Soccer Shops And Spongebob the Musical

spongebob the musical
Spongebob Squarepants on Broadway

Soccer leagues have kicked off across the city and that means it’s new-boot season for thousands of New Yorkers. Sure, you can buy from or Amazon, but nothing beats browsing irl.

Especially since soccer shops look like Spongebob the Musical.

About 90% of the boots are neon, the balls are Patrick Star pink and there are more bright yellow kits dominating the racks than ever.

I went neon soccer shopping today because I needed a new pair of turf shoes to handle both the spongy, rubber-tire turf at Brooklyn Bridge Pier 5 and the sandy concrete at Grover Cleveland Park in Ridgewood.

I was headed to Modell’s in Astoria, when I noticed A&K Sports, a narrow soccer shop on Steinway Street. A&K gets no love online — every search for soccer shops in the Astoria area yields results for a few Modell’s and a bunch of Upper 90 boutiques throughout the city.

A&K Sports in Astoria

But the store has good prices and a great selection — I ended up buying a pair of Nike Tiempo X Mystic V turf shoes for $55 (They’re usually $85 + tax).

Best of all, A&K is a beautiful store.


“This is the most colorful place I’ve ever seen,” my wife said as we scanned the shelves and thumbed through the jerseys.

I picked out a few pairs of black Nikes that look like old man loafers until I finally asked for her input. She plucked the Tiempo X Mystic shoe off the wall and handed it to me. They’re a good way for me to get my feet wet in the neon game —  I’m still not ready to go all in on incandescence, but these shoes do offer a strip of radiant green on the heel.

A few hours later, I slid them on, laced them up and headed to the park near my apartment to play. I felt the same way I did strapping on a new pair of Lottos when I was 14 — like a pro.

Not so new anymore

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