fresh pair of kicks but you need a hat to complete the outfit? Rival's got you covered.

Got a fresh pair of kicks but you need a hat to complete the outfit? Rival’s got you covered.

Like Hydra, Desert Bloom, and Fed By Threads, Rival Sneakers has hopes to grow with Downtown and become a local staple.

“When people in Tucson think sneakers, I want them to think Rival, and I think this location will help with that,” says Escalante.

To stay updated on new arrivals, events and promotions, follow Rival Sneakers on Instagram, Twitter (@RivalSneakers) and Facebook. For more information and to browse their online inventory, please visit RivalSneakers.com.

New store hours:

11am – 8pm, Tuesday – Saturday (extended hours on 2nd Saturdays)
12pm – 5pm on Sunday